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James McCormick Cameron (1865-1949) was born in Harrisburg at the Cameron homestead, 407 N. Front Street, Harrisburg.

He attended Harrisburg Academy Phillips Exeter and Harvard College, the latter of which he graduated in 1853. He studied law under his father and was admitted to the bars of Dauphin and Cumberland Counties, but his interest was in the steel business. Before becoming a national figure in politics, his grandfather, Simon Cameron, had built the canal and railroad between Harrisburg and Sunbury, PA and canals in Louisiana. James entered the steel business after college, managing the old Paxton furnaces, along with Col. Henry McCormick, when it was merged with the Iron & Steel Company. He was also owner and director of the Elk River Coal and Lumber Company, Dundon, VA, a director fo the Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad Company, direcotr fo the Harrisburg Bridge Company, director fo the Harrisburg Railways Company and member fo the Dauphin Deposit Trust Company.

James also had six farms in the tobacco belt of northern Lancaster county in Senator J. D. Cameron's estate. He raised hackney horses, which he loved to drive in his younger days. In fact, he was remembered as a cultivated man: a great sportsman -- a hunter of caribou. He is also remembered as the keeper of the family's estate -- one who, according to a contemporary family friend, "viewed himself as the 'conservator' of the family's fortunes"

He was elder and Sunday School teacher of the Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg, and president and trustee of the Young Men's Christian Association. He was also contributor to the Home for the Friendless, Harrisburg.

His siblings were Mary Cameron, Mrs. W. H. (Lillie Cameron) Bradley, Mrs. Chandley (Rachel C.) Hale, Jrs. Alexander Rodgers, and Mrs. J. William Clark, the mother of Federal Judge William J. Clark of New Jersey.

James lived in Harrisburg's Front and State home of J. Donald with his sisters, Miss Mary Cameron, and Mrs. Joseph Bradley, until February 5, 1927, when he married Mrs. Anna Scott Robinson, Jr. He divided his time between his new home at 319 North Front Street, Harrisburg and his farm in Donegal, PA until his death. His wife died September 7, 1944.


Written and compiled from original sources, McCormick Family Papers, by MaryAlice Bitts

This site is sponsored by the Center for Pennsylvania Cultural Studies at the Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg, in cooperation with the Historical Society of Dauphin County, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Director of the McCormick Family Papers Project at the Center is Professor Michael Barton.

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