Charles A. Kent


The Campbell ancestors of Judge Campbell were, as the name shows, Scotch. The earliest one in this country, his grandfather, was Thomas Campbell, an officer in an Highland Regiment, who settled on the Hudson. His son, Henry M. Campbell, was born in Ulster County, New York, September 10th, 1783. In early manhood he removed to Buffalo. When the War of 1812 broke out, he joined the American army, and was made Captain of an artillery company. In October, 1812, he married Lois Bushnell, a member of a New England family. Her nephew, the Reverend Horace Bushnell, became a very distinguished congregational divine and author. Captain Campbell was away on service when, in 1813, the British burned Buffalo. His house was burned, Mrs. Campbell and her relatives took refuge in the woods before the arrival of the enemy. After the war, he remained in Buffalo and was successful in business. He was elected one of the Judges of the Erie County Court, a position for which laymen were competent. In 1826, he moved to Detroit where he remained until his death. He engaged in mercantile pursuits and, afterwards, in real estate business and for a time, was quite prosperous. He became prominent and had several public positions. He was side or associate Justice of the County Court, Alderman, Supervisor, Director of the Poor and president of a bank. On arriving at Detroit, he united with the St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Soon after he was chosen senior warden and served in this office the rest of his life. He contributed to the erection of the church edifice forty-five hundred dollars, about one-third of the total cost. He was commonly called Judge Campbell, both in Buffalo and Detroit. Five children grew to maturity, beside the subject of our sketch. All were well educated, intelligent and cultivated. All were devoted to the service of the Episcopal Church. Two of the daughters married, distinguished Detroit lawyers, Samuel T. Douglass and William P. Wells. One, Valeria, was, for nearly twenty years, the head of a successful Girls' School in Detroit. Lois, who was born in 1817 and died unmarried in 1842, is shown by her letters to have been a young lady of unusual intelligence and cultivation. Henry M., who was born in 1821, was drowned in the Detroit River in 1836.