By: Thomas Haler (Minnesota Free State)
This town spotlight brings us to southern Wilkin county to the town of Campbell, Minnesota. Which at its peak had a population of 424. However, like most other small towns the population has slowly dropped over time. The current population of Campbell is 158.
Campbell was incorporated in January of 1899. The community was founded along the stage route to Fergus Falls, and later developed after the railroad came through.
Campbell is a farming community at heart. With one big technological contribution to agriculture which is the Gray Tractor invented by J.W. Grey in Campbell. The tractor was unique, because it had a rear-drive drum which gave the Grey Tractors superior traction boosting field performance. The model 18-36 was first sold in 1916, and was the first tractor evaluated at the Nebraska Tractor Test to burn gasoline and to use the unique rear drum-drive system.
Campbell was also home to former US Senator and Congressman Thomas D. Schall. The Repbulican, passed away in Washington D.C. in 1935 after being struck by a hit and run driver. Sadly, becoming one of the few Senators or Congressman to pass away in a vehicle related accident.
Most small farming communities saw their big growth come after the railroad came to town. The railroad would cause main streets grow, new schools are built, and farm elevators to be constructed. It appears Campbell was no different.
1908 Main Street
1910 Farmers Elevator
1914 Campbell School House
1910 Rail Yard
New school 1922
Today Campbell is home to Campbell-Tintah Public Elemantry School. Three Churches, a number of small business, and the Elevator is operated by Wheaton Dumont Coop.
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Sources: https://www.campbell.k12.mn.us/domain/78, http://www.lakesnwoods.com/Campbell.ht
Photos: Minnesota Historical Society and Lakes n woods