Our Campbell Connections

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Benoni Campbell History Part I
By Robert Goodwin August 21, 2006 at 01:10:40
In reply to: Re: Looking for stories about BENONI died Winters Quarters, NE 1850
Daniel Langevin 8/13/06
Daniel and Lisa:
I have been doing research on the Campbell family, Benoni, his brothers and their families, and their travels from the forests of New York and Pennsylvania, west to Utah. From some of my research, here is a little more information on Benoni Campbell and his family’s trek west:

Benoni was born 13 Aug 1804, in Deer Park, Orange County, NY shortly before his parents Jonathan and Phebe Button Campbell moved to what later became Ridgebury, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. At the time of their move, the area was a wilderness, and Jonathan Campbell’s family was part of the first group of settlers that settled along Bentley Creek. The area of Ridgebury at the time was part of Smithfield, Lycoming County, PA. Later when Bradford County was formed, in 1812, it became part of Wells Township. It did not become Ridgebury Township until after Jonathan Campbell moved in 1819.

Jonathan Campbell and Phebe Button lived in Pennsylvania, along Bentley Creek until around 1818 or 1819 when they moved their family to Hector, Tompkins County, New York. It is not known exactly why they moved, but it was around this time that the original owners (the ones that had been granted the land by the State) of the land in Ridgebury started proceedings to occupy and resale their land. Since Jonathan Campbell and his family had “squatted” on this land, it is possible that they were evicted when the land was sold out from under them. Benoni and his father Jonathan never returned to live in Ridgebury after that, even though much of the rest of their family either stayed or moved back later.

In Hector, New York, one of their neighbors was Solomon Leonard. Benoni was attracted to one of his daughters, Mary, whom he married in 1821. After his marriage, Benoni bought a farm in Hornby, Steuben Co., New York (at the time Painted Post, Steuben Co.), along the border with Catlin, Tioga Co. (Later Chemung Co.), New York. Benoni and his family as far as I can ascertain lived on this farm until they moved in 1836. While living in Hornby, Benoni’s brother, Joel Campbell purchased a farm next to Benoni’s, across the border in Catlin, Tioga County. These farms were along Post Creek in an area that is now called Chambers.

The two brothers, along with their father Jonathan Campbell, Jonathan’s younger children (Matilda, Jonathan, William) who were not yet married, and Benoni’s older brother Benajah (Benajiah) Campbell, and others of the family lived in this area until 1836.

It was while living here that most of the Campbells joined the LDS Church. The story is told that in 1832 Brigham Young, as a newly converted Mormon, along with a companion, on a missionary trip through Catlin and Hornby, stopped at the house of Benajah Campbell. Benajah let them in. In the course of the visit, Benajah told Brigham that he had a son with a lame leg, some sort of a festering wound that would not heal. Brigham Young and his companion blessed the child whose leg quickly healed. Apparently this incident led eventually to the conversion of the entire family. (Note: some LDS sources place the baptism of Benajah Campbell as Nov. 1830, no contemporary source has been found for this though).Benoni and his family were baptized around 1832 or 1833. According to the diaries and journals of several early missionaries there was a branch of some size in the area that was known as either the Catlin or Hornby branch. (Note: no branch with these names have been recorded in Church history before the 1840’s, but it is known that several members of the Church lived in the area during the mid 1830s including Brigham Young’s sister Nancy Kent and her family. These journals definitely mention the “Church at Catlin”).

In 1835/1836 a big push was made by missionaries in New York and elsewhere to gather to Kirtland. As a result, most of the Campbell families (children of Jonathan and Phebe) living in the Catlin/Hornby area pulled up roots and moved. Some like Jonathan and Benajah Campbell moved back to Ridgebury, where Benoni’s sisters were still living. The rest, including Benoni, his brothers Joel and William, and their parents, Jonathan and Phebe Campbell moved to Ohio. Joel sold his farm in Catln and moved immediately to Harrisville, Medina County Ohio, where several PA/NY neighbors were living. Benoni, William, and parents Jonathan and Phebe all moved to the vicinity of Kirtland. In 1837 Benoni appears on the Chattle (not cattle) tax lists for Kirtland Township. (Note: Benoni is the only one of the family that appears on these lists, though there is a “Jonathan Button” listed next to Benoni. Could this actually be Jonathan Campbell? Jonathan’s wife’s maiden name was Button)

While in Kirtland, Benoni’s son Joseph Hyrum Campbell was born. In Joseph Hyrum’s life story it is told that he was blessed as a baby by Joseph Smith Sr. who gave him the name Joseph Hyrum after his two sons – Joseph and Hyrum. Joseph Hyrum Campbell’s life sketch also claims that Benoni worked on the Kirtland Temple. If this was the case, then Benoni would have had to been in Kirtland before March 27, 1836, the day the Temple was dedicated. 1837/8 was a bad time for the Saints in Kirtland, and most of the faithful saints were forced to move from the area during 1838. Benoni, Jonathan Sr. and William were apparently among these. Even though their names are not found as part of“Kirtland Camp,” the largest group to leave Kirtland for Missouri in July of 1838, it is apparent that they did. Benoni moved close to Joel Campbell in Medina County, eventually buying a farm next to his brother’s. Again Joel and Benoni lived in separate townships, but had adjoining farms, Benoni in Homer Twp., and Joel in Harrisville. William Campbell moving on, ended up staying in Centreville, Wayne County, Indiana, which was along the route that the Saints took when fleeing Kirtland for Far West Missouri.

Jonathan and Phebe Campbell, Benoni’s parents must have lived either near William, or Benoni and Joel. Phebe died in either 1841 or 1847 in a town called Eaton. Most researchers have assumed that this was in Madison County, New York as this is the only Eaton in New York. But there are two towns by the name of Eaton in Ohio. One is a township in Lorain County, just north of Medina County, the other, a rather sizable town about 20 miles East of Centreville, Indiana. It is possible that she died at either of these places rather than in New York. Both are close to where family members lived.

Benoni, Joel, and William stayed on their farms in Ohio and Indiana until they gathered with the Saints at Nauvoo, Illinois during the winter and spring of 1845/46. There was apparently a small branch in Homer where Benoni lived, as conference minutes from the time period mention the branch in Homer. Bro. Campbell (either Joel or Benoni) was listed as representing the branch in Homer.

Meanwhile, back in Pennsylvania and New York, in 1838, Jonathan Campbell, Ezekiel Campbell, John Campbell, Benoni’s only remaining brothers who had not joined the Church, along with several of Benoni’s sisters Ruth, Matilda, and Susannah, along with their families were converted and baptized by Benajah Campbell.During this time period from 1838 to 1845 or so the area in the Southwest portion of Ridgebury Twp. became known as Mormon Hill. It is reported locally that there was there was a Mormon settlement there along the banks of “Mormon Lake” (Note: both places are still named Mormon Hill and Mormon Lake) complete with some sort of meeting house (probably the school house) and a cemetery.In 1842 or 1844, Jonathan Campbell Jr. moved with his wife and children to Nauvoo, Illinois. Jonathan rented a quarter lot in the very southern portion of Nauvoo, just inside the city limits. This house and lot perhaps became the headquarters for the Campbell family as they moved to Nauvoo during the winter of 1845/46. While living there Jonathan is reported to have worked on the Nauvoo temple (Note: the temple building records record this) and to have served as a sometimes bodyguard to Joseph Smith (Note: most men were bodyguards to Joseph Smith at some time). One story places Jonathan in Carthage at the time Joseph Smith was murdered by the Mob. (Note: this is not confirmed – just hearsay).

In the late fall of 1845 as Mob violence was increasing, Brigham Young issued a call for all of the Saints to gather to Nauvoo to prepare for the evacuation of the Saints from Nauvoo and their settlement somewhere in the West. In heed to this call, Benoni and Joel left immediately for Nauvoo, Benoni had already sold his property in Medina County in 1844, but Joel was unable to sell his before they left. The sale of his property was not finalized until January of 1846 after they had arrived in Nauvoo. William did not leave for Nauvoo until the Spring of 1846.

Benoni Campbell’s two oldest children Elizabeth, who had married Charles R. Atkins (Note: not Levi Murdock as some have it), and Mathew Campbell did not move west with their father. Both stayed behind in Ohio. Elizabeth stayed in Homer where she raised her family, while Matthew after his marriage to Jane Dierdorff eventually moved to Jasper County Missouri. Both apparently eventually left the Church.

In Pennsylvania, John Campbell, along with much of his family also left for Nauvoo. The others still in Pennsylvania - Benajah, Ezekiel, Ruth, Matilda, and Susannah,all stayed behind moving first to a place called Nauvoo, Pennsylvania (Note: this is only speculated) and then further west to Western Pennsylvania. Ezekiel moved in the 1850’s to Wisconsin, Susannah and family moved to Michigan, while Ruth and Matilda stayed in Pennsylvania. Benajah, the oldest of Jonathan and Phebe Campbell’s living children, the first to join the Church, was the last to make it to Utah. He went West in the 1860s shortly before his death in 1866.

Some of the Campbells were among the first to leave Nauvoo in February of 1846. Jonathan Campbell is reported to have helped set up the Sugar Creek Camp in February (Note: Maybe). John Campbell, Benoni’s 4th son, a lad of 17 hired on as a teamster or wagon driver for Lorenzo Dow Young (brother to Brigham Young). John stayed in Lorenzo Dow Young’s employ driving one of Young’s two wagons all across Iowa until after the Saints reached the Missouri River.

Benoni and Joel were soon to follow. It is not know exactly what day they left Nauvoo and crossed the river, but the Campbells, all three families, Benoni’s, Joel’s, and Jonathan’s all seem to have been part of the main group of wagons, or Brigham Young’s group, following right behind the advance parties. Upon reaching Mt. Pisgah they helped build the temporary settlement living the area called the “North Field.” On May 31st , the day before the departure of the main group to go further west, Benoni, Joel, Jonathan, and Solomon Campbell were listed among those who were to stay to help improve and further build up the Mt. Pisgah settlement.

While staying in Mt. Pisgah, two important events happened. First, Captain James Allen arrived at Mt. Pisgah around the end of June announcing that he was recruiting men to fight in the Mexican War. This created quite a stir among the Saints with many voicing anti-American sentiments. But when Brigham Young came back to Mt. Pisgah from Council Bluffs announcing that the Church was going to support the government and raise a 500 man battalion to help with the war, several young men traveled west to join with those already enlisting at Council Bluffs. Two of the Campbell family members volunteered to go. Jonathan Campbell, Benoni’s younger brother and Samuel Campbell Benoni’s 19 year old third son. Whether Jonathan and Samuel Campbell were in Mt. Pisgah or in Council Bluffs at the time has been debated, but most of the family were in Mt. Pisgah at the time. Neither were listed among the Mt. Pisgah recruits, though not all of those recruited in Mt. Pisgah were recorded. Both Samuel and Jonathan Campbell enlisted in Company E, the last company to be filled up, on the 14th of July, the official enlistment date. It is possible that Samuel and Jonathan arrived at the last minute for the march after a family debate as to who should serve. This left Benoni with only Solomon age 21 to help with the wagons and the younger children. There was also the matter of Jonathan’s wife and children. Charity Campbell, Jonathan’s wife was 6 or 7 months pregnant and had four small children to take care of. Brigham Young had promised that the families of Battalion members were to be taken care of by the Church, so Charity and family were taken first to Council Bluffs, then, placed under the care of a Bishop in Winter Quarters once it was established.

The rest of the family were not able to move on because of sickness, which struck those in Mt, Pisgah. Among those that came down ill was Benoni’s brother, Joel Campbell. After a short illness, Joel died on 7 Aug 1846. This left Benoni in charge of not only his family, but also Joel’s large family, and Charity Campbell. The family group made its way to Council Bluffs where Charity was placed in care of the Church. The family first settled in the Macedonia area, one of the many temporary settlements of the Saints established in near Council Bluffs. Almost half of the Saints settled on the east side of the Missouri rather than crossing to Winter Quarters. Later in the fall, after most of the Saints had then gathered to the Council Bluffs/Winter Quarters area, Brigham Young made the suggestion that those who could move down river to the Counties of upper Missouri to find work. In this way they could obtain supplies for the coming migration the next year. Benoni and his family were one of these, and they moved downriver to the area of Oregon, Holt County, Missouri. This was the furthest south settlement of the Saints along the Missouri. Here along with several other families Benoni and his family stayed until 1850 when they were able to make preparations to move to Utah.

Back in Nauvoo, John Campbell, Benoni’s older brother apparently did not have the means to leave Nauvoo with the general exodus and stayed behind, possibly along with his father Jonathan Campbell Sr. In the Spring of 1846, William Campbell, who had been living in Centreville, Wayne County, Indiana, left for Nauvoo and the West. William arrived in Nauvoo in early May. They stayed in Nauvoo, possibly with John and Jonathan Sr. for about 6 weeks, where Maria, Williams wife gave birth to their 7th child before moving on in mid June to cross Iowa and catch up with the Saints. William crossed Iowa quickly and arrived at Council Bluffs on July 4th, 1846. After his arrival in Council Bluffs, William joined Benoni in his move to Holt County, Missouri.

John Campbell and his family on the other hand were still unable to leave Nauvoo. As September approached, mob violence increased. Finally in mid September an all out battle commenced as the mob tried to force out the remaining Mormons from Nauvoo. After two days of battle where several Mormons and mob members were killed, a treaty was signed which stipulated that the remaining Mormons had to leave within the week. Two of John’s sons, Jared and Clark participated in the battle defending Nauvoo. Clark ended up as one of the wounded, being shot in the foot.

John gathered his family which consisted at this time of himself, his sons Jared and Clark (wounded) and his daughters Abigail with her daughter Melissa, and Phebe with her husband Isaiah Campbell, and possibly Jonathan Campbell Sr., and fled across the river to Montrose, Iowa. They encamped with the other refugees on the bank of the river in what became known as the “Poor Camp.” John and his children were eventually able to make their way up-river to Burlington, Iowa where they were able to find employment. A small branch of the Church consisting of other refugees from Nauvoo was established, and the family was able to live rather comfortably until 1850, when John was able to continue west. Isaiah Campbell, was possibly the presiding elder in Burlington for a time in Burlington as he preformed several marriages while the family lived there. 
Campbell, Benoni (I289)
 
2 It seems unlikely that he was also born in Mamakating. In 1740 there were very few people in this area. Sources? Button, John (I296)
 
3 Location contradicted by 1793 deed; "...the surviving heirs of Samuel Campbell Sen. late of the Town of Montgomery..." Campbell, Samuel Sr. (I1)
 
4 Location contradicted by 1793 deed; "...the surviving heirs of Samuel Campbell Sen. late of the Town of Montgomery..." Campbell, Samuel Sr. (I1)
 
5 The area in which Robert Campbell's farm is found would later become part of Township of South Orange Village in 1869, and eventually Maplewood in 1922. Campbell, Samuel Sr. (I1)
 
6 The area in which Samuel Campbell's farm is found would later become part of Township of South Orange Village in 1869, and eventually Maplewood in 1922. Campbell, Daniel (I5)
 
7 The area in which Samuel Campbell's farm is found would later become part of Township of South Orange Village in 1869, and eventually Maplewood in 1922. Campbell, Mary (I6)
 
8 The area in which Samuel Campbell's farm is found would later become part of Township of South Orange Village in 1869, and eventually Maplewood in 1922. Campbell, Nathaniel (I7)
 
9 The area in which Samuel Campbell's farm is found would later become part of Township of South Orange Village in 1869, and eventually Maplewood in 1922. Campbell, Samuel 2nd (I8)
 
10 The area in which Samuel Campbell's farm is found would later become part of Township of South Orange Village in 1869, and eventually Maplewood in 1922. Campbell, Joel Sr (I9)
 
11 The area in which Samuel Campbell's farm is found would later become part of Township of South Orange Village in 1869, and eventually Maplewood in 1922. Campbell, Jonathan (I10)
 
12 The area in which Samuel Campbell's farm is found would later become part of Township of South Orange Village in 1869, and eventually Maplewood in 1922. Campbell, Levi (I11)
 
13 The area in which Samuel Campbell's farm is found would later become part of Township of South Orange Village in 1869, and eventually Maplewood in 1922. Campbell, Reuben (I12)
 
14 The area in which Samuel Campbell's farm is found would later become part of Township of South Orange Village in 1869, and eventually Maplewood in 1922. Campbell, Nathan (I13)
 
15 The census taker has made an error regarding race. What the extent or nature of the error is exactly would require speculation which I'm reluctant to engage in at this point in time.  Campbell, Carl Anderson (I305)
 
16 This is the location of his marker. It is not known if he is actually buried there. Campbell, Levi (I11)