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Biographical review of Henry County, Iowa, containing biographical and genealogical sketches of many of the prominent citizens of to-day and also of the past .. online

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Online LibraryHobart Publishing Company (Chicago)Biographical review of Henry County, Iowa, containing biographical and genealogical sketches of many of the prominent citizens of to-day and also of the past .. → online text (page 59 of 85)
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Nelda Belle. Mr. Campbell is a repub-

lican with somewhat indenpendent tenden-
cies. He has been a member of the school
board and township constable for two
years. Fraternally he is connected with
Glasgow Lodge, No. 145, Independent Or-
der of Odd Fellows, and with McFarland
I'ost, Grand Army of the Republic, of
Mount Pleasant, thus maintaining cordial
relations with his old army comrades.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Campbell are held in
the highest esteem by all who know them.
He has a genial, jovial nature, with na-
tive wit, with always a joke and a pleasant
smile. His kindness of heart, his inflexi-
ble integrity and his genuine worth have
gained him the unqualified respect of all
with whom he has been associated. His
wife, too, enjoys the esteem of many
friends, and no history of this commu-
nity would be complete without mention
of this worthy couple. Although his school
privileges in youth were limited, he has,
by reading and travel, gained broad and
comprehensive knowledge, and is an en-
tertaining conversationalist, having ac-
quired an edvication equal to that of many
of better early advantages.


Dr. Alfred Louis Punton, successfully
engaged in the practice of dentistiy in
Mount Pleasant, Avith a well appointed
office and a liberal patronage, was born in
Dorking, Surrey county, England, Octo-
ber 21, 1862, a son of William and Emily
(Gumbrell) Punton. The father was a



decorator and painter in Dorking, and
spent his entire life in England, where he
died when about seventy-two years of
age. He had a brother, however. John
Punton. who was a broker in New York
city, but is now deceased, llie mother
died in St. George's hospital in England,
when about eighty years of age. She was
a very religious woman, thoroughly de-
voted to her home and children and her
church. She held membership in the Epis-
copal church, reared her family in that
faith, and all of her children were con-
firmed in the church of England. Unto
Mr. and Mrs. William Punton were bom
ten children, of whom seven are yet liv-
ing. \\'illiam lives at Reigate, England.
having been a schoolmaster in St. Mark's
parish school for thirty years. Louie is
the wife of George Munk. a farmer of Su-
perior. Nebraska. Marian is the wife of
Alfred Clarke, who is police inspector in
London, England. Eliza became the wife
of George Clarke, of Bloomington. Illi-
nois, and died in that city. Dr. John Pun-
ton is the next of the family. Minnie is
the wife of Thomas Stafford, who has a
co-operative store in London, England.
Julia Ellen is the wife of Alfred Smith,
of Trumbridge Wells. County Kent. Eng^
land. He is a schoolmaster there, and
they have one son. Sydney Punton Smith.
who sang at the king's coronation in
Westminster Abbey. He was one of the
boy soloists engaged for that occasion, and
was presented a medal by the king.
Dr. John Punton is deserving of more
than casual mention because of the promi-
nent position to which he has attained in
the medical profession as a specialist in
nervous and mental diseases. He came to

America when quite a young boy, and was
employed as a house painter on the asy-
lum for the insane at Jacksonville, Illi-
nois. Dr. Gilman and Dr. Carroll were
in attendance in that institution at that
time, and took a fancy to the lad and in-
vited him to come in and be an attendant
at the hospital, recognizing his capability
for such work. As they watched his care
of the patients, they realized that he had
in him the making of a fine physician, and
advised him to study for the profession.
They gave him text-books to read and
quizzed him from time to time. Noting
his rapid progress, they further counseled
him to attend a medical school, and he
first became a student in the Cincinnati
Medical College, at Cincinnati, Ohio. He
afterward returned to the Jacksonville
asylum, where he was given the position
of druggist. Later he again entered the
Cincinnati Medical College, from which
he was graduated, and he then went to
Lawrence. Kansas, where he entered into
partnership with Dr. Morse in general
practice, this relation being maintained
for two years. Through Dr. Gilman, for-
merly of Henry county, Iowa, and Dr.
Carroll, of Jacksonville, Illinois. Dr. Pun-
ton secured his first position as physician
in an insane hospital at Topeka. Kansas,
and there remained for five years. Going
to Kansas City one day, he became im-
pressed with the fact that it would be an
excellent place to establish a sanitarium,
and at once rented a small house and en-
tered upon that work with one or two pa-
tients. His practice gradually grew, and
he was enabled thereby to build a large
sanitarium, which in 1898 was replaced
bv a still more commodious one. contain-



ing eighty rooms and facing Troost park.
It is beautifully located, and is one of the
best institutions in the state. Dr. Punton
is widely recognized as a most successful
and prominent physician of Kansas City,
and has attained wide fame in his treat-
men of mental and nei'vous diseases. He
is also the editor of the Kansas City In-
dex. He married ^Nliss Lina Spruill, of
Alliance, Ohio, and they have four boys.
Dr. Alfred Louis Punton acquired his
early education in the schools of Dorking,
England, and when fourteen years of age
entered business life as an apprentice in
the extensive dry goods store of Fielder
Brothers, with whom he continued for
five years. He afterward went to Trum-
bridge Wells, and accepted a position with
Robert Weeks, owner and proprietor of
the largest dry goods house in the county.
He continued in that employ for three
years, and then came to America, believ-
ing that he would have still better oppor-
tunities in the new world. He sailed on
tlie 1 2th of July, 1884, and was thirty-one
days on the water. During the voyage a
piston was broken, and they drifted help-
lessly at sea for five days, but at length
the American harbor was safelv reached.
His brother, Dr. John Punton, secured a
position for him in the George Innes dry
goods house at Lawrence, Kansas, where
he remained for a year, when, determining
to devote his life to a professional career,
he became a student in the Iowa State
University at Iowa City, devoting his at-
tention to the dental course. Following
his graduation, he opened an office for
practice in Winfield, Iowa, and in 1890
he came to Mount Pleasant, where he has
since practiced. He is conscientious in

his work, maintains a high standard of
professional ethics, and by his capability
has won an extensive patronage. In man-
ner he is always courteous and affable,
and his genuine personal worth, combined
with his professional skill, has made him
one of the leading representatives of the
profession in Henry county. In May,
1905, he admitted Dr. Edwards to a part-

On the 17th of April, 1890, Dr. Punton
was married to Miss Grace E. Phillips, a
daughter of Uriel and Martha (Cozier)
Phillips, a native of Mount Pleasant. Her
parents were born in Ohio, and her father
was an agent for the first hay rakes ; also
for plows and other agricultural imple-
ments manufactured in this city. He lived
in Mount Pleasant for a half century and
was a man of upright life, held in highest
esteem by all who knew him, because of
his devotion to manly principles. He is
deceased, and his widow resides on North
Jackson street, in this city. She has two
children : Annetta, the wife of Rev. James
A. Ross, a Methodist divine, of Mitchell-
ville, Iowa, by whom she has two chil-
dren, and Mrs. Grace Punton. Unto the
Doctor and his wife have been born a
daughter and a son : Florence Irene, who
was bom January i, 1893, and is a stu-
dent in the public schools of Mount Pleas-
ant, and Wendell Phillips, who was born
September i, 1903.

Dr. and Mrs. Punton are members of
the Methodist church, in which he was
steward for seven years. He has been a
member of the choir for fifteen years and
is superintendent of the Sunday-school.
He takes a most active and helpful part
in church work, contributes generously to



its support, and does all in his power to
promote its growth and extend its influ-
ence. He belongs to the Knights of Pyth-
ias fraternity, to the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows and to the Masonic lodge.
Dr. Punton is a self-made man and self-
educated as well. Without any special
ad\-antages in his youth, he has, from the
age of fourteen years, been dependent en-
tirely up his own resources, provided for
his professional education, and as the
years have advanced has made continuous
progress in his chosen life work.


While the recital of family history
may seem somewhat egoitistical, yet it is
proper that every family should know
something of its ancestors — whence they
came, where and how they lived, and the
place they held in the world's esteem. In
this age of development and progress
nothing is taken for granted that may be
at all (juestionable.

There is a vast difference between the
noble and the servile and even in our own
free land, where all are sovereigns, dis-
tinctions are as marked as they were in
ages that are past in any country. Hence
the pride of every family is a noble,
brave, pure and honorable ancestory.

The historian's duty requires him to
deal in facts. Few are so constituted as
to observe strictly this requirement when
weighty matters of state or questions in-
volving the molding of society are in is-
sue, the author of historical sketches of-

ten becomes a partisan and finds himself
a partial chronicler.

Sometimes the pen of genius is a pur-
chasable commoditv. and wielded at the
instance of mercenary motives to write
up or down, men and measures. While I
partake largely of the same characteristics
of my erring fellow mortals of the pres-
ent and the past, yet I will assume that,
were I dealing with the doings of entire
strangers, or questions of abstract right
and wrong in any departmient of life, you
might expect absolute impartiality. But
interested as I am. should I add a little
coloring to the nattiral picture I may be
pardoned the weakness not unnatural to
every son and daughter of our race.

"Home, sweet, sweet home." has
thrilled the world and next to that noble
lofty sentiment. "There is no place like
home." the love of family ties and rev-
erence for a daring, heroic and God-fear-
ing ancestry, stands in the sunlight of
the ages, worthy objects of admiration.

How bright, how real the present, as
we look out upon the busy world with
its attractions that bind us to oiu" race
and ancestry. Scientists have agitated
the world in discussing the source and
origin of man. Theologists have been
equally industrious in pointing out where
he eventually goes to. but we lose sight
of this controversy as the "Campbells are
not only coming," but they are here and
for the time being, we'll not worry about
their destiny. We are satisfied of their
origin or they would not now he as nu-
merous as summer leaves. Time will not
permit a detailed history of the Camp-
bell clan, an examination of Scotch and
Irish annals would become necessary to



its presentation. My particular province
is to present our immediate family history
with some observations connected there-

In 1790 James Campbell and Mary Mc-
Kensie. our grandfather and grand-
mother, were married in ^Vestmoreland
county, Pennsylvania, the one nineteen
and the other seventeen years of age.
Both were born in that countv and state.
Their parents came from Ulster Prov-
ince. North Ireland. The great-grandfa-
ther of our family, on the one side, was
James Campbell, the great-grandmother,
Nancy Gill, on the other. Hunter. Three
children were born in Ireland. William,
Nancy and George. In this country
were born James, Robert, John. Alex-
ander, Thomas and Matthew.

James, our grandfather, moved to
Harrison county, Ohio, in 18 16, taking
all of his family with him. They settled
in Archer township, that county, and for
many years were foremost in clearing the
lands, organizing schools and churches —
the Ridge Presbyterian church being one
of the first established in that section of
the country — and contributing largely to
making that part of the state what it has
since become.

Thirteen children blessed that union
of 1790, twelve born in Pennsylvania,
and one in Ohio, as follows : Nancy,
William, Fannie, Mary, Robert. Daniel,
George. James, Hannah, Elizabeth, John,
Alexander and Thomas.

More than a century has passed since
James Campbell and Mary ]McKensie
were married in that Pennsylvania home,
yet how eventful the centur}' has been
to that couple. Wt learn from its subse-

quent history; not only in numbers does
it speak, but in all that tends to make a
family honorable and respected, and the
world better.

Nine of the thirteen children married
as follows : Nancy, to William Nick-
son, Harrison county ; William, to Delila
Brandyberry, Ashland county; Fanny, to
Thomas Alberson. Harrison county;
Mary, to Isaac Sage, Richland county;
Robert, to Margaret Archibald, Harrison
county; Daniel, to Ann Biddinger, Rich-
land county ; George, to Elizabeth Laugh-
ery, Richland county; John, to Lizzie
Landon. Ashland county ; Thomas, to
Elizabeth Donley, Richland county. I
name the children of these families in
their order as follows:

Nancy Nickson — Nickson.

William Campbell — Susan, Mary, Re-
becca. Catharine and one deceased, five.

Faiuiic Alberson — Mary, James. Ann,
William, Elizabeth. Robert W. and
Thomas, seven.

Alary Sage — Henry C Daniel W. and
Fannie, three.

Robert Campbell — John, James, Wil-
liam, Sarah, Milton, Daniel, Mary E. and
three dead, seven.

Daniel Campbell — Daniel Jr.. ]\Iary.
James, Nancy, Sarah, Jefferson, Wilson,
Eliza, Orvil, Frank, Samantha, eleven.

George Campbell — James, Boles, Mar-
tha, John, Thomas, Robert M.. Jane.
George and Almyra, nine.

John Campbell — Jason, Fannie, Rob-
ert, three.

Thomas Campbell — John, Ir\-in. Jen-
nie, three, (one dead).

Our grandfather came to Ashland
countv from Harrison county, in 1836,



and the sons are all located in Orange
township. He lived and died on his farm,
three and one-half miles north of the vil-
lage of Orane^e. His death occurred Sep-
tember 8. i860, at the age of eighty-
nine years, eleven months and twenty-
ft)ur days. His wife died December 23,
1859. aged eighty-six years. They lived
together nearly seventy years. All the
children of these pioneers have passed
to their reward. Many of their children
have also joined them and others
have passed the seventieth milepost, aging
in the service of God and humanity. The
fourth generation now rises and enters
upon life's active stage. Original No.
2, children 13: grandchildren, fifty-
four; great-grandchildren and great-
great-grandchildren nearly three hundred.

Eighty years ago nearly all of the
fifty-four grandchildren herein men-
tioned were born in Orange towaiship.
Only one, William Alberson. resides there
now. Some are dead, some in other parts
of Ohio and some have gone to other
states. What a commentary upon the
"whirligig of time." A family or a com-
bination of families which seventy years
ago weilded such an influence in the so-
cial and political development of that
township, now^ reduced to one representa-
tive, but great-grandchildren have taken
their places and by them we are assured
our line \\ill not become extinct. This
period of time has swept from the earth
two whole generations and part of a
third. Yet the world is better that these
generations have lived, labored and died.

The histf)ry of every family is what
they make it. T have a right to pay a
tribute of love to the dead.

Eighty years ago the place wdiere they
settled was not the garden it is today.
The swamp and forest almost covered it
and the howl of the wolf and the scream
of the panther was no rare sound. We
find our sturdy ancestors among the ad-
vance guard in the wilderness, clearing
the lands, and making homes, where so
much of civilization and Christianity are
found today. They aided in rearing a
strong edifice socially, politically and

Our ancestors were all farmers and
knew no way of making a livelihood ex-
cept by honest combat with nature's
forces, where they found deep, dark
woods they left cultivated fields and gar-
dens, but this material change w^as not
their grandest triumph. Schoolhouses
and churches rose simultaneously with
their cabins and their minds and hearts
were trained as well. They were active
participants in civil and educational in-
terests and in the church their voice w^as
heard. In that grandfather's house the
morning and evening sacrifice were never
forgotten. That influence was imparted
to the children, and let us trust that chil-
dren's children to the latest generation
will feel its effect. I will not omit refer-
ring to the companions of our sires and
grandsires, scattered over Orange town-
ship, we find the Uries, Summers, Hur-
rays, the Bishops, the Donley s, the
Clarks, the Welches, the Culbersons, the
Flukes, the Hitfners, the Chilcotes, the
Stentzes. the Biddingers, the Millers, the
McConnells, the Norrisses, the Fasts,
Masons and others, whose devotion and
honesty of purpose were as great in
building up this country as ever marked



the history of man. Such is an imperfect
picture of the Campbell family some
eighty years ago.

Today that entire township is dotted
over with palatial homes. But how is it
with the descendants of these honest, in-
dustrious, faithful men and women of for-
mer generations. Scattered over almost
this entire country, let their lives answer
the question. They are found in every
learned profession, in every trade and
calling from the independent farmer to
the less independent artisan, and our pos-
terity will hold us responsible for the
part we play on the world's broad stage.

In Orange cemetery our fathers, with
the exception of Robert, sleep the long
last sleep. To this branch of the family
another chapter may be added. Robert
and Margaret (Archibald) Campbell
came to Iowa, took up their abode in
Henry county soon after the Civil war
and purchased a farm in New London
township, where he made his home until
his death, his wife also passing away on
that farm.

To them were born nine children as
follows: John, James, William, Sarah,
Milton, Daniel, Mary E., three of this
number being dead.

The writer was third in order of birth
in this family of nine children. He ac-
Cjuired his education in Ashland county,
Ohio, and by reading and observation
in later life. He came to Iowa in 1854.
He was married December 28, 1857, to
Miss Elizabeth Spearman, a daughter of
James D. Spearman, who was an old set-
tler, coming to this section of the state
when it was largely a new and undevel-
oped region. He afterward returned to his

native state, Ohio, and spent six years,
then again came to Henry county and
purchased the Spearman homestead about
four miles southeast of Mount Pleasant.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Campbell have
been born six children, four of whom are
living: Charles P., who married Miss
Laura Tate, of Des Moines, has three
children, viz. : Gladys, Albert and Mag-
gie, and they reside on their farm three
miles east of Mount Pleasant. James
Cornelius, who married Jessie Hughes, of
Mount Pleasant, has four children, viz. :
Clara, Willie. Ralph and Mildred, and
they reside on the old homestead. Frank
D., who married Florence Palmer, of
Mount Pleasant, has three children, viz. :
Glen, Marcelene and Alice. Maggie is
the wife of J. R. Hughes, a farmer and
stockman living two and one-half miles
northwest of Mount Pleasant, and has
two children : Rex and Elizabeth. Two
children, Annie and Willie, are dead.

As life's duties, objects and responsi-
bilities thicken and call the Campell clan
to different and distant fields of toil and
exertion, our minds and hearts will ever
turn to the fields on which our fathers
lived and to the old churchyard where
they are buried, with ardent love and


\\'illiam Campbell, who has been a pro-
moter of farming and stock-raising in-
terests in Henry county and is now living
retired in a beautiful home on West Mon-
roe street in Mount Pleasant, was born



in Ashland county, Ohio, August 22.
1830. a son of Robert and Margaret
(Archibald) Campbell. The father was
born in Harrison ctmnty, Ohio, and was
there reared and married. Later he fol-
lowed agricultural i)ursuits in Ashland
countv. and was one of the successful men
of that place. Later in life he came to
Iowa, followiup- the arri\-al of his son
here. He toc^k up his abode in Henry
county soon after the Ci\il war, and pur-
chased a farm in Xew London township,
where he made his home until his death,
his wife also passing" away on that farm.
He v)wned and operated two hundred acres
of land and was an enterprising agricul-
turist, reliable and trustworthy in all his

\\'illiam Campbell, the third in order of
birth in a family of nine children, acquired
his education in Orange township, Ash-
land county. Ohio, and by reading and ob-
servation in later life. His youth was
passed on his father's farm and he as-
sisted in its development and improvement
until thinking to find other occupation
more congenial he learned the trade of a
plasterer, which he followed for about
thirty years. He took contracts for plas-
tering and employing a large number of
men was thus enabled to cover an exten-
sive field of labor. He did much work
all through that section of the state, be-
ing accorded an extensive patronage that
enabled him to retain many workmen in
his service. He first came to Iowa in
1854, and here continued in the plastering
business, being accorded much of the im-
portant work in this locality, one of his
last jol)s being the plastering of the Har-
lan house built bv Senator Harlan.

Mr. Campl:ell was married in Decem-
ber, 1857, t^^ ^liss Elizabeth Spearman, a
daughter of James Spearman, who was a
farmer and old settler, coming to this sec-
tion of the state when it was largely a
new and undeveloped region. Mr. Camp-
bell afterward returned to Orange town-
ship, Ashland county, Ohio, where he gave
his attention to farming upon a tract of
land which he owned, but w'hen he had
spent SIX years in his native state he came
again to Hemy county and purchased the
Spearman homestead, whereon his wife
was reared, about four miles southeast of
Mount Pleasant, in the Pleasant Hill
neighborhood. The fann comprised three
hundred and sevent}^ acres and had been
developed and improved by Mr. Spear-
man. There Mr. Campbell successfully
carried on general agricultural pursuits
and the dairy business. He was the first
cheese manufacturer in the county, and he
had on the farm about one hundred cows
of his own, and at times as many as one
hundred and thirty-five head. He also
added to his land two farnis amounting
to three hundred and twenty acres. For
a time he purchased milk from the neigh-
boring farmers and did an extensive dairy
and cheese business and the cheese factory'
is still conducted by his sons. He was
also interested in the sheep industiy, hav-
ing driven six hundred sheep from Ash-
land county, Ohio, with which he first
stocked his farm. There is no man who
has been more interested in improving
the grade of stock raised and few have
assisted so largely in this work and thereby
promoted so efificiently the welfare of the
agrictural class. Mr. Campbell always
owned and raised fine stock and he intro-



diiced thorough-bred Holstein cattle into
Henry county, twenty-five years ago. He
has brought his whole herd up to a high
standard and it is a well known fact that
stock sent from the Campbell farm is al-
ways of superior breed. Wliile conduct-
ing his farming and stock-raising inter-
ests he likewise carried on a grocery store
in Mount Pleasant from 1875 ^ii'^til 1879.

lived and with the competence acquired
through his earnest and well directed la-
bors is now enjoying a richly merited rest.
He started in business life when sixteen
years of age at a salary of five dollars per
month, and from this sum supplied his
own clothing. He afterward earned one
hundred dollars per year and thus started

Online LibraryHobart Publishing Company (Chicago)Biographical review of Henry County, Iowa, containing biographical and genealogical sketches of many of the prominent citizens of to-day and also of the past .. → online text (page 59 of 85)