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Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago: Clarke, 1905, pp 698-703

Edward O. CAMPBELL, actively and successfully engaged in general farming in Owen Township, was born in Winnebago County, 06 Jan 1861, and is a son of John and Mary (McNEAL) CAMPBELL.  The father was a native of Ireland, born in 1810, while the mother's birth occurred in Canada in 1824.  They were married in the latter country and their three eldest chidren were born there.  Removing to Winnebago County in the 1850's, Mr. CAMPBELL settled in Owen Township, where he entered 160 acres of land from the govenment.   He at once began to break the wild prairie and in course of time transformed the unimproved tract into a highly productive farm.  In the early days, however, he bore all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life and performed the arduous labor that fell to the lot of the frontier settlers.  There was no market nearer than Chicago and he had to haul his meat to that place, it often taking him from 8 to 12 days to make the round trip.  Later Belvidere offered market when the old Chicago & Galena Railroad was built through that place.  It is now a part of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad system.  Mr. CAMPBELL continued farming throughout his entire life and also raised some stock, and he contributed in no unimportant manner to the early substantial developments of the county.  He died on the old farm homestead in 1883, having long survived his wife, who passed away in 1866.  They became the parents of twelve children, of whom five are now living:  Sarah, the wife of John ROSE, a resident of Sac City [Sac County], IA, by whom she has one child; Rachel, who married William HOUFFMAN, of Canada, by whom she has two [p 703] children; Hannah, who is the wife of Z. MILLER, of Rockford, and has five children; Edward O.; and James E., who married Hattie STEWARD and has four children.  Their home is in Owen Township.

Edward O. CAMPBELL spent his boyhood days under the parental roof and acquired a knowledge of the common branches of English learning by attending the public schools of the neighborhood.  He worked upon his father's farm until he had attained his majority and then started out in life on his own account as an agriculturalist, purchasing the interests of the other heirs in he farm which formerly belonged to his maternal grandfather.  He now has 636 acres of as fine land as can be found in the county, constituting a splendidly improved property.  Upon the place he has at the present time 65 head of cattle and 115 head of hogs.  He ships one or more carloads of cattle to the Chicago market each year and both branches of his business are proving profitable, bringing him a satisfactory financial return.  A part of the old McNEAL house, which was built and owned by his grandfather, is still standing near the new home of Mr. CAMPBELL, which he erected in 1900.  This residence is of modern style of architecture, supplied with hot and cold water and equipped with all modern improvements.   It is tasteful in its furnishings and most attractive in its hospitable cordiality.   Mr. CAMPBELL has always carried on general farming and stock raising and as the result of his well directed efforts and unremitting diligence is now one of the prosperous citizens of his community.

On 02 Feb 1881 occurred the marriage of Mr. CAMPBELL and Miss Eliza J. BLACK, a daugher of Charles and Eliza (HALL) BLACK.  [For additional information on the BLACK family, see the Winnebago County, IL, biography of Eliza's brother, John BLACK.]  Mr. and Mrs. CAMPBELL have become the parents of nine children:  (1)  George M., born 09 Nov 1882; (2)  one who died in infancy; (3)  Ray W., born 08 Aug 1884; (4)  a fourth, who was born 26 Feb 1887, and died in infancy; (5)  Ralph E., born 28 Nov 1890; (6)  Nellie G., born 31 Mar 1892; (7)  Clarence C., who was born 12 Jan 1895, and died 01 Dec 1896; (8)  Floyd, born 17 Jul 1897; and (9)  an infant, who was born on 09 May 1900, and died 28 Mar 1901.

Mr. CAMPBELL has been a member of the school board for six or seven years and he gives his political allegiance to the republican party.  He and his wife are members of the Episcopal church and are well known and highly respected citizens of Owen Township.   He is classed with the successful men whose labors have been the basis of their prosperity for his close application, enterprise and diligence have proved the foundation upon which he has builded the superstructure of a handsome competence.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.