Two biographies for James R. Campbell here!
From: Biographical and Memorial
Edition of the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois;
James R. Campbell
Campbell, James R., Congressman and soldier, was born in Hamilton County, Ill., May 4, 1853, his ancestors being among the first settlers in that section of the state; was educated at Notre Dame University, Ind., read law and was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court in 1877; in 1878 purchased "The McLeansboro Times," which he has since conducted; was elected to the lower house of the General Assembly in 1884, and again in 1896, advanced to the Senate in 1888, and reelected in 1892. During his twelve years' experience in the Legislature he participated as a Democrat, in the celebrated Logan-Morrison contest for the United States Senate, in 1885, and assisted in the election of Gen. John M. Palmer to the Senate in 1891. At the close of his last term in the Senate (1896) he was elected to Congress from the Twentieth District, receiving a plurality of 2, 851 over Orlando Burrel, Republican, who had been elect4ed in 1894. On the second call for troops issued by the President during the Spanish-American War, Mr. Campbell organized a regiment which was mustered in as the Ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, of which he was commissioned Colonel and assigned to the corps of Gen. Fitzhugh Lee at Jacksonville, Fla. Although his regiment saw no active service during the war, it was held in readiness for that purpose and, on the occupation of Cuba in December, 1898, it became a part of the army of occupation. As Colonel Campbell remained with his regiment, he took no part in the proceedings of the last term of the Fifty-fifth Congress, and was not a candidate for re-election in 1898.
From: History of Illinois and Her
James R. Campbell
James Romulus Campbell, who attained the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers during the Spanish-American and Philippines wars, was one of Southern Illinois' most distinguished citizens, long prominent in civil affairs as a lawyer and banker. His home was at McLeansboro, where he died August 20, 1924.
He was born on a farm in Crook Township, Hamilton County, May 4, 1853, son of John and Mary (Coker) Campbell. John Campbell was a native of Ireland, and settled in Hamilton County in early manhood, where he met and married Mary Coker. Her father, Rev. Charles Coker, was well known throughout Southern Illinois in the early days as a Methodist minister. John Campbell was a farmer and stock man, and as a stock buyer his business took him all over Southern Illinois. He resided on and paid taxes on the same farm for fifty years. He was a democrat in politics and was reared a Catholic, but his wife was a Methodist.
James R. Campbell was reared on his father's farm, attended common schools, and subsequently Notre Dame University at South Bend, Indiana. He showed his unusual business enterprise at an early age. Before reaching his majority he obtained a sub-contract for the construction of several miles of the Big Four Railroad. He studied law at McLeansboro and was admitted to the bar in 1877. From 1879 to 1899 he published the McLeansboro Times. While practicing law and publishing the newspaper he exercised an influential leadership in the democratic party. He was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1884 to 1888, and of the Senate from 1888 to 1896. In 1896 he was elected a member of the Fifty-fifth Congress and resigned his seat in Congress in 1898 to serve as a soldier in the Spanish-American war. He was colonel of the Ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, was mustered into service June 18, 1898, and was with his regiment in Cuba. He was mustered out May 20, 1899, and on July 5, 1899, was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Thirtieth United States Volunteer Infantry, with which he went to the Philippines. He saw active served during the Philippine insurrection and was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers January 3, 1901. He received an honorable discharge March 25, 1901. He was the highest ranking officer from Illinois during the Cuban and Philippine wars.
General Campbell after his military service devoted most of his time to banking, though he remained prominent in the democratic party until his death. In 1902 he organized the First National Bank of McLeansboro and was president of that institution until his death. He was also president of the Campbell Milling Company at Carmi, Illinois. General Campbell was a man forceful in action and in thought, and though a leader in the democratic party he never hesitated to condemn a measure which his convictions and judgment would not approve. He was one of the four delegates at large from Illinois to organize the progressive party in 1912.
General Campbell married, December 18, 1879, Miss Kittie Benson, who survives him. The only son and child is Valentine B. Campbell, who is a well known figure in many of the same lines distinguished by his father. He was born at McLeansboro, October 1, 1880, and was educated in public schools and West Point Military Academy. Since his father's death he has been president of the First National Bank of McLeansboro, in which he was a former cashier. He is the most extensive breeder of thoroughbred running horses in Illinois. A democrat in politics, he was for eight years treasurer of the State Democratic Central Committee, and has been a committeeman from his senatorial district. He married Madeline Flannigan.
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