Campbell Family

line.gif (2154 bytes)

CAMPBELL. The Campbell family to which Mrs. Harriett (Campbell) Reynolds, widow of Ross Reynolds, belonged is traced back to Robert Campbell of Scotland, as its first known ancestor. An interesting account of his descendants in this country, compiled and arranged by Hallock Campbell Sherrard, was published in 1894 under the title "The Campbells of Kishacoquillas," and contained an historical sketch and genealogical records of the posterity of Robert Campbell and John Campbell, who were related by marriage, Robert Campbell having married John�s sister, Jane. The histories of the two families run parallel, and "having lived as near neighbors for a full half century in eastern and central Pennsylvania, the descendants, . . . have always had a common interest in each other, and at the annual reunions their histories are blended together.

"There is reason to believe that the family of John Campbell emigrated direct from Scotland to America, not by way of Ireland, a generation earlier than Robert Campbell, who married John Campbell�s sister Jane. It is believed that they first settled in Cecil county, Md., and afterwards moved to Chester county, Pa., where they were living when Robert and Jane Campbell were married. John Campbell seems always to have lived near his sister Jane and her husband, and removed with them to Delaware, where they were living in 1773, when they purchased the tract of 500 acres in Kishacoquillas Valley." John Campbell removed with his family, in company with the family of Robert Campbell, to Kishacoquillas valley in the spring of 1774, and on Aug. 22 and 23, 1894, the third of the family reunions was held at the old Campbell homestead there to celebrate the one hundred and twentieth anniversary of their arrival. To the interest and effort of the late Judge James Campbell, of Clarion, Pa., who devoted much time to gathering family history in his later years, the Campbells are largely indebted for genealogical records and historical chronicles, and the following account of their early history is taken from the work previously referred to, compiled principally from the material he gathered.

Robert Campbell, grandfather of the emigrant of that name, according to tradition lived in Scotland, but possessed a castle on the Isle of Man. In the time of James ll. He was an uncompromising Protestant; on the accession of William organized a company of which he became captain, and fought at the battle of the Boyne; received as a reward of his services confiscated lands in County Down, northern Ireland, but continued to live in Scotland. Soon after the Revolution of 1688 which seated William and Mary upon the throne, he married Ellen Douglas, renowned for her beauty and charming manners, and their first child was called Dugald, an old family name.

Dugald Campbell, son of Robert, was born in Scotland and married there, and was sent to Ireland to occupy the land given his father.

Robert Campbell, first child of Dugald, was born in 1728 in County Down, Ireland, and came to America in 1746, when eighteen years of age. Coming to what was then the Province of Pennsylvania, he settled near Oxford, in Chester county, but after a time returned to Ireland. He remained only a year, however, and again settled at his former home in Chester county, near a Scotch family of the same name who had come to the country a generation earlier, and whose only daughter, Jane, he married in 1759. They continued to live near Oxford about nine years longer, he and his brother-in-law, John Campbell, moving, with their families, to Delaware in 1768 and living on a rented farm near Wilmington for the next five years. This property was owned by a widow who lived near Philadelphia, but when she remarried about 1773 she wished to return to her Delaware property, though the Campbells� lease had not expired. So she told them of a Philadelphia man who owned a desirable tract of five hundred acres in the backwoods, which could be bought for a dollar an acre, and as it offered a place to remove to and a chance to secure a permanent home they purchased the land, although neither of them had seen it. The deed, dated April 19, 1773, was given by the owner, Mr. Drinker, and these farms were always known as the Drinker tract. In August, 1773, Robert and John Campbell and two hired men started out on horseback for the land, which they located near Stone Mountain in Union township, Cumberland (now Mifflin) county. They cut some small timber, built a log cabin, scratched the ground with a plow made from the crotch of a sapling, and sowed wheat on almost six acres, harrowing it with a thorn bush. Each man had ridden out with a bushel and a half of wheat under him, in lieu of a saddle. They returned to Delaware in the fall, and in the spring of 1774 started out with their families for the new home, each family having a wagon and team of horses, some cows, colts, and hogs. The distance was about 170 miles, and they arrived at their cabin on the morning of the 4th of May. There was no church or school-house near, and the nearest neighbors were three miles away. The nearest mill was the little mill of William Brown, who lived down near what is now known as Reedsville. John Campbell soon built a cabin at the south end of what was known as the "sink hole" (a deep part of the channel of the river near by), and selected his share of the tract along the west end, most of his farm being further from the mountains. Though the families experienced many of the privations and hardships common to life in a pioneer region, they worked together so well and were so thoroughly self-reliant and thrifty that within a few years they had many comforts without depending upon the outside world. They raised flax to make their summer clothing, and had wool from their sheep for their winter clothing. Though they lived humbly they lived well, and were a sturdy and vigorous race of men and women.


Robert and Jane Campbell had a married life of over sixty years, Mrs. Campbell dying Jan. 21, 1821, at the age of eighty-five, Mr. Campbell on July 10, 1822, reaching the age of ninety-three years, nine months. The first cabin they occupied seems to have been succeeded by a double story and a half log house, built some ten rods from the present stone mansion. Years afterward it was moved up near the foot of the mountain for a tenant house, and it was still standing in 1894, well preserved. The stone mansion house, erected in 1793, is still standing and occupied by descendants of Robert Campbell. At the time it was built is was the best house in the valley. When a Presbyterian Church, The Kishacoquillas Church, was organized near Logan�s spring (the early home of the celebrated Indian chief Logan), north of Brown�s mill, Robert Campbell became one of the first ruling elders, and though the distance was fully eight miles the young men of the family used to walk there to attend services. Afterward the West Kischacoquillas Church was organized, and a brick church (which has long ago disappeared) was erected some three miles west of the present town of Belleville. Near the site of this old brick church is still found the old graveyard, where Robert and John Campbell, with their wives and many of their children, are buried. We have the following record of the children born to Robert and Jane Campbell, six of whom came to the valley with them: (1) William, born in 1760, died in 1768, before the family moved to Delaware, and was buried at Faggs� Manor, in Chester county, Pa. (2) Alexander, born in 1762, died of fever Jan. 31, 1781, unmarried. (3) Elizabeth, born in 1764, married Thomas Ferguson about the beginning of the nineteenth century, and spent all her married life near Pine Grove, in Center county, Pa., dying April 5, 1822. She had one daughter, Jane Campbell, born June 21, 1805, who married John Barron, and they had eight children, among them Rev. Dr. David Henry Barron, of Hollidaysburg. (4) John is mentioned below. (5) James, born in 1768, died unmarried in 1790. He was drowned in the Chemung river. (6) Robert, born in 1770, died Oct. 10, 1858. In 1798 he married Rebecca Robinson, of Mifflin county, and their children were: William and Robert (twins), James, Alexander, John, Martha, Thomas Ferguson and Henry Harrison. (7) Isabella (Aunt Ibby), born in 1772, died June 10, 1864, unmarried. (8) William (2), born in 1774, died Aug. 3, 1795, in Georgetown, D. C. While at school. (9) Joseph, born in 1776, died Aug. 7, 1857. On April 17, 1813, he married Elizabeth Oliver, and they became the parents of eight children, Isabella, Margaret Jane, Joseph, Elizabeth Lyon, Hugh McCelland, Andrew William, Robert Douglas and Mary Rachel. (10) Samuel, born in January, 1779, died Sept. 19, 1841, in Delaware county, Ohio. In 1805 he married Nancy Oliver, sister of the wives of his brothers John and Joseph, and they had ten children, John Oliver, Joseph Ferguson, Jane, Margaret Ann, Mary Nancy, Robert, Elizabeth Isabel, Samuel Franklin, Casandana Lyon and James Alexander.

It will be noted that of this family John, Joseph and Samuel married three sisters, daughters of Hon. John and Margaret (Lyon) Oliver, of McVeytown, the latter a granddaughter of the John Lyon who emigrated from Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Ireland, and settled in the Tuscarora valley in Pennsylvania in 1763. A fourth sister, Jane Oliver, married John Campbell, of Center county, PA., a descendant of John Campbell.

John Campbell, son of Robert and Jane (Campbell) Campbell, was born Oct. 18, 1766, and died March 22, 1845. In the spring of 1807 he married Rachel Oliver, she was born Jan. 27, 1783, and died Nov. 29, 1871. They had a family of five children, Robert, Margaret, John Oliver, James and Rachel Jane, of whom more later. John Campbell farmed the old homestead, part of which was still in woodland. He and his wife commenced housekeeping in the log house before mentioned, but after his father�s death moved into he old stone mansion. A new barn was built in 1830, and it is notable that it was the first barn raised in the valley without the usual accompaniment of a liberal supply of whiskey for all hands. Mr. Campbell had become a teetotaler some time before, and there was considerable agitation on the subject started by Lyman Beecher�s tract on Intemperance, but there were doubts as to whether the neighbors would consent to help without the customary treating; and there was some "growling." The mother and youngest daughter, Rachel, who never married, were left a home in the old stone mansion, but after the death of Oliver Campbell�s wife they went to live with him about a mile west of the old homestead, taking care of his two children. Later they lived in a small house near Oliver�s. One of her sons, Judge James Campbell, wrote of her: "Our mother was a tall, rather slender woman, possessed of a good mind, and she was a fluent talker, a good reader and a ready letter writer. She was a singer and had a store of both hymns and old Scotch songs, and we soon learned to sing everything we heard.: Of his father the Judge wrote: "My father, John Campbell, was a profound lover of nature, a thoughtful, sensible man, and a great reader, particularly of history. He had a good memory, a sound judgment, and was a sincere and firm in his convictions, with a supreme contempt for a mean act." Of the five children born to John and Rachel (Oliver) Campbell: Robert, born May 2, 1808, was alive in 1894, attending the family reunion previously referred to. On Dec. 10, 1835, he married Margaret Jane Milliken, who died Nov. 5, 1840, the mother of three children, and on Nov. 11, 1855, married (second) Ellen Montgomery, born Sept. 7, 1828, died March 17, 1871; there were no children by the second marriage. Those of the first union were: John Andrew, who married Sarah W. Wilson (no children); Ann McNitt, who married Charles Kyle and had five children; and Elizabeth Rachel, who married Alexander Clay Henderson and had one child, a daughter. (2) Margaret Oliver, born Dec. 24, 1809, died Oct. 6, 1880, at her home in Graysville, Huntingdon Co., Pa. On June 25, 1841, she married James Oliver, born June 18, 1807, who settled at Graysville April 1, 1844, and died there March 5, 1891. He was a nephew of the Hon. John Oliver previously mentioned. Four children were born to this union: Sarah Rachel, who remained at the old homestead at Graysville; John Campbell, born Oct. 15, 1845, a Presbyterian minister, who married Jennie Elizabeth Kyle and had two children: Andrew William, who married Jane Eliza Cummings and had two children; and Sidney Ellen, who remained at the old homestead. (3) John Oliver, born Sept. 8, 1811, died Oct. 29, 1889. With the exception of twelve years� residence in Center county, Pa., he passed his life in his native valley. On March 1, 1843, he married his cousin, Margaret R. Campbell, daughter of John and Jane (Oliver) Campbell, granddaughter of Judge Oliver, of McVeytown, and a descendant of John Campbell who settled with Robert in the Kishacoquillas valley in 1774. She died in December, 1843, and on Oct. 16, 1845, he married Eleanor Jackson, whose death occurred June 15, 1850, in her twenty-fourth year. His third wife, whom he married Jan. 22, 1856, was Christen R. Barr, born Aug. 12, 1814, died Sept. 29, 1892. His children were: Anna Mary, born May 2, 1847, who married Oliver Atherton Hurne and had two children; and James Douglas, born March 30, 1849, who married Kate Marshall and had three children. (4) James is mentioned below. (5) Rachel Jane, born May 22, 1819, died suddenly March 3, 1868, unmarried.

James Campbell, son of John and Rachel (Oliver) Campbell, was born in Kishacoquillas valley in Cumberland (now Mifflin) county, July 25, 1813, and lived to the age of seventy-nine years, dying Aug. 3, 1892, at Clarion, Pa. Like most farmers sons, he spent his boyhood in work on the home place and attendance at the district school. But he early resolved to enter some pursuit more congenial to his tastes than farming. His father, himself a man of strong mind, appreciated the fact that his taste in reading had shown an inclination toward the higher and more substantial books, and he determined to give him a classical education. In 1831, when a youth of eighteen, he left home to enter the Germantown Normal Labor School at Philadelphia, and his experiences for a number of years thereafter are not only typical of the times, but show how earnest he was, and what sacrifices he made to secure the learning he so coveted. He started out from home on foot, walking to Reading, from which place he proceeded to Philadelphia by stage. After studying a short time at Germantown he went to Lafayette College, at Easton, Pa., and returned home after a year�s absence. At Christmastime, 1832, he set out for Jefferson College, at Canonsburg, Washington Co., Pa., where he continued his studies until his graduation, in the fall of 1837, meantime going home but twice. A paper highly prized in the family, given him voluntarily on the last day of his college life by Matthew Brown, the venerable president of Jefferson College, testifies to his industry, scholarship and high moral character, and states that he will receive the degree of A. B. at the next commencement. Some of this classmates, like himself, became eminent in professional life. Only a few survived him. Soon after graduation he commenced to read law with E. S. Benedict, a successful practitioner at Lewiston, Pa., and was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1840, passing the examination very creditably. As the erection of Clarion county (from parts of Armstrong and Venango) was then being considered, he decided to locate there as soon as the matter was settled, and set out for his chosen field in August, 1840, making the journey on horseback. Clarion county was then considered the "far west". The town of Clarion was a pioneer place-- "having the appearance of a camp meeting in the woods." The room given him at the "Loomis House" had a sheet hung up for a door, and similar makeshifts took the place of sash and glass in the windows. Dr. James Ross, with whom he had ridden into town, introduced him to a number of the citizens, and he remained a short time, returning to his old home without having made any definite plans. But on Oct. 23rd he again set out for Clarion, with fifty dollars in cash--his entire earthly possessions. This time he came by stage, and put up at the "Great Western," a new hotel. The room west of its barroom was the general sitting place of all the lawyers, not one of whom had an office at the time. It was more than a month before Mr. Campbell became established in a place of his own, renting the front part of a house. He furnished it with a bench and three chairs, some boards for bookshelves, and a second-hand stove, and his first case was the first case tried in Clarion county after its organization as such. This first court was held in November, 1840, and as there was no courthouse it was conducted in a carpenter shop. The first day of that court twenty-six lawyers were admitted to the bar, so although there were advantages of starting in a new county it will be seen that Mr. Campbell had plenty of competition to contend with. His professional life and subsequent career on the bench form a part of the history of the county. In the fall of 1861, without solicitation on his part, he was made an independent candidate for president judge of the Eighteenth Judicial district (composed of the counties of Mercer, Venango, Clarion, Jefferson and Forest), and elected by a handsome majority. The district was a large one and the work laborious, Venango county being then the center of the oil development, which occasioned a large increase in population and brought up many new and difficult legal problems, which had to be solved without the guidance of precedents. "The oil business, then in its infancy, furnished more novel and complex questions for the courts of Venango county than any court, prior to that time, in the State was required to face and decide. A new industry, involving millions of dollars in single transactions, and bristling with new law points, developed many disputes and controversies which were brought into court for adjudication and settlement. Judge Campbell grappled with these questions as a master of legal principles" During the sixties his district was divided, cutting off Venango county, but it is interesting to note that the most important decree he made, in a case involving nine million dollars, though set aside by his successor was sustained by the Supreme court. Judge Campbell served his term of ten years on the bench with distinguished ability and fairness. He held as high as thirty-two weeks of court in a year, traveling hundreds of miles by stage coach between the various county seats in his district.

Resuming private practice, Judge Campbell continued to devote much of this time to legal work for almost fifteen years thereafter, retiring from professional cares in the spring of 1886 to give all his time to his private interests, which demanded considerable attention. For almost forty-six years he had been connected with the bar of Clarion county, and he stood at the head of his profession, commanding the esteem of his fellow lawyers by his sterling traits of character as well as by his undisputed professional attainments. The remarkable "memorial" of the Clarion County Bar Association is unusual enough to deserve recording here.

The death of Honorable James Campbell, the Nestor of the Clarion Bar, on the morning of Wednesday, August 3d, 1892, at the age of seventy-nine years, makes it proper that our Bar, of which he was long the leader, should give a public expression of its sentiments upon the sad event.

We have often been called upon to express our sorrow for the death of a member, but we have never before followed to the grave one who was so prominent in life or lamented in death,--one so ripe in years, fruitful of good deeds and crowned with honors, and so universally esteemed by the community in which he has resided for more than half a century.

No mere compliance with a time honored custom dictates this memorial. It is inspired by a sincere respect for the memory of our deceased brother and by our great admiration of his many sterling qualities of mind and heart.

Starting in the race of life with little of this world�s goods, but blessed with robust health, a stalwart frame, indomitable will, great industry, unquestionable integrity, a wholesome ambition and a liberal education, he turned these advantages to a good account, and soon won for himself a place in the front rank of the Bar, followed by a place on the Bench, where he justly acquired a reputation as an honorable and upright Judge.

In his worldly business he achieved an enviable success, and in his civil, social and domestic relations he has left behind him a still more enviable good name as citizen, neighbor, friend, son, brother, husband and father.

Possessed of a vigorous intellect, he was studious in his habits and scholarly in his tastes; and the extensive course of reading to which he loved to devote much of his leisure, gave him a comprehensive knowledge and broad culture, and this added to his genial nature and happy power of expression made him a conversationalist of more than ordinary capacity to entertain and instruct those who had the pleasure and privlege of his acquaintance and companionship.

In common with the entire community we mourn his loss, and we deeply sympathize with his family in their bereavement.

Jas. Boggs, B. J. Reid, W. L. Corbett, W. W. Barr, J. H. Patrick, David Lawson, John W. Reed, Committee.

Order of the Court.

And now Aug. 8, 1892, on the presentation of the within memorial as a further mark of respect to the memory of our deceased brother, it is ordered that this memorial be recorded on records by the prothonotary of this county, and that a copy of the same with these proceedings be made and presented to the family of the deceased; and as a further mark of respect tot he memory of the deceased, it is ordered that the Courts adjourn until Tuesday morning, the 9th day of August, 1892, at 9 o�clock a. m.

By the Court,

E. Heath Clark,

Pres. Judge.

Though he withdrew from legal work in the last years of his long life, Judge Campbell was actively engaged with his own affairs up to within a few days of his death, at the beginning of his eightieth year, and was hale and hearty in spite of the arduous career he had led. He not only attended to busniess, but continued the reading he always enjoyed so thoroughly and kept up his social relations with the many in business, professional and literary circles whose friendship he possessed. All the affairs of the community enlisted his interest and sympathy. He was a valuable citizen in every sense of the word, associated with the most progressive movements of his locality, and ready always with his aid and influence, which was invariably exercised for good. At the organization of the Clarion State Normal School he was elected president of the board of trustees and filled that office until his death, being indefatigable in his labors in behalf of the institution, which profited greatly by his friendship and activities. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, a "working" member of the committee which built the first Presbyterian Church, for which, as an old account tells us, he "rolled stone, shoveled sand, and, as a lawyer, kept off creditors until money could be raised to pay for the church." In politics he was an ardent Republican, and though he did not unite with the Prohibition party, he was an advocate of temperance and himself a total abstainer.

The Clarion Jacksonian at the time of Judge Campbell�s death said: "Judge Campbell was so prominently and favorably known in this county, that it seems difficult to write or say anything about him that would be news to our readers. . . . He prospered with the growth of the town and county . . . . Clarion has lost a good man and an eminent citizen . . . . Long will our citizens remember the genial countenance and manly presence of Judge Campbell."

On May 10, 1847, Mr. Campbell was married to Nancy Jane Hallock, who was born in September, 1824, fourth daughter of Rev. John Keese and Melissa (Griffith) Hallock, both of whom were natives of Peru, Clinton county, N. Y. She was a descendant of Peter Hallock, who came to this country from England in early Colonial days, landing at Hallock�s Neck, Southold, Long Island, in 1640. From him her line is through William, John, Peter, Peter (2), Peter (3), and John Keese Hallock. Eight children were born to James and Nancy Jane (Hallock) Campbell: (1) Mary Rachel, born Feb. 19, 1848, married Dec. 21, 1871, Rev. Thomas Johnston Sherrard, a native of Steubenville, Ohio, born Feb. 25, 1845. He was the sixth son and twelfth child of Robert Andrew Sherrard, grandson of John and Mary (Cathcart) Sherrard (the former of whom came to America in the fall of 1772) and great-grandson of William and Margaret (Johnston) Sherrard, who lived at Newtownlimavady, County Derry, Ireland. Rev. Thomas Johnston Sherrard, who died in July, 1905, was for a number of years pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church at Chambersburg, Pa. He and his wife had four children, born as follows: Virginia, June 4, 1873 (married in June, 1905, William Hallock Johnson, Ph. D., of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania); Hallock Campbell, June 22, 1875 (married Oct. 1, 1909, Jane Anne Barnard, of Pittsford, N. Y. ); Mary Campbell, Aug. 30, 1879 (all born at Mifflintown); and Robert Andrew, July 30, 1885 (born at Honeybrook, Pa.). (2) James Hallock, born Aug. 10, 1850, died July 10, 1851. (3) Elizabeth Lyon, born May 4, 1852, died in November of that year. (4) Robert Douglas, born March 21, 1854, is a lawyer and makes his home at Clarion. On Oct. 1, 1878, he married Sarah Henderson, daughter of Hon. Joseph Henderson, of Brookville, Pa., and they have had children: James Henderson; Helen Templeton (died in December, 1900), Robert Douglas (who died in the Philippines in 1908), Ruth Hallock and Sara (born in July, 1897). (5) John Keese born July 8, 1856, married Feb. 21, 1883, Elizabeth F. Sloan, of Limestone, Clarion county, eight miles south of Clarion. They have had children born as follows: Jane Wilson, Sept. 5, 1886; James Sloan, June 18, 1888; Mary Hallock, Dec. 25, 1890; Margaret Nancy, March 18, 1894. (6) Harriett Hallock, born Dec. 8, 1858, died March 17, 1909. She married March 10, 1885, Ross Reynolds, a lawyer of Kittanning, Armstrong county, Pa., who died Oct. 1, 1908. They had two children, Emily Campbell (wife of Oliver W. Gilpin, an attorney of Kittanning) and Isadora Hallock. (7) Emily Clark married Dr. Charles J. Jessop of Kittanning, June 5, 1895, and died Nov. 12, 1898. She had two children, Emily Mary and Charles Hallock, the latter dying in November, 1898, when three days old. (8) Virginia, born Sept. 5, 1866, died Nov. 15, 1871.

Mrs. James Campbell, the mother of this family, lived at Clarion. She died Feb. 2, 1909, and is buried in Clarion.

Source: Pages 387-392,  Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed July 1998 by Joyce Sherry for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

Armstrong County Genealogy Project Notice:
These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format, for any presentation, without prior written permission.

Return to the Beers Project


Return to the Armstrong County Genealogy Project

(c) Armstrong County Genealogy Project


Return to the Armstrong County Genealogy Project

(c) Armstrong County Genealogy Project