Biography of William H Campbell
Decatur County, IA Biographies





William H. Campbell, residing on section 3, Grand River township, owns an excellent farm of three hundred and forty four acres. He was born in Decatur township, this county, on the 25th of March, 1861, and is a son of Marion Campbell, who was born in Jackson county, Indiana, of Scotch ancestry. His grandfather, Robert Campbell, was a native of Kentucky and an early settler of Indiana, where he continued to farm until 1856, when he removed with his family to Decatur county, Iowa. He entered land in the southeastern part of Grand River township and there he passed the remainder of his days. Following his demise his widow, who bore the maiden name of Rachel Jolly, removed to Decatur, where her demise occurred. They were the parents of five children: Marion; Martha, who is living in Decatur; Rebecca, who became the wife of James Gray and died in California, as did her husband; Sarah, the wife of M. Corrington, of Decatur; and John, deceased.

Marion Campbell attended the district schools in his boyhood and youth and also gained much knowledge concerning agricultural pursuits. Following his marriage he located upon an eighty acre tract of land entered by his wife previous to their marriage. The land was situated in Decatur township, and there they resided for many years, her demise occurring about 1867. He continued to operate the farm until 1890, when he purchased land in the vicinity of Decatur, where he spent his last days. He was a successful farmer and for many years operated a threshing machine. In politics he was a republican and his religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he served as trustee and steward. He was much interested in movements which sought to bring about a closer cooperation between the farmers of the country and was an active member of the Grange His wife was in her maidenhood Miss Phoebe Hannah and her birth occurred in 1838. Both of her parents passed away in Indiana and she subsequently removed to Decatur county, Iowa, with her half sister, Eliza Millsap. Not long after her arrival here she entered the aforementioned eighty acres of land in Decatur township. Her education was acquired in her native state. Her religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which she took a helpful interest. Her marriage occurred in 1859 and she became the mother of six children, as follows: Margaret, who was born in 1860, married Cicero Standish, who for a number of years followed agricultural pursuits in Grand River township. Subsequently they removed to Houston, Texas, where she passed away on the 2d of January, 1915, leaving three children, William, Pearl and Raymond. William H., the subject of this review, is the next in order of birth. Della, who was born in 1863, followed the profession of teaching but is now deceased. Robert, whose birth occurred in 1865, has also passed away. Etta and Ida Belle, twins, were born in 1867, and both died in infancy.

William H. Campbell passed the days of his boyhood and youth under the parental roof and divided his time between the acquirement of an education in the public schools and assisting his father with the farm work. When twenty one years of age he bought his Grandfather Campbell's farm in Grand River township, which comprised eighty acres, and continued to reside there until 1890, when he sold that place and removed to his present farm on section 3, Grand River township. He owns three hundred and forty four acres of fine land, which he cultivates and from which he derives a gratifying annual income. Hem is justly ranked among the most up to date and most progressive farmers of his county and in gaining individual success he has also contributed to the agricultural development of his locality.

On the 18th of March, 1888, Mr. Campbell was married to Miss Minnie F. Fear, who was born in Dubuque county, Iowa, November 20, 1863, a daughter of Robert and Mary (Day) Fear. Her father was born in Somersetshire, England, February 8, 1837, the third in a family of seven children. He remained at home until 1856 and then, at the age of nineteen years, emigrated to the United States, making his way across the country to Dubuque county, Iowa, where he became identified with agricultural pursuits. Subsequently he was for eight years engaged in buying and shipping stock. In 1871 he came to Decatur county and purchased eighty acres of land in Grand River township He prospered and as the years passed added to his holdings, accumulating three hundred acres of excellent land. He passed away on the 28th of February, 1891, but was survived by his widow until the 10th of February, 1913. She was in her maidenhood Miss Mary Day and was born March 17, 1857, in Somersetshire, England. Mrs. Campbell is one of their nine children and by her marriage has become the mother of three children, as follows: Edith Merle, who was born on the 16th of June, 1890, is a graduate of the Grand River high school. She was married on the 15th of August, 1910, to Ernest Street, who resides in Grand River township. Neal Dow, whose birth occurred on the 28th of February, 1895, graduated from the Grand River high school in 1911 and subsequently entered the State Agricultural College at Ames, taking a four years' course in animal husbandry, from which he was graduated in June, 1915. Floyd Vincent, who was born on the 10th of March, 1900, is a student in the Grand River high school.

Mr. Campbell is a republican and for four years has held the office of justice of the peace. For six years he was a member of the board of supervisors and for two years of that time served as chairman of that body. Fraternally he is connected with Banner Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Grand River, in which he has served as junior warden. Both he and his wife are members of the local Methodist Episcopal church, in which he has held the offices of trustee and steward. They have a wide acquaintance throughout the county and the worth of their characters is attested by the fact that those who have known them most intimately are their stanchest friends. Mr. Campbell has devoted the greater part of his time to farming, in which he has met with a large measure of success, and he has also found opportunity to cooperate with many movements seeking the betterment of his community.

From:
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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