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Below is a family biography included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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John P. Campbell. Among the early settlers of Polk County, Mo., were Ezekiel M. and Rebecca P. (Adkins) Campbell, both natives of Carolina, though the Campbell family were originally from Scotland. Mr. Campbell was a second cousin to James K. Polk. The mother was born in 1800. The parents were married in Tennessee, and afterward settled in Maury County, where the father carried on farming until 1832, after which he came to this county, and entered the land on which John P. now lives. At this time the neighbors were few and scattering, and the settlers were obliged to go to mill at Spring field. Mr. Campbell built the first grist-mill in the county at Orleans, and soon after put up the first store at the same place. He carried a stock of goods valued at $10,000, going once or twice a year to buy goods, and was one of the principal men of that region. His chief occupation was farming, and he was one of the most extensive agriculturists in the county. He was county surveyor for some time, was a Democrat in politics, and he and wife were members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. Campbell died in 1874, and his wife two years later. In their family were ten children, four sons and six daughters, all of whom lived to be grown, and three sons and three daughters are now living. John P. Campbell was the second child born to this union, his birth occurring in Maury County, Tenn., September S, 1823. He was reared to farm life, and received a fair education for his day. After remaining at home until 1850, he and D. S. Clark fitted up three wagons, and took a number of men, who were to pay for their passage after they arrived, and started across the plains to California. It may just as well be stated here that most of these men forgot their obligations and disappeared, not to be seen again. For nineteen years Mr. Campbell remained in that State, dealt in stock and made several trips across the plains with cattle and sheep. In 1872 he returned to his home in Missouri. Here he married Miss Charlotte Jones, a native of Ohio, and this union resulted in the birth of two children : John M. and James. For his second wife Mr. Campbell chose Elizabeth Jones, sister of his first wife. Five children were born to this union: Lucy R., Laura, Golden, William W., and an infant unnamed. After marriage Mr. Campbell settled on the old homestead, where he has since lived. He owns about 2,000 acres of land, and is one of the wealthiest men of the county, and among its heaviest tax-payers. The most of this property is the result of his own business capacity. He is quite extensively engaged in raising cattle and mules. He is a Democrat in his political views. The Campbell family have been in Polk County for fifty-six years.

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This family biography is one of 132 biographies included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Polk County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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