Pueblo County, Colorado
David M. Campbell
Contributed by Jean Griesan.
Hon. David M. Campbell, attorney-general of Colorado. The life and character of Mr. Campbell, rising from a position of poverty to one of influence in spite of many discouragements and obstacles, proves the truth of Sir Walter Scott's statement: "The best part of a man's education is that which he gives himself;” and emphasizes Gibbon's remark that every man has two educations, one which is given him, and the other, and more important, that which he gives himself. When a boy Mr. Campbell had few opportunities to attend school, for his father, not realizing the importance of an education, put him to work upon the farm and in getting out timber while he was still very young. When he reached the age of twenty-one he found himself ready to start in the world, but without the knowledge or the training which study alone can give. However, with the determination ever characteristic of him, he began to remedy the defects of earlier days, and with the assistance of his wife, who had been a teacher, acquired a far better education than is secured by many a college student. His mind was endowed with no ambition more powerful than that of self-improvement, and the high position he now holds proves what it is in the power of man to accomplish, notwithstanding obstacles and hardships.
Near Georgetown, Vermilion County, Ill., the subject of this sketch was born July 20, 1858. His boyhood days were spent in the cultivation of the home farm. Upon attaining manhood, and as soon as he had saved the necessary amount of money, he entered the Indiana State Normal School at Terre Haute, Ind., where he carried on the regular course. Afterward, while teaching school in Illinois, he read law with Judge Bookwaiter, of Danville. In 1887 he was admitted to the bar at Springfield, Ill., after which he engaged in practice in Danville. Coming to Colorado in 1889 he carried on a general practice at Delta for three and one-half years, and from there came to Pueblo in 1892. Here he has since engaged in continuous practice. It is probable that he has had as many criminal cases as any lawyer in the city, and his reputation in that branch of the law is very high. At first he engaged in practice alone, but since becoming attorney-general of the state he has taken in a partner to look after his interests. In 1884 he married Miss Amorita B. James, of Danville, Ill., and who, like himself, is identified with the Presbyterian Church.
Reared in the Democratic party, Mr. Campbell subsequently became identified with the Populist party. He has been active in local and state politics. For two years he served as a member of the city council, and to his efforts was, in no small measure, due the breaking up of the Republican control of Pueblo. In addition to his other positions he was employed as attorney of Kiowa County when it was deeply in debt, and through his business talent and good judgment the entire indebtedness was paid. In fraternal relations he is connected with the Woodmen Valley Camp No. 29, of Pueblo.
The office which Mr. Campbell now holds became his through the election of 1898. Although for years he had been active and potent in public affairs he did not seek office, but when nominated for attorney-general threw himself with all of his energy and determination in the work of winning a victory for his ticket. The important matters which come before him in his present office he studies thoughtfully, with the light which his wide reading and broad experience give him, and he has won much praise for his creditable record as an official.
Extracted from "Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado," published by Chapman Publishing Company in Chicago in 1899.
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