WOU: T. F. Campbell - Presidential Biographies - WOU Library and Media Services

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Thomas Franklin Campbell

1869 - 1882

T.F. Campbell grew up on the plantations in the Deep South, in both Mississippi and Louisiana. Born in Rankin County, Mississippi in 1822, he began teaching at local schools in the area until he left home to fight in the Mexican War at the age of 25. After returning from the Mexican War, he moved to West Virginia and enrolled at Bethany College. T.F. focused on classical studies until he graduated in 1852 and married a fellow student, Jane Eliza Campbell.

In 1863, the young Campbell family moved to Montana where T.F. was appointed the Territorial Superintendent of Schools by the Governor of Montana. In Montana, he remained busy with his new position and involvement in the church. Another move came for the Campbell family in 1869 to Monmouth, Oregon, where Campbell was offered the position of president of Christian College. While in Monmouth T.F. worked hard to raise money to put into the small college. He was so successful in his fundraising that he was able to build what is known today as Campbell Hall. Campbell was known as a powerful and persuasive speaker when it came to finding money for the college. In 1870, he created the (Pacific) Christian Messenger, which was a newsletter linking the Christian community to the college by providing an opportunity for students to learn about the printing press and the daily operations of running a paper.

His resignation from Christian College came upon the death of his wife in 1881. After resigning, T.F. left Monmouth, Oregon for three years and traveled the U.S. as a preacher. In 1884 he returned to Monmouth and married Mary Stump in 1885. The two of them traveled throughout the U.S. and Oregon preaching and teaching until his death in 1893. His tombstone is in the Fircrest Cemetery near Monmouth.


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