Campbell - Maurice+ - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

Go to content

Campbell - Maurice+

Source: Crawfordsivlle Star, June 11, 1872 p 3

Maurice Campbell, better known as Cheap John, was the son of Alexander Campbell and was born in the north of Ireland in county Donegal, Aug 22, 1841.  Until he was 17 he spent his time in the routine duties of farm life; but his tastes and inclinations were in a different channel and he early conceived the idea of emigrating to America, where he could carry into effect his plans for trading and trafficking with the people.  But the great obstacle in his way was the want of the means to make the voyage.  The labor he performed on the farm was due his father, and even if he had received wages the amount would have been small and the time wouldl have lengthened into years ere he could have earned a sufficient amount to meet the necessary expenses.  He determined upon a much shorter method, that of borrowing the money from his father.  Thinking it unnecessary to speak to him about it, he went to his father's trunk on the afternoon of Sunday, August 27, 1858 and took out $50 and without any formal ceremony of saying the farewell word to father or mother he started and walked to Donegal, the county seat of his native county, some 60 miles distant.  At Donegal he took a jaunting car, a conveyance something similar to our livery here for Londonberry, 40 miles father.  The ride cost him two shillings or 50 cents.  At Londonberry he sailed across the channel to Liverpool.  On the 4th of September he set sail from Liverpool for the US and landed in New York on the 1st day of October.  $20.of the 50 were now gone.   He left New York for Wheeling, VA where he had a brother.  After spending a few days with him in visiting he was provided by his brother with a small pack of table linen and notions. He came over into Ohio and commenced his pilgrimage of traveling from house to house to dispose of his merchandise.  He was quite successful and by Christmas he was enabled to repay the money he had "borrowed" from his father and $25 as interest.  He traveled in that state till the Fall of '59 when he came father West and spent the fall and winter in supplying the women of Illinois with his linens.  In August 1860 he came to Crawfordsville since which time he has been a citizen of Montgomery County,  He commenced the spectacle trade the first year he was here in a small way, selling only the cheap quality.  His trade rapidly grew and with it he increased his stock both in size and quality until he has succeeded in introducing into the county the best spectacles that are now made - the celebrated glasses manufactured by George Staples.  This branch of his business he makes a specialty.  "Cheap John" as he is familiarly called is known to every man, woman and child in Montgomery County.  By his never failing fund of good humor, his social qualities of head and heart and his fair dealing in business, he has succeeded in building up a trade that many business men with more pretensions might envy. -- Journal - typed by kbz
Back to content