James Campbell – A retired farmer who now makes his home in Byron, Illinois is of sturdy Scotch ancestry and has inherited the traits  of industry, thrift and economy peculiar to that people that always bring to them success in their various occupations.  He was born in the city of Forfar, near Dundee, Scotland, November 4, 1829, a son of John and Jane (Fairweather) Campbell also natives of that country.  The father, who was a tobacconist by trade, emigrated to the New World in 1831and first settled in Philadelphia, but later removed to Miami county. Ohio.  He sent for his family who joined him in Philadelphia.  In Miami County, he first lived on a farm but later removed to the city of Piqua.  In his family were five children, four sons and one daughter all of whom reached years of maturity.  In order of birth they were as follows: Robert and William, now deceased; James, our subject; David Angus who was a soldier of the Civil war and is now a resident of Pickaway, Ohio; and Ann, deceased.

The subject of this review was reared on a farm in his native land and had good common school advantages in early life.  Coming to America in 1853, he joined his parents in Ohio and remained with them a few years, assisting in the operation of the home farm.  He was married in Miami County, August 22, 1860 to Miss Margaret A Linn, a native of that county and a daughter of William Linn who removed from Pennsylvania to Ohio in an early day settling in Pickaway about 1822.  Mrs. Campbell was provided with excellent school privileges, supplementing the education acquired in the common schools by a course in the Troy high school and the Oxford Female College, and for six years she successfully engaged in teaching.  By her marriage to our subject she had become the mother of seven children, namely: John, a resident of Storm Lake, Iowa; Jane A., wife of C.E. Johnson, who lives near Bridgewater, South Dakota; Margaret M., wife of Charles Bowie, of Tacoma, Washington; Mary G., a trained nurse of Chicago; Belle, wife of William Kelly of Chicago; William L., a druggist and business man of student in a business college in Rockford, Illinois.

After his marriage Mr. Campbell engaged in farming in Ohio for five years but in 1865 came to Ogle County, Illinois and purchased an improved farm of eighty acres in Byron Township about five miles form the village of Byron.  As his financial resources increased he added to the original purchase until he had two hundred and eighty acres of valuable land on which he made many excellent improvements including the erection of a pleasant residence and good barns and out buildings.  He successfully engaged in the operation of his farm until 1897 when he rented the place and removed to Byron where he has since lived retired form active labor in a comfortable home of his own.

Politically Mr. Campbell has been indentified with the Republican Party since casting his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and he has been honored with a number of responsible positions in his township, being treasurer for the long period of twenty-six years, supervisor for four consecutive years, during which time he was a member of several important committees.  He has also served as highway commissioner and a member of the board of education, besides being a delegate to a number of county conventions of his party.  He and his wife are now connected with the Congregational church of Byron and previously were for thirty-two years active and prominent members of the Middle Creek Presbyterian church.  They are esteemed Residents of Byron and taken an active interest in the welfare of the community, aiding all beneficial schemes tending to improve its moral, education or social status.

Transcribed by Denise Border

Biographical Record of Ogle County


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Illinois Ancestors