George P. Campbell is prominent in business circles of Davis City and Decatur county, being recognized as a
reliable and successful real estate and insurance agent and also as an able executive, as he manages wisely the
affairs of the local telephone company, which he owns. He is likewise prominent in fraternal circles and has held
state office in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was born on the 8th of May, 1852, in Crawford county,
Ohio, a son of Asa D. and Nancy (Landon) Campbell, natives of Pennsylvania. The father, who was a carpenter by
trade, operated a farm and worked at carpentering until 1869, when he removed to Pleasanton, Decatur county, Iowa,
where he continued to reside until his demise in 1881. His widow survived until the 26th of March, 1894, passing
away at Leon.
George P Campbell was reared in Ohio and in Pleasanton, Iowa, and during his boyhood and youth acquired a good
common school education. He drove across the country from Ohio to Iowa ahead of his parents and after completing
his schooling in Pleasanton went to Missouri, where he was employed by a railroad for two years. At the end of
that time he returned to Pleasanton and learned the wagonmaker's trade in his father in law's shop. He followed
that occupation for two and a half years, but after the death of his wife turned his attention to school teaching,
in which he was engaged for ten terms. He also worked to some extent at painting and plastering. For two years
he was a traveling salesman but at the end of that time he located at Davis City and went to work with a bridge
gang. After eight and a half years he was made section foreman, which position he held for four years. In the fall
of 1892, he purchased the real estate, insurance and collecting business which he now conducts from J. N. Gates
and has since given the greater part of his time and energy to those interests. In 1895 he started a telephone
company in Davis City and had the first telephone installed on the line placed in his office. He still owns that
business, which has grown to considerable size and which has given its subscribers excellent service at reasonable
On the 28th of August, 1873, Mr. Campbell married Miss Martha E. Horn, a daughter of Elisha and Eliza (Walker)
Horn, natives of Indiana, who in 1851 removed to Missouri and in 1855 came to Pleasanton, Decatur county, Iowa.
The father was a wagonmaker and followed his trade in Pleasanton until his death, which occurred in March, 1899.
His widow passed away in April, 1911. He was a soldier in both the Mexican and Civil wars and was always characterized
by public spirit. Mrs. Campbell died on the 10th of April, 1877, and on the 27th of October, 1881, Mr. Campbell
married Miss Mae Sowash, a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Bouslog) Sowash, natives of Pennsylvania, who were numbered
among the early settlers of Decatur county, Iowa. However, in 1875, they left this county and removed to Taylor
county. They resided in many different places, as the father was of a disposition that desired change, but following
the demise of his wife he made his home with our subject for seventeen years, dying on the 21st of August, 1904.
Mr. and Mrs. Campbell have had three children: Beatrice, the wife of Reuben H. Martz, an engineer residing at Chariton,
Iowa; Clara M., who died on the 20th of December, 1885; and Carl E., who passed away on the 7th of July, 1888.
Mr. Campbell is a republican and is one of the leaders in the local ranks of that party. He has been a member of
the city council and has also served as mayor, giving the municipality an administration characterized by energy
and businesslike efficiency. For a number of years he has been justice of the peace and his decisions are based
upon law and fact and are entirely free from personal bias. He belongs to the Masonic blue lodge at Davis City,
the chapter and commandery in the York Rite at Leon, and also holds membership in the chapter of the Eastern Star
at Davis City. He is the present grand patriarch of the grand encampment of Iowa of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows and also holds membership in a number of other orders, including the Modern Woodmen of America, the Yeomen
and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal
church which profits by his moral support and material aid. He has much force of character and carries forward
to successful completion whatever he undertakes, as he is not deterred by obstacles which it is possible to surmount
by well planned and persistent effort.
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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