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Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 5/19/2004 at 14:38:37

Biography reproduced from page 189 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

Robert Campbell, who has for twenty-nine years been actively and successfully identified with the agricultural development of Seneca township, is the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of well improved and highly cultivated land, located on section 12. He was born in Blackhawk county, Iowa, on the 9th of October, 1865, a son of Robert and Isabelle (Thompson) Campbell, natives of Scotland. The father was a stone mason by trade but later turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, and soon after his arrival in America, in 1836, located on a farm in Blackhawk county, devoting his time and energy to its cultivation during the remainder of his active life. After the mother’s death, in 1895, he left the old homestead and went to Cedar Falls, this state, making his home with his daughter, Mrs. George Frisby, until he passed away in 1897. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were the parents of five children, all of whom are living: Samuel, who is a resident of Lake Wilson, Minnesota; Mary, the wife of George Frisby of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Ella, who married Edward Arthur and resides in the vicinity of Laporte City, Iowa; Robert, our subject; and Joseph, who is a resident of Windom, Minnesota.

Robert Campbell was reared at home and was educated in the common schools of his native county. At the age of eighteen years he left the parental roof and came to Kossuth county, and for two years made his home with a brother. At the expiration of that time he began farming for himself on the place he now owns. The property, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres of raw prairie land, had been previously purchased by his father and was entirely unimproved. Although he was only twenty years of age, Mr. Campbell was a diligent, practical young man of earnest purpose, and at once began the stupendous task of improving and placing his land under cultivation. He is now the owner of one of the most attractive and valuable properties in the community, which stands as a monument to his years of unremitting labor and intelligently directed activities. He has erected a comfortable residence, substantial barns and outbuildings, and his fields are fenced and under high cultivation. Everything about the place manifests competent supervision and capable management, united with that close regard for details that invariably accompanies prosperity. In 1900, Mr. Campbell extended the scope of his activities by the purchase of a threshing outfit, which he operates during the season with success.

On the 16th of January, 1890, Mr. Campbell was united in marriage to Miss Alta Brayton, a daughter of Robert and Abigail (Foster) Brayton, natives of Indiana. They were married at Laporte, that state, on the 3d of September, 1857, but subsequently removed to Illinois, where the father engaged in farming until the opening of the Civil war, when he enlisted and went to the front, serving for three years as a member of the Fourth Illinois Volunteer Cavalry. When mustered out he returned to Illinois, residing there until October, 1865, when he and his family removed to Kossuth county. He subsequently took up a homestead on section 8, Seneca township, where he continued his agricultural pursuits until age compelled him to retire. He and the mother spent their latter days in the Soldiers’ Home, at Marshalltown, this state, where she passed away in August, 1907. He survived her for nearly two years, and died suddenly from heart disease on April 23, 1909. They were both laid to rest in the cemetery of the Soldiers’ Home. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Brayton originally numbered ten, but only six are now living: Walter E., who resides in California; Elizabeth, the wife of E. W. Van Dorston, of Armstrong, this state; Dollie, the wife of Peter Christiansen, of Watsonville, California; Cora, who married Jerry Drinan, of Armstrong; Mrs. Campbell; and Ray, who makes his home in the state of Washington.

Mr. and Mrs. Campbell have had eight children: Clifford Allen, who was born on the 3d of November, 1890, and is now assisting his father with the farm work; Beth, whose birth occurred November 1, 1893; Dorothy, who was born on the 13th of September, 1895, and is attending high school in Swea City; Ethel, whose natal day was October 20, 1897, and is a student in school number one, Seneca township; Fern, who was born on the 26th of July, 1899; Gertrude, whose birth occurred on April 12, 1902; Alice, who was born on the 24th of August, 1903; and Robert, Jr., who died in infancy.

Mr. Campbell is actively interested in local political affairs and stanchly supports the republican party. The cause of education finds in him a strong advocate, and he has served for several terms as director of school number one in Seneca township. He earnestly cooperates in promoting the interests of the agriculturists. He assisted in the organization of the Cooperative Elevator Company both at Swea City and Bancroft. A man of genial nature, considerate of the rights of others, honorable and straightforward in his business transactions, Robert Campbell has many stanch friends and is held in high regard and esteem by his neighbors and fellow townsmen.


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