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
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.
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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