Pages 311-312, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




WILLIAM J. CAMPBELL—In reverting to the settlers of the olden time who bared the breast and braved the storms of adversity in order that there might be a community of enlightened citizens instead of a camp of government wards, our minds cling to the memory of those along the Neosho River, where the very first settlements were made. Conspicuous among them was a young Kentuckian, full of life and hope and young in years, who wandered into Allen County as early as 1855. That date was almost, if not quite, the beginning of the era of white settlement in the county. There was then no Humboldt, no Iola, a trading post, perhaps, at Cofachique and a military post at Ft. Scott. At that time the Red Man roamed the prairie and forest at will and thought little of the encroachment of his pale-faced brother. Our Kentucky pioneer dropped down upon a piece of land three miles southwest of Humboldt in the midst of a band of Indians. At first they swarmed about him thick out of curiosity and a desire to learn his intentions. Being convinced that his mission was a friendly one they became his fast friends and would have protected him with their lives. In this community and upon this claim did our subject, the late William J. Campbell remain till death.

We have referred to Mr. Campbell as a Kentuckian for the reason that his birth occurred in the State of Daniel Boone. He was born in Hopkins County, March 11, 1833. He was a son of William Campbell, a native of the State of Kentucky and was the youngest of six children. His education amounted to but the rudiments of English and his life till his emigration westward was passed as a farm hand. It will be noticed that on coming of age he left his native State and went into Missouri, stopping near Mt. Vernon, Lawrence County. He remained there one year and continued his journey to Kansas. Alex. H. Brown, of Iola, is the only other settler, now in the county, who came the same year. Mr. Campbell was two years in advance of most of the Humboldt pioneers and his life spanned a period of two generations of western settlement and development.

February 29, 1856, Mr. Campbell returned to Missouri and was married to Caroline Bashaw, a daughter of Thomas Bashaw, and a lady born in Caldwell County, Kentucky, August 27, 1840. The husband and child wife returned to his new possessions along the Neosho, in the wilds of Kansas, and settled down to the task of clearing up and improving their home. For two years during the period of the Rebellion Mr. Campbell was


away from his farm and residing in Nebraska. While away he was engaged in freighting across the plains to Colorado, carrying supplies and provisions to Denver. Returning to Allen County in 1865 he took permanent possession of his farm. Raising grain and hogs and horses was his chief business. A good horse was an object of adoration with him and he always owned them. Industry and steadiness were traits which characterized his every day life and in consequence his accumulations were certain and continuous. He made his family comfortable while he lived and left them so at his death. He was devoted to his wife and children and their joys and sorrows were his own. He reared his children to habits of industry and to become persons of honesty and integrity. He enjoyed the society of his neighbors and friends and his hospitality was proverbial and unbounded. He took little interest in affairs not connected with his personal or family welfare and to talk and vote was as far as his interest extended in public matters. He was a Democrat of the old school and hewed to the line in State and National politics.

Mr. and Mrs. Campbell's surviving children are: Sarah J., widow of Archibald D. Young, whose two children are George W. and Gracie May; Mary E. Campbell; Lucretia (Campbell) Cox, wife of John F. Cox, a popular clothier of Cherryvale, Kansas; and James Campbell, whose wife, nee Minnie Ladd, died February 27, 1900, leaving two children, Olive Blanche and Ralph Augustus.

William J. Campbell was a strong robust man till late in life. A cancerous trouble developed some years ago and grew slowly but surely, sapping his vitality at every turn and baffling the skill of the medical fraternity in their efforts to destroy it. The end came on March 10, 1900, and a good and true man passed to his reward.

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