Peculiar is a city in Cass County, Missouri and is part of the Kansas City metropolitan area within the United States. The population was 4,608 at the 2010 census. The town motto is "Where the 'odds' are with you."
Early settlers of the town came to Western Missouri by riverboat from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Peculiar also had families coming from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. On July 29, 1868, the county surveyor, Robert Cass, platted Peculiar and was filed as "The Town of Peculiar".
There are at least two versions of the story on how Peculiar received its name. The first involves the community's first postmaster, Edgar Thomson. His first choice for a town name, "Excelsior," was rejected because it already existed in Atchison County, Missouri. Several other choices were also rejected. The story goes that the annoyed Thomson wrote to the Postmaster General himself to complain saying, among other things, "We don't care what name you give us so long as it is sort of 'peculiar'." Thomson submitted the name "Peculiar" and the name was approved. The post office was established on June 22, 1868.
In an alternate version, according to Missouri folklorist Margot Ford McMillen, early settlers were searching for a location to farm. As they cleared a small rise and looked below, one remarked "Well that's peculiar! It's the very place I saw in a vision back in Connecticut." The land was purchased and eventually a village sprang up on it, which was named "Peculiar".
Peculiar incorporated as a village in the 1890s and became a fourth class city of the state of Missouri in 1953.
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Peculiar, MO exterior services
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