JAMES CAMPBELL was born in Scotland in 1719 and emigrated to "The Colonies" as a
young man. He took as his profession the dangerous vocation of overland pack
merchant. He would routinely travel across the Allegheny Mountains through
Indian Territory delivering badly needed supplies and news to settlers in the frontier. James first settled in Chartiers Township, Washington County,
Pennsylvania on three vast tracts of land, two of which were named Saint James, and James' Fancy. The wilderness drew James and his family west into the Kings
Creek area where he marked out his "tomahawk" claims and set out improving his
land. It was during this claiming process that James and his wife Patience lost
their oldest son John. While being pursued by Indians, John was drowned in
Harmon's Creek, and another son James Jr.narrowly escaped being captured.
Despite the hardships, James and Patience settled and began farming. He built a
mill on Kings Creek, (then called Indian Creek) and would guard the mill at
night to ward off any Indians that might be interested in burning the mill.
James eventually acquired many large tracts of land and owned several thousand
acres of present day Weirton, as neighboring settlers moved on, or became
uncomfortable with Indian activity and sold their land. James Campbell was an
avid Presbyterian and family man and so set aside five acres of his land for
the building of a church and cemetery, and donated a large sum of money for the
establishment of a minister and congregation. In 1790 the new church petitioned
the Redstone Presbytery for a preacher, and in November of that year the first
sermon was taught at Three Springs Presbyterian Church by the Rev. John Brice.
James was a successful farmer and entrepreneur and owned the land on which the
Peter Tarr Furnace was built. James and Patience raised six children and brought
life to many descendants, of which some are still occupying some of the original
Campbell land. James Campbell died in 1805 and was buried at his beloved Three
Springs Presbyterian Church. There is a Historical Marker in Weirton showing
the location of the original Three Springs Church, and a dedication to James for
his generosity. There is also a Historical Marker naming James as the owner of
the land at the Peter Tarr Furnace.
Above information provided by
Dale G. Patterson