Peeking Into Lake City's Past

Who are the Lake City Campbells

One of the many magnificent values of rural living is the close relationship one has with neighbors, friends and relatives. Some of we farm area residents might be surprised to learn that we possess a very rich heritage that gives us many more true friends that of our city cousins. This being the case, we whet our desire to know more about the background of our associates. In order to appreciate our American heritage, let us look back with pride to those ancestors who braved the wilderness after crossing the great ocean in wooden sail boats. Thus, they exposed themselves and families to unimaginable hard (word smudge with ink) diseases and other physical dangers. Those brave folks were willing to pay an extremely high price just to be free from domination by all powerful lords, barons, and kings. In Europe, most common people were held in economic bondage with little opportunity to ever rise above it, thus the New World attracted freedom loving, ambitious people seeking opportunity and happiness. Even though most who came during the colonial period and a hundred years thereafter were economically poor, some had wealth to invest in America and some were from famous families in Europe.

One of the Great Clans (families) from Scotland bore the name Campbell. Heads of the Campbell Clan have been Earls, Lords and Dukes of Argyll during hundreds of years. The traditional founder of the Clan was "Colin" Campbell. The thrifty Scots were usually tough minded and happy folks who wore plaid kilts and played bagpipes. Many of us are familiar with the Scottish Folk Song "The Campbell's are coming Tra-La-Tra-La". As recent as 30 years ago, this song was on the U.S. Hit Parade.

Among the famous Campbells descending from the Clan's founder was a Thomas Campbell, who with his son Alexander led a great religious revival in the United States and Western Europe.

Thomas Campbell was a member of the Hierarchy of the Presbyterian Denomination sent to the states to lead, establish and govern Presbyterian Churches in the New World. His son Alexander followed with the family after graduating from the University at Glascow.

Alexander and his father became displeased with the Central organization's rules and methods of worship, so, during the year 1811 they organized a Christian revival crusade to unite all Christians to worship by using only the Bible's New Testament as their creed. Alexander joined forces with Rev. Stone and some other crusaders of the day to create the greatest revival expansion ever promoted in the U.S. and England. The new churches were named the Church of Christ's Disciples, or "Christian Church".

Several Lake City Campbell's claim to be descendants of the great crusader, among them our local barber, Leland Campbell.

Our story today concerns members of another branch of the great crusader's relatives, who also bore the name Thomas Campbell. This Thomas W. Campbell and the Presbyterian Thomas Campbell are believed to have been cousins. Thomas W. was born in Maryland in 1796, shortly after the Revolutionary War and was the forbearer of several well known Lake City Campbell's. During the year 1831, at age 35, Tom W. and his wife Sarah Moore moved their family of 12 from Indiana to Montgomery County, to Linn County, Iowa, near Cedar Rapids.

This family was prolific as one of their sons named Aquiller and his wife Rachel Daniels had 11 children. Two of their sons, finally settled near Lake City in Jackson Township. Acquiller and Rachel's son Jeremiah (1860-1943) and his wife Elizabeth (1864-1909) had only two children who lived to adulthood, Ernest and Laura Campbell Fuller. Jeremiah (Jerry) and his brother, Squire William moved from near Cedar Rapids to this area in the spring of 1893. Jerry purchased a retail store in Churdan, where he became acquainted and married a pretty young school teacher named Elizabeth Shellmeier. Shortly thereafter, Jerry sold the Churdan store and purchased a farm near Lake City in Jackson Township.

Lest we forget, during the mid 1880's Lake City was a fast growing agricultural and railroad center, that offered great opportunity for conservative, hard working pioneers. Needless to say, thrift Scots like the Campbells took advantage of this so called "Great American Dream".

The writer remembers Jerry Campbell, who in the tradition of his ancestors was a loyal, active member of the Lake City Christian Disciples Church. He was a member of the Lake City IOOF Lodge. Jerry Campbell, one of the founders, served as President and/or Board Member of Calhoun Mutual Insurance Company for a quarter century. Jerry lost his wife in 1909, after which he left the farm and purchased a home in Lake City. His teenage daughter, Laura, dropped out of school to keep house for her father until 1912, when Jerry married another school teacher named Nellie Obye.

His descendants who attended the farm were: his son-in-law Harry Fuller and for 30 years his son Earnest, then his granddaughter and family the Irving Deuels, who later moved to the Harry fuller farm on Rainbow Road. Jerry's son, Earnest (1890-1953) and his wife Margaret DeHart had three children; Earl LeRoy, Jean Campbell, who married Glen Day (deceased), 3 children; Merle Day, Lohrville, wife Sylvia Garrett Day - no children. Doris Campbell, husband Chalmers Peterson - 3 children; Linn Rae Peterson, Bonita Sue Porter, and Alan Peterson.

Jerry's daughter Laura (1894-1980) married Harry Fuller (1899-1955) and were the proud parents of three daughters; Evelyn, Alene and Lois.

Evelyn married Irving Deuel and raised five children.

Harry and Laura's second daughter Alene (deceased) married Van Green (deceased) and raised three children; David, Richard and Joyce.

Harry and Laura's third daughter Lois, married the son of an ex-Lake City furniture dealer, Paul Farber who now operates a business in Sac City. Paul and Lois raised three children; Stephen, Robert and Shelly. The descendants of Laura Campbell and Harry Fuller add up to eleven grand-children and 19 great grand-children.

Now, let's go back to the second son of Aquiller and Rachel Campbell who moved from near Cedar Rapids to this community during the late 1880's. His name was Squire William Campbell, born in 1855 with the advent of the civil War and went to his demise at Lake City in 1917 during WWI. His wife was Mary Brock (1862-1953).

Squire Campbell, like his brother, Jerry, settled in Jackson Township on the the shore of beautiful Lake Creek west of Lake City. Squire Campbell purchased the homestead farm of one of Lake City's earliest settlers, Larkin Williams, (one of the founders of the Lake City Baptist Church).

Lark Williams built the barn one half story under ground to protect stage coach horses during severe weather. The house was built to be used as a stage coach hotel and was one of three such stage coach hotel stops near Lake city between 1856 and 1880.

Squire and Mary Brock Campbell had two sons; William "Bill" (1884-1947) who married Julia Jensen. To this union were born two sons; Earl, living on the home farm by Lake Creek, married Vivian Carroll. Earl and Vivian have one son, Roger who married Lydia Chapman and have two children; Kenneth, who married Dorothy Kerr, have two children, Randy and Marlene.

The second son of Squire Campbell was Armand (deceased) who with his wife Emma Wells settled on a farm near the Raccoon River a short distance north of Rainbow Bridge. Armand and Emma were parents of four children; Robert, a minister Walter, Mary Lou and Melvin (twins). Melvin farms in Jackson Township. Melvin and his wife Evelyn Beam Campbell have three children. Carol resides in Texas, Russell in Ankeny, Iowa and Jeanne, an air controller at Kansas City, MO.

Now, there are many Campbells not mentioned in this review because the lineage information furnished to the writer is not complete. If we were to mention all descendats their occupations and addresses this article would become most confusing to Graphic readers. Campbell has been an honorable name throughout the centuries and the Lake City Campbells have certainly done their part to uphold their Scottish traditions. This is a better community because they are with us.