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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



JAMES W. CAMPBELL, a native of Adams County, Ohio, owns and occupies a comfortable homestead in Dry Grove Township, on section 2. His birth occurred on the 15th of May, 1829, and his parents were James and Elizabeth (Kerr) Campbell, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Virginia. James Kerr departed this life in Ohio, in July, 1839; the mother survived him eight years and also died in that State. The father of our subject followed the joint occupations of miller and farmer, and was a good citizen and member of the Presbyterian Church. The parental family included nine children, one of whom died in infancy; the record is as follows: Jane, Mrs. P. D. Smith, is now deceased; Robert K. married Miss Elizabeth McNeill, and lives in Livingstone [ed., Livingston] County, Ill.; Nancy E. married John Steen, of Adams County, Ohio, who is deceased; Sarah A. became the wife of Joseph McNeil, now deceased; Samuel married Miss Emma Van Dieman and lives in Webster City, Iowa; Elizabeth became the wife of R. C. Morrison; James, of our sketch, was the eighth child; Mary, Mrs. Canada, is now deceased.

James W. Campbell and Miss Sarah J. Kirkpatrick were married in Ohio on the 6th of January, 1853. Mrs. Campbell became the mother of six children, and died Feb. 13, 1876. Their children were Mary E., Bryce M., Emma A., now Mrs. W. L. McNeill, of Dakota; Nancy E., Mrs. H. M. Benson of this county; Anna K., who died at the age of nine years, in December, 1876, and Ollie A. The second wife of our subject was Mrs. Nancy (Forbes) Kirkpatrick, to whom he was married Nov. 25, 1877. Mrs. Nancy Campbell is a native of Ohio, and was born Feb. 29, 1832. She is the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Jamison) Forbes, who were natives respectively of Scotland and Pennsylvania. The mother was born in 1800, and departed this life in McLean County in 1862; the father also died in this county. They were the parents of nine children: Andrew, Alex., Samuel, Boyd, Nancy, Bartley J., Mary J., Isaac and Isabell.

Mr. Campbell came to Illinois in 1852, and purchasing 120 acres of wild land set to work at once to improve it. He subsequently added to his estate and is now the possessor of 280 acres, finely cultivated, a handsome and substantial dwelling, a good barn and all the appliances of a first-class agriculturist. In 1871 he began the raising of fine stock, including horses and cattle. He has one fine blooded Norman horse, five years old, which weighs 1,760 pounds, and is a model of symmetry and strength. Mr. Campbell has been very successful in his stock operations, and has obtained quite a reputation as a horseman in this county. Our subject has been prominent in the affairs of his township since coming here. He served as Supervisor four terms; has been Road Commissioner for the last eighteen years, and Chairman of the Committee on City Incorporation. In politics he is a stanch Republican, having been connected with the party since its organization, and religiously is a member in good standing of the United Presbyterian Church.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 557. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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