As an architectural sculptor, a designer and builder of homes, and in various artistic phases of the building trade,
the late George Campbell accomplished much during the active years of his life in San Francisco, and his services
were in constant demand where work of extraordinary excellence was desired. He was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
where his birth occurred November 15, 1890.
Mr. Campbell's family had removed to Philadelphia from the island of Martinique, West Indies, and at the time of
his mother's death, when he was eleven months old, the father took the remainder of the family back to Martinique.
There he remarried, and later again came to the United States. George Campbell came to San Francisco when he was
just ten years of age, and here entered the ornamental plaster trade as an apprentice. He was ambitious and willing
to work hard, consequently won the confidence and regard of his employers, who extended every assistance to him
during those formative years in the business. He progressed rapidly, and when seventeen years old was a journeyman
and earned a man's pay. In 1913, when the buildings for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition were started,
he became foreman for the building of the Palace of Fine Arts, and for his services in this capacity he received
a gold medal. This was considered the most beautiful building at the exposition, and the fourth most beautiful
structure of its kind in the world. The beauty and excellence of the work received national and international commendation.
In 1917, Mr. Campbell started in business for himself. He had only one hundred dollars capital, and had his headquarters
in a shop at Fifteenth and Albion streets in San Francisco. He later bought the old Native Sons hall at Seventeenth
and Valencia streets, and here established himself under the business title of George Campbell, Architectural Sculptor.
Success came to him through the unexcelled quality of his work, and each task he performed led to those of greater
scope and in larger number. In 1924, he started to develop Mount Davidson manor, in partnership with Mr. Barnett,
but this affiliation was afterward dissolved. Homes were constructed in this manor, and then sold. Patronage soon
justified Mr. Campbell in purchasing the entire tract for the same purpose. Many of the attractive homes in this
beautiful restricted area are present day evidences of the class of his work. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu
is another example of his efforts, also the Del Monte Hotel in Del Monte, California, and the George Lewis home
in Beverly Hills. He loved things which were beautiful, and in his work he expressed these thoughts in the style
and the charm of the architecture and the appointments. He had many methods particularly his own, among them processes
for imitating marble and stone.
On May 3, 1924, Mr. Campbell was united in marriage to Marie Rhoads, of San Francisco. By a former marriage, Mr.
Campbell was the father of two children, Thelma and George, Jr. He found great inspiration in the companionship
of his beloved family, and enjoyed being in his home as his greatest diversion from the cares of his work. His
sister, Lena, now the wife of R. F. Brown, was also of great assistance to him throughout his life, and was very
close to him in all of his affairs. Her husband is now conducting the business established by Mr. Campbell.
Mr. Campbell was a thirty second degree member of the Masonic fraternity, and belonged to the Mystic Shrine. He
held membership in the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and in different civic affairs he consistently held a
public spirited interest, having given his cooperation wherever possible. In politics, he gave his support to the
republican party. He was a man of very fine social qualities, found much of the humor of life, and was sympathetic
with the troubles, as well as the pleasures, of his fellowmen. Mr. Campbell's death occurred in San Francisco on
the 6th of February, 1931.
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931
San Francisco, CA
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