Saturday, March 19, 2011

Albert H. Campbell.

Albert H. Campbell, a well known citizen of Fort Scott and a veteran of the Civil war, was born at Ann Arbor, Mich., Feb., 27, 1839. His parents—Col. William T. and Eliza (Simons) Campbell—were both born in the State of New York, the former on Aug. 28, 1817, and the latter on July 24 of the same year. They were married in Michigan, in 1836, and both died in Fort Scott, the father on Nov. 9, 1877, and the mother on Oct. 6, 1883. Col. William T. Campbell was one of the contractors that built the Michigan Central railroad, after which he engaged in the mercantile business at Kalamazoo, Mich., until the spring of 1857, when, with three covered wagons and several head of blooded stock, he set out for Kansas. He first located at Leavenworth and lived there for some three months while looking about for a permanent location. At the end of that time he took his family to Barnesville, Bourbon county, but a delegation of citizens from Fort Scott called on him and persuaded him to go there and take the management of the Free State Hotel.

In this delegation were Colonel Wilson, Colonel Crawford, and ex-Governor Ransom of Michigan. Colonel Campbell took charge of the hotel on Jan. 1, 1858. At that time the hotel was the headquarters of the free state men, and there was almost continuous warfare between them and the pro-slavery people. Colonel Campbell was soon afterward appointed, deputy United States marshal, and as such was frequently called upon to make arrests. In the discharge of his duties he was often accompanied by his son, Albert H.; who has a vivid recollection of the strenuous days of that era, when fights were of daily occurrence and men were frequently killed. After remaining in charge of the hotel about one year, Colonel Campbell entered a tract of land just south of the town (now within the city limits), built a four-room frame house and removed there with his family.

Here he lived until the breaking out of the Civil war. In July, 1861, he organized a company of home guards—one of three such companies, the others being commanded by Captain Gower and Captain Ransom, a son of ex-Governor Ransom. In 1862 his and Captain Ransom's companies were made part of the Sixth Kansas cavalry, and Captain Campbell was made major. The regiment took part in the campaigns in Missouri, Arkansas, and the Indian Territory. When Colonel Jewell was wounded (his death occurring later) Major Campbell was made lieutenant-colonel of the regiment and served with that rank until the close of the war. Upon being mustered out he returned to his farm near Fort Scott, where he passed the remainder of his life. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a Democrat in his political views, and belonged to the Episcopal church, of which his wife was also a member.

Albert H. Campbell is the second in a family of six children—Arsenath, Albert H., Alice, Edward B., Ellen S., and Lizzie. Arsenath married James Stewart and died Oct. 25, 1894; Alice is the widow of B. S. Henning and lives in New York City; Edward B. lives in Kansas City, Mo.; Ellen S. is the widow of Dr. Horton, and Lizzie is the widow of B. W. Head, both residing in Kansas City, Mo. Albert H. Campbell was educated at Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Mich. He came with his parents to Kansas and continued to live with them until the beginning of the Civil war. On July 27, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Sixth Kansas cavalry, though prior to that time he had been a member of Captain Ransom's company of home guards, of which he was commissionary sergeant. He assisted in organizing Company H, Sixth Kansas cavalry, and was commissioned second lieutenant.

Among the engagements in which he took part were Newtonia and Cane Hill, where Colonel Jewell was mortally wounded and Lieutenant Campbell was captured by pursuing two Confederates into the enemy's lines. He was taken to Fort Smith, Ark., where he was held a prisoner about three weeks, when he was exchanged, the exchange being brought about through the influence of the Confederate General Jo Shelby. While a prisoner Lieutenant Campbell was given the liberty of going any place he pleased in town, under parole, and he accepted the hospitality of one of the residents, living most of the time at his house.

Here, on one occasion, he occupied a room with the notorious guerrilla leader, Ouantrill, who had come to Fort Smith to visit a sick soldier belonging to his command. Soon after rejoining his regiment he was taken ill with jaundice and was sent home to recover. While on leave of absence he assisted in recruiting, for the Fourteenth Kansas cavalry, Company G, of which he was commissioned captain on Sept. 8, 1863, and from that time until the close of the war his duty was principally scouting in Arkansas. His company covered the retreat of General Steele from Little Rock, and took part in the engagement at Jenkins' Ferry. in General Rice's report of which the company is especially mentioned for its bravery.

After this action Captain Campbell was appointed acting assistant inspector-general of the troops in the frontier division at Fort Smith and served until his regiment was ordered to Pine Bluff, Ark. Here, in April, 1865, the war being practically at an end, he tendered his resignation, but Gen. Powell Clayton wrote on his application for discharge: "Respectfully forwarded and disapproved. This officer is needed with his regiment." This was a compliment to Captain Campbell's ability as an officer, and he remained with his command until mustered out and discharged, at Little Rock, June 30, 1865. He then returned to Fort Scott and soon afterward came into possession of the place which he now owns.

He built his beautiful home and lived on the farm until 1874, when he was made purchasing agent and paymaster of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf railroad, which position he held until 1880, since which time he has occupied the residence where he now lives. On Sept. 19, 1871, Captain Campbell married Miss Mary A., daughter of William and Jane (McDonald) Smith, both natives of Scotland, but who were married in New York City. They then removed to Pennsylvania and, in 1858, to Kansas, coming by water from Pittsburgh to Kansas City and thence by stage to Fort Scott, where Mr. Smith and his son, A. E. Smith, (afterward captain of the Second Kansas battery), bought the "Fort Scott Democrat," which they conducted until the breaking out of the war, in 1861, after which the paper was published irregularly as the "Fort Scott Bulletin." William Smith and his wife continued to live in Fort Scott the remainder of their lives, the former dying on May 20, 1876, aged sixty-six years, and the latter in 1870, at the age of fifty-seven.

Of their three children Capt. E. A. Smith, previously mentioned, died in California; William H., who cammanded a company in a Kansas cavalry regiment, also died in California, and Mrs. Campbell, who is the only survivor of the family, is still living. Mrs. Campbell is a member of the Presbyterian church, and takes a commendable interest in promoting its good works. Probably no two people about Fort Scott are more familiar with the history of the city, from the territorial days to the present time, and none commands in a greater degree the esteem and confidence of the community than Captain Smith and his estimable wife. They have three children: Robert B., who married Miss Lena Schroer, of Fort Scott, and is now a practicing attorney in that city; George T., who conducts a collecting agency in Fort Scott; and Alberta A., who resides in the parental home.

Authors note. Pages 333-335 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.

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