Biography of James Campbell

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JAMES CAMPBELL, well known among the business men of Western Massachusetts, is a resident of South Deerfield, treasurer and manager of the Connecticut Valley Onion Company.

(I) John Campbell, grandfather of Mr. Campbell, was born in Invernesshire, Scotland. He was a tailor by trade, but in early life entered the army, where he remained for twenty-one years, serving at one time as a member of the King’s Guards. He was with Wellington in the battle of Waterloo (1815), and after the expiration of his term of military service was given a grant of land in Nova Scotia as partial compensation. In 1818 he came to Nova Scotia and settled in Glenco, Picto County, where he lived to the time of his death, which occurred in 1865, when he was seventy-five years of age. During the period of his residence in Nova Scotia he was engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, which he served as elder. John Campbell married twice. By his first wife he had seven children:

  1. Peter
  2. Elizabeth
  3. Katherine
  4. James
  5. William
  6. Grace
  7. Mary

He married (second) Elizabeth McDonald, and to this marriage were born:

  1. Donald
  2.  John
  3. McRae, of whom further
  4. Archibald
  5. Jessie
  6. Margaret
  7. Mary

All of these children, except Peter, were born in Nova Scotia.

(II) John McRae Campbell, son of John and Elizabeth (McDonald) Campbell, was born in Glenco, Picto County, Nova Scotia, in February, 1833, and died March 28, 1881. Like his father, he was engaged in farming, but in addition to his farming operations he also conducted a butcher business for many years. He was interested in local public affairs, and at one time served as collector of taxes. His religious affiliation was with the Presbyterian Church, which he served as a member of the board of elders. John McRae Campbell married Margaret Fraser, who was born in Callenden, Scotland, in 1875, and died in 1918, daughter of James and (McLaren) Fraser. Their children were:

  1. John, born January 3, 1857, married, August 3, 1882, Bessie Thompson, and has three children:
  1. John McRae, deceased
  2. James Preston
  3. Archibald Richard
  • Mary, married Rev. A. McLane Sinclair.
  • James, of whom further.
  • (III) James Campbell, son of John McRae and Margaret (Fraser) Campbell, was born in Glenco, Picto County, Nova Scotia, January 21, 1870, and received his education in the public schools of his native town. When he was sixteen years of age he came to the States, and went to Providence, Rhode Island, where in 1886 he engaged in the wholesale fruit and produce business in the employ of the J. H. Preston Company, of Providence. This connection he maintained until 1908, holding during the last several years of his association with the company the responsible position of manager of the concern. In 1908 he removed to South Deerfield in the interest of the Preston Company, and there organized the Connecticut Valley Onion Company. In 1919 he purchased the stock of the other members of the company and since that time has been treasurer and manager of the concern. Mr. Campbell does an extensive business in the buying and selling of onions, and also includes tobacco, which he handles in addition to his main staple of trade. He handles between four hundred and five hundred carloads of onions each year, and in addition to these interests owns extensive tracts of land upon which he grows many acres of onions and tobacco. Mr. Campbell takes an active interest in the affairs of the district in which he lives, has served as chairman of the School Board in South Deerfield for several years, and is well known in fraternal circles, being a member of Mt. Sugar Loaf Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, in which he has the honor of being the second Worshipful Master. He has also been District Deputy of the Fourteenth Masonic District, Past Commander of Connecticut Valley Commandery, of Greenfield; Past T. P. Master of Greenfield Lodge of Perfection; Past Sovereign Prince of Greenfield Council, Princes of Jerusalem; and is affiliated with Melha Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of Greenfield Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Greenfield Club, and of Greenfield Country Club.

    James Campbell married, in Providence, Rhode Island, November 10, 1894, Florence A. Lincoln, of Providence, daughter of Charles and Sarah (Davis) Lincoln. They are the parents of two children:

    1. Donald, born in Providence, in 1897, was graduated from Deerfield Academy, then Dean Academy, and finally from Massachusetts Agricultural College. He volunteered for service in the World War in 1915, before the United States had entered the conflict, went to France in the Ambulance Corps, and was on the Verdun front before the United States was in the war. He later joined the Red Cross Ambulance Corps under the Italian Government, and served in that connection to the close of the war. The Italian Government conferred upon him its war cross. He is now associated with his father in the produce business, and is president of the Connecticut Valley Onion Company. He organized the Campbell Cigar Company of South Deerfield, of which he is treasurer. He is a member of Mt. Sugar Loaf Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and of Melha Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; and is affiliated with Phi Sigma college fraternity. Donald Campbell married Frances Alice Williston, of Holyoke, daughter of Lorenzo Arthur and Alice (Ahearn) Williston. Mrs. Donald Campbell is a descendant of Joseph Williston, the line of descent being through Nathaniel, Israel, Israel, Lorenzo D., Lorenzo Newton and Lorenzo Arthur, father of Mrs. Campbell. Donald and Frances Alice (Williston) Campbell have one daughter:
    1. Patricia, born in 1921.
  • Dorothy, graduated at Deerfield Academy; Capon School of Northampton; post-graduate work at Boston University; at present secretary Deerfield High School.



  • MLA Source Citation:

    Holland, Josiah Gilbert. History of Western Massachusetts Springfield: S. Bowles and company, 1855. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 17 April 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/massachusetts/biography-of-james-campbell.htm - Last updated on Jul 24th, 2011

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