FROM: The History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887).  P. 680-684.

            Hon. James R. Campbell, of McLeansboro, was born in Crook Township, Hamilton County, May 4, 1853, the son of John and Mary A. (Coker) Campbell. The father was born in Armagh County, North of Ireland, came to America with his two brothers in 1844, railroaded in Georgia and the Southern States, and later traded in stock. About 1851 he married in Hamilton County, and settled on his present farm. His four sons are James R.; Bernard, now of Reno, Nev.; Charles, of Hutchison, Kas., and John L., of this county. Our subject's grandfather, John Campbell, was a soldier and officer twenty-one years in the British Army, was retired on a life pension, and died at the age of sixty-six years in the North of Ireland. He was the son of Charles Campbell, a Scotch-Irishman, who was a loom-weaver and lived to be one hundred and four years old. Our subject's grandfather, Charles Coker, was a pioneer of the county and State, and married a daughter of James Crook, after whom our subject's native township was named. Charles Coker was a Methodist minister, a lieutenant in the Mexican war, and died of consumption brought on by service in the war. Our subject was educated at Notre Dame, Ind., in 1869-71. He then assisted his father in the stock business, going by river frequently from Shawneetown to New Orleans. In 1874-75 he was principal of the New Haven schools and also the next year. During 1876-7 he had charge of the Phillipstown (White County) schools, and in 1877-75 the Ramsey (Fayette County) schools. He had read law pretty thoroughly in the meantime, and in June, 1877, was licensed by the supreme court to practice. In 1878 the Democratic convention nominated him by acclamation for the Legislature to represent the Forty-sixth District, but he was defeated at the election. He was then a traveling salesman for a wholesale house until 1883. In 1879, in company with his brother, Charles, he bought the McLeansboro Times, which his brother edited and managed until 1883, since when our subject has had complete and successful control. (See history of the Times elsewhere.) In December, 1883, he formed a law partnership with Judge Cloyd Crouch, and practiced law in McLeansboro

until 1884, when He was nominated as before and elected to the thirty-fourth General Assembly, in which he was prominent, assisting the speaker to make up committees, and was himself chairman of the insurance committee, and member of the revenue and judiciary committees. In 1886 he was re-elected and is now in the Lower House of the thirty-fifth Assembly. December 19, 1879, he married Kittie B., daughter of Dr. Benson, a prominent physician of McLeansboro. They have one son, Valentine. He has been a life-long Democrat as have been his ancestors on both sides. He has given much attention to stock raising and breeding, and was the first to introduce the Percheron Norman horses into this county, owning two magnificent stallions of that breed. He owns also the leading livery business in McLeansboro.

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