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In Memoriam - Duncan M. Campbell, Esq.

Taken From The Weekly Record, December 15, 1893

(Thanks to Vonda Adams for the extract)


In the old burying ground near the Upper Corner, Sussex, is a monument to the memory of Duncan Campbell, a native of Braidalbin, Parish of Aberfoyle, Perthshire, Scotland, who died October 14th, 1846, at the age of 84 years, and of Margaret, his wife, who died March 20th, 1840, aged 68 years.

He came to New Brunswick in the year 1803, bringing several children by his first wife -- the late Finlay, Donald and John Campbell, of Campbell Settlement, also Catherine, who married John Bolton, and many years ago removed with him to Ontario; Ann, who married Benjamin Belding, and lived in Studholm, and Mary, wife of John McLeod, who lived at the Portage, in Cardwell. Besides these it is said that Mr. Campbell left in Scotland one or two sons, who never came to America. His second wife, Margaret, above referred to, was a native of Ross shire, Scotland. Her maiden name was Morrison; but when married to Mr. Campbell, she was the widow of one Donald McLeod, who had received a grant of land in the south side of the Kennebeccasis River near the Knox grant. He was no connection of the McLeods of Sussex; but was father of the late Hector McLeod, of Jane the wife of the late James Buchanan, and of Lydia, who married William Jones, of Westmorland county.

By his second marriage, Duncan Campbell had three children -- the eldest a son, and two daughters, Margaret and Christy Ann. Margaret married the late Patrick King who formerly lived on what is now known as the Hunter farm, below Roachville, and more recently kept hotel in Moncton. She is now living in Petit Rocher, N. B. with her daughter, Mrs. David B. Lindsay. The younger daughter, Christy Ann, died October 4th, 1847, at the early age of 23 years. She was the wife of Andrew King, who afterwards resided in Windsor and Halifax, N. S.

The son, Duncan Morrison Campbell, was born July 24th 1819, at Campbell Settlement. Here were passed his youth and early manhood in all the hard work, plain living and scanty educational advantages incident to a new and sparsely populated locality. His first public appointment was that of Justice of the Peace, which he received just about forty years ago. At the time of his death, he was with the exceptions of Robert McCully of Dutch Valley, and John C. Price of Havelock, the senior Justice of the county. Elias S. Freeze of Penobsquis, who died about six weeks ago was appointed at the same time.

Magistrates were then by no means as plentiful as now, but their duties were much more numerous before the Municipality Act came in force in 1877. The Sessions, which met in March and October of each year, had not only charge of the public business of the county now performed by the Municipal Council, but also jurisdiction in assault and other cases now tried by a single justice under the Summary Conviction Act, and also in other matters now heard in the County Court. Most of the legal business of the country was then transacted by lawyers of St. John' and the older justices of the peace well remember the days when men like the late Judge Wetmore, Samuel R. Thomson and his partner Mr. Bayard regularly attended the Sessions at Kingston to conduct the criminal cases. Mr. Campbell at once took a prominent position among the justices of the county. His methodical business habits, clear head, judicial temper and undoubted probity soon won for him the admiration of his brethren, the respect of the public, and the confidence of all. That he did not as a trial justice attain so large a practice as some others was probably due to his close relationship to the majority of those who resided around him. He quickly, however, became widely and favorably known as a reliable conveyancer, being excelled by few, if any, of the justices in the county in drawing deeds and wills, etc. In this occupation his good sense and lucid arrangement, together with his neat and clear handwriting enabled him to transact a large amount of business in a manner excelled by few who have enjoyed a professional training. During the construction of the European, and North American Railway, Mr. Campbell resided in Sussex and acted for about three years as confidential clerk to Thomas King; contractor on a section extending eight miles westward from Sussex station.

About the year of 1868 he was elected by Sheriff Freeze as a juryman with Col. E. B. Beer and others to assess damages for land taken in the Parish of Westfield for "Western Extension" of the European and North American Railway. Here he attracted the notice of Lewis Carvell, Esq, then an influential official of the railway, who, remarking that is was a great pity that the abilities such as Mr. Campbell's should not find opportunity for development, soon after procured him a situation on the Fredericton Branch. He remained at Fredericton for several years; first as clerk to Messrs. Temple and Pickard in railway construction and afterwards as a contractor and builder on his own account. In the latter capacity his chief work was as one of the builders of the Normal School building in which he unfortunately, however, lost a considerable amount of money.

From Fredericton he removed to Moncton, and for about three years assisted Mr. Crosby in the construction of the Railway Offices at that place. About 1875 he returned to his farm at Campbell Settlement and spent the remainder of his life chiefly as a surveyor of land and of lumber. Though not possessing the advantage of a professional education or of an appointment as Deputy Surveyor of Crown Lands, it is probable that it is as a land surveyor that Mr. Campbell has been best known and will be longest remembered. Gifted with a natural aptitude for figures, with sound judgment, and withal the most pains-taking accuracy, there were few indeed that knew him who would not sooner trust his self-taught calculations than the most elaborate deductions of the scientific engineer; and not only did his neighbors for miles around always "get Squire Campbell to run the lines," but he was constantly sought in such public matters and the establishment of Parish lines and to give expert testimony in contested land cases. Mr. Campbell was an adherent of the Presbyterian church. In politics he was a consistent Liberal; and though he did not affect public speaking, he was nevertheless always regarded as one of the most influential men in his locality. In addition to various public offices which he held at different times, he was elected Municipal Councillor for the Parish of Sussex for the year 1890, and at his decease had been for two years Assessor of Rates for Sussex. Mr. Campbell was married early in life to Prudence B., sister of the late J. Belding Sproul, of Apohaqui. She was three years his senior, but died only a little over a week before him (Nov.29, 1893). They had been married 56 years, and it was in attending her funeral that he contracted the cold, which occasioned his death. He expired in inflammation of the lungs about one o'clock in the morning of Friday, the 8th of December, 1893 after an illness of only eight days. He had the following family:

Mary Jane, who married Adam Murray of English Settlement, but died several years ago leaving no children; Annie, Wife of Thomas Gillies, of St. Martins; Duncan, who died about ten years, leaving two children. He was a travelling auditor on the I.C.R., and resided in Moncton. Margaret, wife of Adam Marchbanks of Hammond; Andrew, who died in October last, leaving a widow and twelve children. He was an engineer on the C. P. R., and residing at Fairville, St. John; Susannah, wife of Robert Donald, contractor, of Sunny Brae, Moncton, and Isaac, baggage master on the C. P. R. who resides on the homestead at Campbell Settlement.

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