James G Ambrose


SAMUEL CAMPBELL, a farmer of Rayburn township, living one and a half miles from Cowanshannock, was born Nov. 8, 1823, in Franklin township, this county, son of John and Catherine (Coldon) Campbell. The Campbell family is of Scotch descent, while the Coldons came from Ireland.

John Campbell was born Dec. 2, 1782, and died Jan. 31, 1851; while his wife, born in 1779, lived until 1863. In 1825 John Campbell and his wife, with their family, came to Rayburn township from their home in Franklin township, locating in the woods on the old Anderson Creek road, buying seventy-five acres. No improvements had been made on the property, but these brave pioneers went right to work and soon built a small log cabin, 14 by 20 feet in dimensions, with a log barn for their stock, from logs they felled to make place for these structures. They began farming with one horse, and a little later bought another. In time the father added land to his original holdings, and his wife and children helped him in tilling it, so that he had time to work on the river, thus earning some money for current expenses. The wolves, bears and other wild animals were plentiful, and their larder was kept filled with various kinds of game. The family had a dog which being half wolf was an effective defense against the wild beasts which prowled about the place. There was a large family, namely: Abbie, Nancy, William, Jane, John, Margaret, James, Mary Ann, Josiah, David and Samuel. David died before the removal to Rayburn township, and John and Jane died afterward.

John Campbell was a Democrat. His religious convictions made him a Baptist, and he helped to build the old Baptist church on Pine creek, now replaced by a better building. Although he had been given but a meager education, Mr. Campbell was always interested in securing good schools, and advocated them upon all occasions. After locating upon his property in Rayburn township he passed the rest of his life there, and he died in the rough log cabin his own hands had built. Its place is now taken by a more pretentious dwelling, put up by Samuel Campbell, who has improved the place in many other ways. An earnest, devout man, John Campbell had a good influence on the community where he spent so many years, and lived long enough to see his family grow to useful, honorable maturity.

Samuel Campbell, who has lived upon his present farm for eighty-nine years, having come here in 1825, in his second year, attended school in the neighborhood, and assisted his father while making the best of poor educational opportunities. Farming was then carried on under many disadvantages, for there was no nearer market than Pittsburgh, and everything had to be transported via the Allegheny river, Mr. Campbell keeping boats for that purpose.

In 1850, Mr. Campbell was married to Nancy Campbell, born July 27, 1827, daughter of James Campbell, her birth occurring in Buffalo township, near Worthington. She died in 1902, firm in the faith of the Baptist Church. They had the following children: Guy B., born in 1850, died in 1857; James K., born in March, 1852, is unmarried, and lives on the farm place; Margaret Jane, born July 3, 1854, is at home; Hannah Bell, born April 22, 1857, died in 1913; Nannie C., born Nov. 14, 1859, married in 1904; Robert McClelland, of Pittsburgh, who died in 1909, aged forty-six years, having been a carpenter and contractor, his widow now residing with her father at home; Mary B., born Jan. 28, 1863, married John P. Snyder of Wampum, and died April 12, 1900, leaving six children, one having died; Anna B., born Aug. 17, 1867, died in October, 1900; Lemuel P., born May 19, 1872, was drowned while attending high school, July 8, 1889.

Mr. Campbell is a Democrat, and, like his father, a stanch Baptist. All his life he has been interested in advancing the educational standard of the district, and has held various school offices. During the eighty-nine years he has lived here he has never been off his farm a whole year. In spite of his age he is very active, and manages his property, directing all of the work and making arrangements for the planting of the various crops. In every respect he is a remarkable man, and all who know him revere him, for he has many characteristics which inspire respect.

Source: Pages 574-575, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed January 1999 by Connie Mateer for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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