The story behind the Packard Cemetery in Cameron, Missouri

Photograph of the Packard Cemetery on Jul 29, 2005 by DonZas, a late contributor on Find A Grave. If you’d like to see where it is on a map, please go here.

In the past, on this blog I have mentioned the Packard Cemetery, in the “wonderful little town” of Cameron, Missouri, sitting within Clinton County, in passing. I have noted it is the place where Martha Packard (child of Charles E. Packard and Arminta Utter) was buried in 1957, and the final resting place of Ruth Snow (in 1879) and Barnabas Packard III (in 1868). As I told one fellow Packard researcher last year, “I still want to go to the Packard Cemetery in Cameron, Missouri (where Barnabas III died), but haven’t got a chance yet.” The cemetery, on the outskirts of Cameron, still exists to this day. It is an active cemetery, with someone buried there as recently as 2016 from what I could find. [1] In terms of historical significance, the cemetery is famous for its enduring 28-foot-tall Tuggle Monuments which were “manufactured in 1887 by Italian artisans in Vermont, shipped by rail to Cameron, and hauled to the cemetery in a log wagon pulled by a steam engine.” There have been scattered mentions by genealogical societies (like the one in Northwest Missouri or in Caldwell), those looking into their own genealogy of their ancestors, and varied others, but nothing that talks about the history of the place itself. [2]

We know that Packards are evidently buried there, one of the many “uniquely beautiful” cemeteries in the region. It is also clear that with a person named Kim Packard on the Missouri Veterans Commission and an existing road in Cameron named Packard Lane that there likely still Packard descendants living in the area. I first looked at an old issue of Packard’s Progress, specifically Volume 32, which, as I noted on this blog, has an “article is about the Packards of Cameron, Missouri by Lester O. Packard.” This article notes that “in the spring of 1865…Ossmus Chalmer Packard and Sophia Hodges (Dean) Packard arrived in Cameron, Clinton County, Missouri,” both of whom were Massachusetts natives, with Ossmus born in Plainfield and Sophia in Savoy. They were tired, as Lester O. Packard tells it, of trying to “farm in the rock-infested soil of Massachusetts.” They were part of, he explains a great movement westward with cheap land and better possibility for successful farming out West. He also notes that Ossmus had two brothers: a younger one named Charles Edwin  Packard, who would become a railroad station agent in the area, and an older brother named Roswell Clifford (R.C.) Packard, the latter who came to Cameron about the same time, starting a flour mill, with both buying land so they could be full-time farmers. Both of these brothers were also Civil War veterans. [3] Lester goes onto say that Ossmus and Sophia seemingly came to Cameron by train, to an area where it was rough to establish a homestead. The rest of the article goes talks more about his grandparents (Ossmus and Sophia) and his parents Herbert Melvin Packard and Mary Frances Witt. However, at the very end he does talk about the Packard Cemetery, writing:

…the Packard name and the Packard strain should be in the Cameron area for years to come…along with our grandparents and parents, on both sides, the Packard cemetery has a lot of Packard buried there. This includes our great grandparents Barnabas III and his wife Ruth (Snow) Packard…Uncle Charles Edwin, his wife Armiinta [sic] (Utter) Packard and three of his daughters are there beside his parents. Uncle Roswell Clifford and two great-uncles Milton and Lyman Packard, are buried nearby.

A search for the term “Packard Cemetery” brings up 1,040 results on In order to prevent incorrect results (called false drops), I narrowed it to Missouri, which gave me 746 matches. Since most of these results would be of burials, I narrowed it to 1879 to 1889, the earliest set of newspaper articles mentioning the term. From this, it is clear that the Packard Cemetery had interment as early as November 13, 1879, with large youth groups gathering there to honor those who had died, a decoration ceremony, and other services were held there in the years to come. One article described the cemetery as near the city of Cameron, while another talked about the construction of the Tuggle Monument in the cemetery, with one in 1974 reviewing the same topic, giving a history of the monument’s creation.

Since these results were disappointing, I did find a clue to the reason why it is called the Packard Cemetery on page 394 of a local history titled History of Clinton and Caldwell Counties, Missouri, published in 1923, which notes that

The Packard Cemetery was originally owned by C.E. [Charles Edward] Packard, and an effort is now being made to raise an endowment fund to take care of the cemetery. Herbert Melvin Packard is at the head of this plan. He is the only member of the Packard family now living in the community.

This leads me to 1881 local history titled The History of Clinton County, Missouri: Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, Etc., Biographical Sketches of Its Citizens, Clinton County in the Late War, General and Local Statistics, Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men, History of Missouri, Map of Clinton County, Etc., Etc. [4] In this book, on page 251 it is noted that:

…many years subsequent, a cemetery was laid out about a mile and half southeast of the town site of Cameron, by Charles Packard. In this cemetery the Masonic fraternity own a large lot, set apart for the burial of the deceased indigent brethren of the order

I found a number of other books, some that call it the “old Packard cemetery.” This makes logical sense considering the number of Packards buried there. There was even a court case that involved an individual whom directed his remains to “be placed in my lot in the Packard Cemetery near the City of Cameron, Missouri” and it is mentioned within the USGS’s Geographical Names Information System (GNIS). And with that, this post concludes, but sets the groundwork for others exploring the lives of the Packards who lived in Cameron, Missouri.


[1] “James Ford 1956-2009,” The North Missourian, accessed Feb 22, 2019; “Hubert Burnett Jr.,” The North Missourian, accessed Feb 22, 2019; “Robert Miles,” Trenton Republican Times, accessed Feb 22, 2019; “Myrtle “Dee” Free 1933-2016” within “Obituaries March 25-26,” St. Joseph Post, Mar 28, 2016.

[2] For scattered mentions, please see page 240 of “Ancestors and Family of Steven Harn Redman“, a webpage titled “Warmoth Family“,  a webpage titled “Harriman, Alvin“, a webpage titled “Jacobus Family“; page 833 of “Field, Wagoner, Hoover & Curtis Genealogy“; page 834 of “Field, Wagoner, Hoover & Curtis Genealogy“; a website called Land Of The Buckeye; an entry for a Joshua Jackson buried there in 1982; a webpage titled “Missouri Cemetery Burial Plots or Lots for Sale and Grave Sites for Sale Offers“; a mention on the “Cameron Genealogy (in Clinton County, MO)” webpage; a mention on the “Cameron, MO Cemeteries” webpage, a mention on the House of Proctor Genealogy website, and the obituary of Lydia McKee who was buried in the cemetery in 1884.

[3] As I noted in a footnote of my article about William Henry Packard and the Civil War, “Nahum, Osamus, Harrison E.,& Charles E. Packard also fought in the war.” This is also supported by the fact that pages 272, 317, and 364 of different parts of the The War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Civil War lists a “C.E. Packard” in Missouri, which merits further investigation. I also noted in my post about the Packards in Cameron, Missouri that:

From 1831 to 1840, Barnabas and Ruth had 4 more children. They were Roswell Clifford, born February 4, 1831, who married Elnora G. Vining on February 25, 1869, Ossmus Chalmer, born July 27, 1834, who married Sophia Dean on April 1, 1863, Charles Edwin, born on March 19, 1838, who married Araminta Utter in 1867, and Harrison “Clark” Clark, born February 20, 1840 who married Melona C. Dawes on June 4, 1865. Roswell would die in 1919 in Cameron, Missouri, while Ossmus would die in the same place but on January 28, 1907. Clark would die, reportedly, in Windsor in 1899, and Charles would die in Kansas City, Missouri in 1933…Reportedly, Charles Edwin spent time in Ohio as a mathematics teacher before moving to Cameron, Missouri while his brother, Ossmus lived in Mendota, Illinois before moving to Cameron in 1865. The family lore goes that Roswell moved to Cameron in 1866 (and reportedly moved to Ft. Smith Arkansas in 1895) and that Patty (and her husband Charles Ira Ford) moved from Nauseous, Ohio to Cameron the same year.

[4] Sadly, only volume 2 of this book is currently on the Internet Archive, not volume 1, from which this text comes from.

4 thoughts on “The story behind the Packard Cemetery in Cameron, Missouri

  1. I attended the burial of Martha Packard and the family diner afterwards in the nearby home of Herbert Packards.
    Packards still live in Cameron, Missouri.


    • Bruce, sorry for not responding sooner, but thanks for sharing that! I’m not surprised at all that Packards still live in Cameron, not in the slightest, as there is a Packard cemetery there. – Burkely


  2. Pingback: Places with ‘Packard’ in the name across the U.S. | Packed with Packards!

  3. Pingback: Packed with Packards and existing social hierarchies | Packed with Packards!

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