Biography of Richard Campbell
Buchanan County, IA Biographies





Richard Campbell, deceased, was the founder and first president of the First National Bank at Independence and was a citizen who throughout his entire life commanded and received the high regard, confidence and good will of all with whom he came in contact His death, therefore, was deeply regretted when, on the 26th of March, 1901, he passed away. He was then in the seventy fourth year of his age, his birth having occurred at Fort Brewerton, New York, on the 3d of August, 1827. His parents, John and Sarah (Wilson) Campbell, were probably natives of the same state and were of Scotch descent.

Richard Campbell was one of a family of ten children, but all have now passed away. He attended school in New York and when a youth of about fifteen years began working for others in the Empire state, residing in Chittenango. In the year 1856 he came with his brother, John Campbell, to Iowa. They made their way westward by rail to Dubuque and thence by wagon to Independence. They hauled the lumber from Dubuque to build their home and became actively identified with the material development and progress of this part of the state. Following his arrival Richard Campbell began loaning money and later conducted the First National Bank, of which he became the first president, so continuing to the time of his death. He established it upon a safe conservative basis and made it one of the strong financial institutions of Iowa. Mr. Campbell was also connected with the street railway and at one time owned the Gedney Hotel. He was likewise associated with other business enterprises and at all times was actuated by a spirit of progress and improvement that benefited the city and county as well as advanced his individual interests. As he prospered in his undertakings he made judicious investments in real estate and became the owner of a number of valuable farms in Buchanan county and also considerable business and residence property in Independence, from which he derived a substantial annual income.

Mr. Campbell was twice married and by the first union had a son, Richard Mabie, a capitalist of Independence, who is now living retired. On the 11th of February, 1874, Mr. Campbell was again married, his second union being with Miss Susan Potter Smith, who was born in New London, Connecticut, a daughter of Sabin and Susan Childs (Potter) Smith, who were also natives of New London, born in 1819 and 1821 respectively. The father followed merchandising in Connecticut in early life and afterward removed to New York. Subsequently he became a resident of Boston and still later went to Chicago, where he lived until a few years prior to his death, which occurred on the 29th of November, 1907. He had long survived his wife, who died August 7, 1871. Mrs. Campbell was the third in order of birth in their family of five children and by her marriage became the mother of four children. The eldest, Alonzo, resides at the old home in Independence. He is the owner of several farms and is also proprietor of an implement, wagon and buggy business and a creamery. He operates his farms with the aid of tenants. Anna, the second of the family, died in 1901, at the age of twenty three years. Lillian died in infancy. Doris Eleanor resides with her mother. For three years after her husband's death Mrs. Campbell resided in Dubuque, but returned to Independence to take up her permanent abode here, being the owner of one of the well appointed homes of the city.

In his political views Mr. Campbell was a republican and kept well informed on the political situation of the country but never sought nor desired office. From the period of his early identification with the west he was closely associated with the material progress and upbuilding of Buchanan county and his worth as a man and citizen is widely acknowledged. He possessed many sterling traits of character, which won for him high regard and secured for him the friendship of those with whom he came in contact.

From:
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1914


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