James Edwin CAMPBELL lawyer, of this city, is a native of Middletown, where he was born on the 7th of July, 1843. he is the son of Dr. Andrew CAMPBELL, of whom a full account will be found elsewhere in this work, and Laura P. REYNOLDS, daughter of John P. REYNOLDS, once a publisher in New York State, and afterwards a leading and influential citizen of Middletown. Mr. CAMPBELL's father was of Scotch extraction, and his mother of English. The family of Mr. REYNOLDS was originally settled in Devonshire, Jonathan REYNOLDS emigrating from Plympton Earl, in that county, in 1645, and on his arrival in America, taking up his dwelling near Plympton, in the Plymouth colony, now a part of Massachusetts. Mr. CAMPBELL is sixth in descent from Jonathan REYNOLDS. The family, after settling in Massachusetts, extended to Rhode Island and New York, and are now numerous in these two latter States, having many members who have filled important positions in the State and national councils. By another branch of his maternal family, he is descended from John PARKER, who commanded the American troops at the heroic struggle at Lexington, which began the Revolutionary War. His paternal great-grandfather, Andrew SMALL, at the age of eighteen, went with Montgomery on the fatal expedition to Quebec, suffering untold miseries on his return through Canada. Both of his grandfathers were soldiers in the War of 1812.
James E. CAMPBELL was educated in the free schools of his native town, and in later years received instruction from the Rev. John B. MORTON, an early and successful teacher of that place, and for many years the pastor of the Presbyterian Church. When approaching maturity he began the reading of law, and taught school for a short time.
In the Summer of 1863, after the navy had become thoroughly organized in all its departments, and had won some of its most glorious victories, he became a master's mate on the gunboats Elk and Naiad, serving on the Mississippi and Red River flotillas, and taking part in several engagements. But the unhealthiness of the climate soon affected him, and after a year, being surveyed by a board of surgeons, he was discharged, returning home a mere skeleton. As soon as he had sufficiently recovered his health he resumed the study of law, and during the Winter of 1864 and 1865 he became a student in the office of DOTY & GUNCKEL, Middletown, being admitted to the bar in 1865.
In the Spring of 1865 he began the practice of his profession in this city. During the interval he was bookkeeper of the First National Bank at Middletown, and was also a deputy collector in the Internal Revenue service of the Third District for about eight months in Hamilton, under General Ferdinand VAN DERVEER, Collector. He was elected prosecuting attorney of the county in 1875 and 1877, holding that position for four years and filling the duties of his office most acceptably. From 1867 to 1869 he was United States commissioner. In 1879 he made a very close race for the Ohio State Senate, being defeated by only twelve votes. During the war he was a Republican, and remained so until the GREELEY campaign, when, in common with thousands of others, he cast off the party yoke, and voted for GREELEY and BROWN. Since that time he has acted with the Democrats.
In addition to his business as a lawyer, he has paid much attention to insurance, and has gradually gained a large and valuable buisness in this line, and has been charged with many important receiverships and other trusts. Mr. CAMPBELL is a Knight Templar, a member of the Knights of Pythias, and the Grand Army of the Republic. He was married to Miss Libbie OWENS, daugher of Job E. OWENS and Mary A. PRICE, on the 4th of January 1870. Her father was a native of Wales, and her mother of Welsh descent. They have three children. Mr. CAMPBELL is a hard worker, and can accomplish more in one day in his business than the most of men. He attends the Presbyterian Church, and contributes liberally to the support of all benevolent and charitable enterprises.
He is systematic in all his efforts, and his offices are models of neatness. Socially no man stands higher. He is courteous in manner, thorough in his acquisition of detail, and of the highest integrity of character. As a lawyer he has few superiors at his age, possessing great skill in ascertaining the true points of a case. He is a good, clear, logical speaker, and well informed on all questions of law. No young man in Hamilton has a better or more honorable record, and no one is deserving of greater credit than he.
At the Democratic Convention held at Lebanon, August 16, 1882, he was nominated unanimously for the position of Congressman, and is now making a most gallant campaign in behalf of his party.
A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County Ohio, With Illustrations and Sketches of its Representative Men and Pioneers Cincinnati Ohio. Western Biographical Publishing Company, 1882.