WILLIAM MASON CAMPBELL ranks among the first of the prominent and successful business men of Cross Creek township. The pioneer of the family of whom he is a prominent member was one John Campbell, who about 1780, came from York county, Penn., to this county, finally settling on a farm of 191 acres in Cross Creek township. In those early days the Redmen yet roamed through their native forests, looking with jealous eye and lowering brow upon the pale-faced intruders. Of the many traditions rife concerning the adventures of John Campbell, the following is told: While he was mowing a small meadow near his house, a sudden and peculiar noise broke the silence; turning hastily he discovered several Indians advancing toward him. He fled to the house, the Indians in hot pursuit, but managed to get inside and bar the door before they could overtake him. He then opened fire on them through the windows and succeeded in driving them away. On March 31, 1772, John Campbell was married to Miss Mary Hammond, a native of York county, Penn., and to this union children were born as follows: Ann, March 27, 1773; Griselda, February 19, 1775; John, January 30, 1777, William, August 11, 1779; James, November 9, 1781 (these three sons settled in Belmont county, Ohio); David, March 25,1784; Charles, October 81, 1788; George, June 5, 1789 (the latter three remained in Cross Creek township); Mary, February 4, 1792, married to William Fulton, of Mt. Pleasant township; and Elizabeth, October 9, 1793, wife of William Rea, all now deceased. The father died August 13, 1807, aged sixty-three years, the mother on March 18, 1817, aged sixty-four years.
Charles Campbell was born and reared on the home farm in Cross Creek township, and in his boyhood received a common-school education, which was afterward supplemented by current reading. In early life he learned the carpenter's trade, but a few years later devoted his attention to tilling the soil. On February 22,1810, he was married to Miss Esther Mason, also a native of Cross Creek township, and after their marriage the young people settled on the home farm. They reared children; whose names and dates of birth are here given: Lucinda, January 9, 1811; Mary, February 27, 1812; Elizabeth, August 7, 1813; John, July 23, 1815; William Mason, November 10, 1816; Louisa, February 25, 1818; David, March 20, 1820; Hannah, April 10, 1822; and Easter, July 23, 1824. Of these but one survives, William Mason. The father of this family died June 4, 1832, the mother having passed away February 1, 1825, aged about thirty-five years. They were both members of the Presbyterian Church, in which he was an elder many years. He was a man of considerable ability as a writer in his day.
William Mason Campbell was born on the old homestead which was patented in 1787 by his grandfather, who had taken out a warrant in 1785. He attended the schools of the day, then held in rude log cabins erected for that purpose, the only light afforded coming through window-panes made of greased paper. In September, 1842, Mason Campbell (as he is usually called) married Isabella Ramsey, of Buffalo township, this county, and one son came to their union, David, born November 14, 1851 (he studied at Oakdale Academy, and is now a professional teacher of McKeesport, Penn.). The mother died a few days after the birth of her son, and was interred in the cemetery at Mt. Prospect, this county. On January 3, 1856, Mr. Campbell was united in marriage with Annie E. Mcllvaine, of Mt. Pleasant township, who bore him the following children: William C., born October 28,1856, Mary E., born March 30, 1858; Jennie, born February 6, 1860 (wife of Edward McNary, of Ingram, Penn.); Charles L., born February 15, 1862 (a practicing physician of Hickory, this county); John L ,born August 11,1864 (a farmer and ranchman of Wyoming); Annie L., born July 17, 1867 (wife of Robert Farar, a merchant of Hickory, Penn.); James C., born March 18,1870 (a student in the mercantile college at McKeesport), and Alexander M., born June 22,1874 (living on the home farm). Soon after his marriage Mr. Campbell settled on the farm of 186 acres of fine land in Cross Creek township, where he is now engaged in farming and stock raising, usually keeping about 300 sheep. Politically he has always been a stanch Republican, and has held many township offices, notwithstanding the fact that his township is strongly Democratic. In religious faith Mr. Campbell has been a member of the Mt. Prospect Presbyterian Church since a young man, and has been an elder in same for about forty years.
Text taken from page 404 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
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