Campbell, Robert E

From Lane Co Oregon

Robert E. Campbell lived in the Robert E. Campbell House of Springfield.

[edit] Portrait & Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley Oregon

by Chapman (Publishing Company, 1903. p. 1454.)


One of the highly treasured possessions of Robert E. Campbell is the log house which he constructed in the height of his enthusiasm for his adopted state in 1852, and which still weathers the heat of summer and the cold of winter as stanch as it did when a little household gathered beneath its timbers, and earnestly laid their plans for the future. Strange to relate, the roof, which usually has the shortest life, has never known a successor, but with its supports remains an example of handiwork which has proved substantial in the extreme, and useful beyond compare. Not far from the pioneer house, which was 17x24 feet in dimensions, and contained two rooms, is the more modern structure now occupied by Mr. Campbell, and which is one of the really fine rural homes in which a prosperous country abounds. The contrasts thus presented are borne out in the life of the owner, to whom naught has come save through the exertions of his hands and brain, and to the retention of which he owes frugality, good judgment and untiring industry. In LaFayette county, Mo., where he was born September 4, 1830, Mr. Campbell married, in 1849, Ruth Campbell, one child being born to them on the farm upon which they settled. With his cousin, Alexander Kinb, Mr. Campbell purchased a team of four yoke of oxen, and two cows, and started across the plains in a wagon, leaving home in April, and arriving in Lane county, Ore., in October, 1851. Sometime during the following winter he located a claim of three hundred and twenty acres a mile from Springfield and two miles from Eugene on the Willamette river, the following year moving to his present home where he erected the log house above mentioned. In 1876 he removed to this part of the donation claim, and with the exception of intervals spent in other parts of the state, has made this his place of residence. For nine months Mr. Campbell lived in Wasco county, and during the summer of 1854 he mined in Jackson county, this state. In 1852 he hauled goods from Portland to Springfield, and in 1859 he and his cousin built a flatboat and took thirty-five tons of flour to Portland, receiving in payment $2.75 per barrel. His farm is mostly prairie land, and all of the improvements are due to his enterprise and progressiveness. General farming, stock and grain-raising are engaged in on an extensive scale, and in all of these departments Mr. Campbell has achieved success, having made a practical and scientific study of the occupation to which his life has been devoted.

The first wife of Mr. Campbell died in 1858, leaving two children, of whom Harvey, who crossed the plains with them in 1851, died in 1895, and Eliza is the wife of Mr. Anderson, and lives on the home place. For a second wife Mr. Campbell married in the fall of 1859, Martha Delgell, who died in 1865, her only child having died in infancy. The present Mrs. Campbell, married in 1867, was formerly Rebecca Hutchinson, and is the mother of two sons, George E. and Emmet E., both of whom live on the home place. Mr. Campbell is a Democrat, but being a quiet and unostentatious man, has never identified himself with office-seeking. Possessing shrewd business judgment, honesty of purpose, and a kindly interest in the success of his fellow, agriculturists, Mr. Campbell is justly popular in his neighborhood, towards the development of which he has so earnestly striven.

[edit] The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912 By Joseph Gaston, p 207-208

ROBERT E. CAMPBELL, the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of well improved and highly cultivated land located three miles east of Eugene, where he is now living retired, has passed sixty-one of the eighty-one years of his life in Lane county. He was born in Lafayette county, Missouri, September 4, 1830, and is a son of Henry and Nancy W. (Ashburn) Campbell. The father was born in 1799 and the mother in 1797, both natives of Kentucky where they were also married. They later removed to Missouri and were numbered among the pioneer settlers of Lafayette county. There the father acquired one hundred and sixty acres of government land and engaged in agricultural pursuits during the remainder of his life. He prospered in his undertakings and extended his holdings until he held the title to nine hundred and sixty acres, the greater portion of which he acquired for one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. It was all brought under cultivation and highly improved, being one of the valuable properties of that section. The father passed away at the age of seventy-five, but the mother survived him for many years and had passed the ninetieth anniversary of her birth at the time of her death. Of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, five are still living, as follows: Henry, who is a resident of Lafayette county; Aaron, who lives in Lexington; Robert E., our subject; Grace Elizabeth, who married Givens Mastison of Lafayette county; and Nancy, the wife of Alfred King, also of Lafayette county. Those deceased are as follows: Joshua, who died in 1856; George T., whose death occurred in 1884; William, who died in 1886; Susan, who was the first wife of Givens Mastison, and who was twenty-three when she passed away in 1862; Hi i-l i: mi. who died in 1865; John, who was twenty-four at the time of his death; Nancy, whose death occurred in 1847; and Melinda Harriet, who married Alfred Mastison. The boyhood and youth of Robert E. Campbell to the age of twenty years was passed on the farm where he was born. He left the parental roof in 1851 and began his independent career as an agriculturist. He followed farming in his native state for about one year, and at the expiration of that time, in 1851, he came to Oregon, locating in Lane county. During the first year of his residence here he worked in a mill race, but in 1852 he purchased a donation right from Jerry Sweet. Under this he acquired three hundred and twenty acres of land and once more engaged in farming and stock-raising, diligently devoting himself to the further improvement and cultivation of his ranch during the remainder of his active life. He has given his children tracts from his original holding and still retains the title to one hundred acres. This has all been brought into a high state of productivity with the exception of twenty acres that is in timber. His ranch is well improved and equipped and is numbered among the valuable properties of the county, while he is known as one of the prosperous citizens of his community. In the early days of 1852 Mr. Campbell hauled goods from Portland to Springfield and in 1859 together with John Bovard and Alexander King built a flat boat and took thirty-five tons of flour to Portland receiving two dollars and seventy-five cents per barrel for the same. Mr. Campbell has been married three times. His first union was with Miss Ruth Campbell, a native of Missouri. They were married in 1850 and Mrs. Campbell passed away in 1858. Two children were born to them: Harvey V., who was born in 1850 and died in Oregon at the age of forty-two years; and Eliza, whose birth occurred in 1853, the wife of Isaac Stevens, of Eugene. In 1861, Mr. Campbell married Martha Delzell, who was born on the 13th of May, 1840, and died in 1865. They were the parents of one child, Henry D.. who died at the age of two years. Mr. Campbell was married to his present wife, whose maiden name was Rebecca Hutchison, in May, 1867. Mrs. Campbell was born in Grundy county. Missouri, in 1848, and is a daughter of Jackson and Theodosia (Snelling) Hutchison, the mother a native of Kentucky and the father of Missouri. They were married in Kentucky but subsequently removed to Missouri and in that state the father died in 1867 while the mother passed away in 1870 in Lane county, Oregon. She is the eighth in order of birth in a family of nine, all of whom are now deceased with the exception of one sister, Gertrude, the wife of Elias Williams, of Trent, Oregon, and herself.

Those deceased are as follows : Sarah J., the wife of Alexius Miller, who died at Florence, Oregon; Jemina, who became Mrs. Hines; Robert and William; Isabelle, who became Mrs. Joseph Meador; one who died in infancy ;and Mary A., who was living in Missouri at the time of her death. To Mr. Campbell and his third wife there were born two sons, George E., who was born on February 22, 1876, is married and lives at Oregon City. He also has two sons: Wells O., whose birth occurred on November 5, 1898; and Robert G., whose natal day was the 1st of July, 1908. Ernest E., whose birth occurred on the 22d of July, 1878, graduated from Kimball College at Salem and entered the ministry. He married Miss Bertha Walker of Salem and they now live at Randall, Washington. Mr. Campbell is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mrs. Campbell affiliates with the Baptist denomination. In politics he is a democrat, but often casts an independent ballot at local elections. For many years Mr. Campbell applied himself tirelessly to the cultivation of his vast holdings, thereby accumulating a substantial competence and in addition to his fine ranch he is the owner of residence property in Oregon City and has various other financial interests. He is one of the highly respected pioneer citizens of this section and has many friends throughout the county of long years standing.

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