Colin Campbell, Part I

As I was reading the minutes of the Executive Board meeting for the Arizona Wool Growers Association for 1927, the death of Colin Campbell was referenced in glowing terms. He was a director of the board and his death resulted in a vacancy.  Reviewing these documents help understand problems associated with the sheep industry in Arizona and the records give some details of members albeit through their deaths. It was not unusual to find a nice biographical sketch written by them or at least what had been stated in the obituary of a local newspaper.

The minutes for their October 15, 1927, special meeting read: “The Arizona Woolgrowers Association has sustained a great loss in the death of the Chairman of our Board of Directors, Colin Campbell, which occurred on October 2nd, 1927. He was also member for Arizona on the Executive Committee of the National Woolgrowers Association.” The special meeting was called to replace him on the board of directors. While not germane, H. C. Caveness, general manager of the Grand Canyon Sheep Company, was nominated to fill the vacancy.

The Wool Growers continued their accolades:

“It is superfluous to state that the name of Colin Campbell was known in every wool growing (sic) section of the country. His name was heard around the campfires of the herders, at the meetings of woolgrowers, at the National Ram sale, and at all places where wool and sheep were discussed.

With a matured judgement on all things connected with sheep raising and the marketing of wool, with a keen understanding of its problems, with wide reading and a retentive memory, his opinions were eagerly sought and the course of action taken by him was generally followed.

He was a pioneer of pioneers in all matters relating to grazing and the preservation of our ranges, in the improvement of breeds and the production of high grade rams.

The esteem in which he was held was shown at his funeral in Flagstaff on October 4, 1927. All classes of the community were present and in fact it was a gathering of the people of Northern Arizona who met to give testimony to his wonderful acquaintance and his sterling worth.

The following editorial from the Prescott Journal Miner, October 4, 1927, is quoted, as representing the feeling of this Board of Directors: 

            ‘Not only Yavapai county but the whole state will feel the loss of Colin Campbell, whom death claimed at Ash Fork, Sunday. Of all the livestock men of this southwest, he was the peer, a pioneer who dared in a country not yet settled, down to the present state of things.

            Mr. Campbell was of a family who carved empires out of the wilderness, a sturdy stock that populated the far portions of the earth at times when life was not so easy as it is now. He was a brother of the redoubtable industrialist and political leader, Hon. Hugh Campbell, who for years led the sheep men of Arizona as President of their association and one of their outstanding members. Of no less worth has been the contribution of Colin Campbell to the work of making productive a land scarcely attractive to the farmer, the town builder or the miner.

            We know of no man who could gather so many friends about him. He was one of Arizona’s finest.’”

Colin Campbell distinguished himself in the sheep industry in the short time he lived in the state (1890?-1927). Next blog will look at his life in more detail.