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Campbell, Richard 1825 – 1901


Posted By: Joy Moore (email)
Date: 3/16/2020 at 10:47:39

Source: Decorah Republican Apr. 4, 1901 P 4 C 2

A Splendid Life Ended.
Richard Campbell, the leading banker and richest man in Independence died on the 26th inst., after a business career in that city of forty-five years. The remarkable fact in his life was not his business success or that he made money, but that at the close of his life his newspaper biographer was able to write of him with unstinted praise, and to say as does the Bulletin-Journal,
That such a man, coming to a new country with some capital should have acquired a fortune is not remarkable, but it is somewhat notable that he could do so, and when his remains were laid away for their long rest a whole community mourn as one man, while it is doubtful if he leaves a personal enemy, and many citizens can trace their escape from failure through his assistance at a critical time, and hundreds remember him for quiet and unostentatious kindness.
We believe we are safe in saying that the state of Iowa never had a butter businessman. Cast in a different environment, we think he would have been one among the great financial forces of the country—as it was he had dealt with millionaires on even terms, and never came out second best. He was one of the first to see the possibilities of Iowa soil, and his thousands of acres scattered over this section show how well he forecasted the future. Money lenders, as a rule, are not popular, but he was an exception in this, as in many other characteristics. He had faith in the honesty of the average man and a judgment of their capacity that never failed. When he trusted at all he trusted absolutely, and the fact that he so seldom was mistaken in his estimate was his greatest tribute. He probably paid more attention to the moral hazard in financial affairs than most bankers and when convinced that an applicant for a loan was honest, always stood ready to help him through any crisis. He took thousands of chances that other bankers would not have touched, and he carried many men through to a competence who, without his confidence, would today have nothing. He never squeezed a man during his whole career, and it was only the crooked individual who had reason to fear him for with such he was hard as iron. His most marked faculty was his ability to get at the bottom of the most intricate question at once, and to form a correct judgment on the spur of the moment. Therefore he was always ready to give a yes or no answer by the time a proposition was fully stated. If he believed in the man or the plan he was ready to stand by either to the limit, and could be depended on to take hard knocks that might come without grumbling. If he did not, that settled it, and he could not be moved by argument or persuasion.

Transcriber's Note: Find a Grave shows he is buried in Oakwood Cemetery and was born August 3, 1825.


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