Biography of Leslie J. Campbell

Leslie J. Campbell. One of the oldest and most prominent families of Allen County had been the Campbells. They arrived here when Kansas was still a territory, and through the various members of the relationship they have exercised worthy and helpful influence as teachers, farmers, lawyers and in various lines of business and in civic affairs.

The pioneer Campbell was James H. Campbell. He was born in Indiana, came from Switzerland County, that state, to Kansas in 1860. By profession he was an attorney, and locating in Allen County he practiced in that pioneer district for several years. He rose to prominence in early day politics, and from 1865 to 1867 was county attorney of Allen County, and while the war was in progress, in 1863-4, he represented his county in the State Legislature. He was a member of the Legislature in the formative days of the state and impressed his influence upon some of the early legislation. He continued in the active practice of his profession until 1870, when, on account of ill health, he was obliged to abandon the law.

After coming to Allen County James H. Campbell met and married Bethia Simpson. She was also a native of Indiana, and came with her parents from Parke to Allen County, Kansas, in 1859. Her father was a teacher and newspaper man in Indiana and Illinois, but after coming to Allen County took up a homestead. For several terms he served as county superintendent of schools in Allen County.

Altes H. Campbell, a son of James H. and Bethia (Simpson) Campbell, had long been a prominent lawyer at Iola. He was born near Carlyle in Allen County, Kansas, May 4, 1862. The environment of his early days was a pioneer community. He attended the district schools near Carlyle, and on account of his father’s ill health he was obliged to make his own way in the world from an early age. As an occupation to provide for self support until he could attain his ambition for a professional career he clerked in stores, worked at various other employments, and about 1880 began the serious study of law. He pursued his studies in the intervals of a wage earning occupation, and for a time was employed as a hay baler and was also assistant postmaster at Iola.

On August 21, 1885, he was admitted to the Kansas bar and at once took up his practice at Colony, though maintaining an office at the same time at Iola. After three months at Colony he removed to Iola, and for over thirty years had been one of the leading members of the bar of that city. For three terms he served as city attorney, was county attorney of Allen County one term, and for two years was mayor of Iola. In politics a republican, he had taken an active interest in his party for many years. He had also done much to promote the commercial development of Iola.

On June 12, 1888, Altes H. Campbell married Mrs. Mary Jeanette (Potter) English. Her parents, C. S. and Adelaide (Waful) Potter, were natives of New York State, where Mrs. Campbell was reared and educated. In her early years she was a school teacher in New York, and for a time taught in an Indian school in Indian Territory. Mr. and Mrs. Altes H. Campbell have three children: Leslie J., Carl B. and Helen. The family are all members of the Episcopal Church. A. H. Campbell is affiliated with the Masonic order, with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

Leslie J. Campbell, whose name had been given at the beginning of this article, is a son of the Iola lawyer, and though a young man had already reached a creditable position in business affairs at Iola, being president of the Campbell Undertaking Company.

He was born at Iola April 22, 1889, was educated in the public schools, learned the undertaking business, and in November, 1910, established the Campbell Undertaking Company, whose headquarters are at 18 Jackson Avenue. It is a corporation, with Mr. Campbell as president and his wife, Mrs. Almeda O. Campbell, secretary and treasurer.

In politics Mr. Campbell is a republican, and he is a vestryman in the Episcopal Church. He thoroughly believes in the good accomplished by fraternal organizations, and had affiliated himself with a number of the better known fraternities. He belongs to Iola Lodge, No. 569, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Iola Lodge, No. 21, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Prairie Rose Encampment, No. 19, of the Odd Fellows; Iola Camp, No. 101, Woodmen of the World; Iola Lodge, No. 43, Knights of Pythias, of which he is past chancellor commander; Sons and Daughters of Justice, Iola Council, No. 84; Kansas Fraternal Citizens; Court of Honor; and Iola Homestead, No. 990, Brotherhood of American Yeomen.

On June 8, 1911, at Iola, Mr. Campbell married Miss Almeda O. Arnold, daughter of Elias W. and Louisa Arnold. Her parents reside at 802 South Washington Avenue in Iola, her father being a retired farmer.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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