THE TRAGIC DEATH OF ROBERT JACKSON CAMPBELL
by: Marvin Campbell
Robert Jackson Campbell was born in the year 1815 to an emigrant couple from Scotland. The names of the parents were Jacob Harrison Campbell and Elizabeth Burns Campbell. They emigrated to America in the year 1812. The final destination as to where the family settled upon-arrival to America, was on a section of land which was near where the head waters of Williams Creek now begins. Of course, the membership realizes at this -early date Missouri had not been admitted to the Union of States.
Robert Jackson Campbell married Caroline Prince. She, according· to the records, was born in the year 1824. To this couple six children were born. Of the six children, five of them were girls. Their names were as follows:
It was in the month of September, 1881, that Robert Jackson Campbell harnessed a team of mules, hitched them to a wagon, bid his family good-bye, left to transact some business in a small river town known as Cape Girardeau. After he had completed his business in the small town, he decided to return home by way of the Cape LaCroix Creek Road. The reason for Mr. Campbell taking this route home was for the purpose of getting a load of seed wheat from a Mr. Masterson. After purchasing the wheat from Mr. Masterson and loading it onto his wagon, he proceeded toward his home which was, perhaps, six to eight miles further north. Mr. Campbell's home was about one-half mile east of the Perryville Road. ·s Mr. Campbell traveled north on the Cape LaCroix: Creek Road, he entered the Perryville Road at a point near where the Randol School is located. He continued north on the Perryville Road until he was within one-half mile of his home.
It was at this point that Mr. Campbell came to a watering hole where farmers oftentimes watered their teams. He drove the team of mules into the area where the watering hole was located.
In order for the mules to be able to drink, it was necessary for Mr. Campbell to release the neck reins from around the harness. If this wasn't done, the animals could not lower their heads into where they could drink the water. Consequently, it was necessary for Mr. Campbell to get off the Spring Seat of the wagon bed, climb out of the wagon-box onto the back part of the wagon tongue where the double-tree and swingle-tress where attached to the tongue of the wagon. After getting onto the back part of the tongue of the wagon, he proceeded to walk out on the tongue of the wagon which was between the mules, and to make it possible for Mr. Campbell to release the neck reins so the animals could lower their heads to drink the cool water that was flowing down the creek. It was at this point that something frightened the mules and they bolted. Since Mr. Campbell was unprepared for such an emergency, he fell off the tongue of the wagon between the mules. In some manner, one of Mr. Campbell's legs became entwined or caught in one of the traces by which the animals pulled the wagon. He was unable to right himself and was dragged and trampled until the team reach home.
The family could immediately see that the team was without a driver, and they rushed out to see what had happened to the husband and father. They found Mr. Campell's body trampled, bruised, and bleeding beneath the mules. The family members got Mr. Campbell into the house as quickly as possible. He was unconscious and, no doubt, had internal injuries. The family did everything they could possibly do to revise Mr. Campbell, but to no avail. He did live throughout the night, but died the following day. He was buried at Old McKendree Cemetery
One of the five daughters, Martha, married a man by the name of Redmon Keen, and they lived on the home place for many years.