GEORGE W. CAMPBELL was born at Kinzua, Warren Co., Penn., August
3, 1831, and is a son of John Campbell, who emigrated from Lycoming
county, Penn., about the year 1800, he being one of the early pioneers of
northwestern Pennsylvania. Owing to the fact that his father was an
invalid. George, at the age of seventeen years, assumed control of his
father’s business which he so managed that by the time he was twenty-one
he had entirely paid his father’s debts, which were considerable. A few
years afterward he commenced business as a lumberman, becoming general
jobber for the firm of Meade & Eddy. This he continued successfully for
several years, at the end of which time he was engaged in the same
business for Messrs. Charles & L. D. Wetmore. Having continued with these
parties for some time, during which he had acquired quite a competency, he
moved to Warren and engaged in the oil business, which proved disastrous.
He then tried the mercantile business, but found this not his forte, and,
gathering up his fast diminishing resources, entered into a partnership
and once more betook himself to lumbering, this time in Clarion county,
same State. But his partners were not practical lumbermen; difficulties
arose, and Mr. Campbell retired from this venture-with a capital stock of
about $2,000—indebtedness! He was advised by his friends to avail himself
of the provisions of the bankruptcy act, then in force, but not
considering this an honorable method of liquidating debts, he refused. For
two years from this time he worked as a day laborer, but finding that
his-wages were not sufficient to support a large family, to say nothing of
removing the debts, he consulted with his creditors, who advised him to
again try lumbering, promising him assistance. Accordingly, with no
capital but an honorable name, he, in 1880, built a saw-mill at Ludlow,
McKean Co., Penn. This proved a success, and he liquidated his
indebtedness, but fire in 1885 reduced the mill to ashes, entailing a loss
of $7,000. Mr. Campbell had, however, erected another mill, which he
operated until 1887, and also built one in 1886 at Mount Jewett, McKean
county. In 1888 he and his sons, John and Edward, young men of rare energy
and business tact, purchased the property of West & Britton, situated two
and one-half miles north of Kane. This property has since been greatly
improved, the mills now having a daily capacity of 60,000 feet of lumber.
Mr. Campbell and his sons are owners of the Kinzua Creek & Kane Railroad,
ten miles in length. Since 1880 Mr. Campbell’s business has steadily
prospered. In 1854 the subject of our sketch married Mary Nutt, of Busti,
N. Y., who has proved a true helpmeet. They have six children. Mr.
Campbell has been a stanch Republican ever since the formation of the
party. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in
the support of which they take an active part. In 1888 they purchased
their present residence at Kane.
History of the counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter, Pennsylvania
with biographical selections, including their early settlement and development,
a description of the historic and interesting localities, sketches of their
cities, towns and villages, portraits of prominent men, biographies of
representative citizens, outline history of Pennsylvania, statistics.. Chicago. J.H.
Beers & Co.. 1890, page 555.
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