Sign directing travelers to Peculiar
Location of Peculiar, Missouri
|• Total||8.45 sq mi (21.89 km2)|
|• Land||8.41 sq mi (21.78 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.10 km2)|
|Elevation||991 ft (302 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||4,794|
|• Density||547.9/sq mi (211.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0724169|
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".
The city celebrated its centenary in July 1968. The celebrations continued for nine days and included an antique show and sale, a Lions Club championship rodeo, and an open class Western horse show.
Peculiar is governed by a Mayor / Board Of Aldermen type system. The mayor is elected to a two-year term. The Board of Aldermen is composed of six members. Two members are elected from each of the three wards in the city. One alderman is elected each year for each ward to serve a two-year term.
Peculiar is located at (38.720896, -94.456733) at an elevation of 991 ft.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,608 people, 1,704 households, and 1,268 families residing in the city. The population density was 547.9 inhabitants per square mile (211.5/km2). There were 1,816 housing units at an average density of 215.9 per square mile (83.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.9% White, 2.0% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.8% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.
There were 1,704 households of which 41.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 25.6% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.12.
The median age in the city was 32.8 years. 29.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.9% were from 25 to 44; 22.9% were from 45 to 64; and 10% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.1% male and 50.9% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,604 people, 953 households, and 730 families residing in the city. The population density was 744.8 people per square mile (287.3/km²). There were 983 housing units at an average density of 281.2 per square mile (108.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.20% White, 0.27% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 1.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.46% of the population.
There were 953 households out of which 42.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.7% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.3% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the city the population was spread out with 31.8% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $44,769, and the median income for a family was $48,534. Males had a median income of $36,921 versus $27,885 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,104. About 5.7% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.
- Paul Coffman, Packers Hall of Famer who played for the Green Bay Packers from 1978–1985, and for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1986-1987.
- Chase Coffman, American football player, currently a member of the Atlanta Falcons
- Carson Coffman, American football player, quarterback for the Chicago Rush
- Brutus Hamilton, decathlete and track and field coach
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- 'Indecision leads to Peculiar', by Stan Durnin, Linn's Stamp News, n.d.
- McMillen, Margot Ford (1994). Paris, Tightwad and Peculiar: Missouri Place Names. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press. p. 6. ISBN 0-8262-0972-6.
- Centennial booklet, 1968
- History of Peculiar. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.