Biography of Charles Henry Campbell
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CHARLES HENRY CAMPBELL. Among the old, intelligent and representative families of this part of Arkansas is the one of which the subject of this sketch is a descendant, and in tracing back the genealogy of the family we find that the ancestors came originally from bonnie Scotland. It is always a pleasure to deal with the history of one who is a member of one of those grand old pioneer families that braved the dangers and privations of life in a new and unsettled country that they might build up a home for their descend-ants and pave the way for a higher civilization. Charles H. Campbell was born in McNairy County, Tennessee, September 4, 1837, a son of Hon. John and Ann (Blassingame) Campbell, who were born in Giles and McNairy Counties, Tennessee, respectively, their marriage also occurring in their native State. In 1837 they came by ox-team to what is now Searcy County, Arkansas, and after a six weeks’ journey settled on Calf Creek at a time when the settlers were very few and far between. John Campbell was a man of active and industrious habits and was quite successful in the accumulation of worldly goods. As he was in public office for many years he became well known throughout the State and his friends were innumerable. Although he received but an ordinary education in his youth he possessed a naturally fine mind and became a cultivated and well-informed man. He served as county judge in an early day and in 1842 was elected to the Lower House of the Legislature and some years later was a member of that body again. He was a member of the Secession Convention of 1861 and was one of the very last to give up the fight for the Union, but finally went with his State and during the war did active service for the Confederacy in various capacities, being commissioned as colonel, but finally refugeed to Texas, where he remained until after the close of the war. Owing to the fact that the greater part of his property was destroyed during the war he was made doorkeeper of the House of Representatives soon after the close of hostilities and in 1874 became a member of the Constitutional Convention. He was the first senator from his district under the new constitution, serving in this capacity for a period of four years, during which time he showed himself to be an able legislator, a man of incorruptible honor and one who had the interests of his section most warmly at heart. After fulfilling his duties in this capacity he became superintendent of the State House and public records, a position he successfully filled for some time. He was first a Whig in politics, but after the war became a Democrat and supported the men and measures of his party with both influence and vote up to the day of his death, which occurred November IO, 1879. While at Little Rock, Arkansas, he was made a member of Western Star Lodge of the A. F. & A. M., and was the first Mason in Searcy County, the lodge at Mar-shall bearing his name, in which he became knight templar. He was a lieutenant in Col. Pelham’s company and was stationed at Fort Gibson during the Mexican War. His death was a great loss to the county and State and was deeply regretted by all who knew him. His father, James Campbell, came to Searcy County in an early day also and died here when the immediate subject of this sketch was a boy. Two of his sons became ministers: Alex., a Primitive Baptist, and James, a Missionary Baptist preacher; Washington, another son, became a soldier of prominence in the Confederate Army. The mother of Charles Henry Campbell died August 4, 1882, at about the ace of sixty-six years, a daughter of Wade Blassingame, who came from McNairy County, Tennessee, to Arkansas and died in Independence County before the war.
The subject of this sketch was the eldest of ten children born to his parents, the other members of the family being as follows: Eliza J., wife of J. W. Morris, of Searcy County; Angeline; Lucinda (deceased); Elizabeth E., wife of Wilson Taylor, of this county; George W., who died in 1891; Margaret, wife of Wilson Taylor, of Tennessee; James S., who left home shortly after the war and has never since been heard from; Wade, who was killed in a mill explosion at Marshall, Arkansas, in December. 1879, and Lavina F., wife of Z. T. Wasson, a sketch of whom appears herein. Charles Henry Campbell spent his youthful days on his father’s farm on Calf Creek, and, although he received no educational advantages save what could be obtained in the common country schools, he began teaching during the war andat the same time did service in the Nitre and Mining Bureau. In 1868 he led to the altar Miss A. J., daughter of Samuel and Jane (Robinson) Strickland, natives of Tennessee, but immigrants to Mississippi, Louisiana, Pope County, Arkansas, and finally to Searcy County, Arkansas, and here passed from life. Mrs. Campbell was born in Mississippi and has borne her husband three children: Eliza M., wife of Wilson Turner, of this county; Homer Lee and David Walker. Mr. Campbell is the owner of a fine farm of 270 acres adjoining the old homestead and through his own efforts has a well-improved and valuable place. He has been a lifelong farmer and stockraiser and is one of the best known men of the county. He was first a Whig in politics and cast his first vote for Bell in 1860, but he has since been associated with the Democrat party.