Contra Costa County












            Few professional men have used their opportunities to better advantage than Dr. Palmerston Cornick Campbell, a practicing physician and surgeon of Point Richmond since November 4, 1901, and known also as the owner of a fruit ranch and of extensive city holdings. Dr. Campbell’s experiences have been varied, and have had their setting not only in California, where he was born in Suisun City, Solano county, May 3, 1868, but under the hot suns of Mexico, and in the frozen solitudes of the Arctic north. His extensive and constantly increasing practice is justified by his thorough knowledge of his calling, his faith in its highest tenets, and by the possession of those attributes which insure popularity, confidence and even affectionate regard.

            Dr. Campbell’s family is one of the earliest to be represented in America. Of distinguished and even noble lineage, he is of the house of Argyle, his immigrating ancestor having been Archibald, second son of the ninth Earl of Argyle. The latter was beheaded in Edinburgh June 30, 1685, upon returning from exile to participate in Monmouth’s uprising against James II. Archibald sailed from English shores in 1667, located in Mears Fork, N. C., and there established the reputation for energy and action which characterized the stormy and warlike annals of his family. Succeeding generations continued to render citizen allegiance to North Carolina, and there Dr. S. D. Campbell, the father of Dr. P. C. Campbell, was born and spent the earlier years of his life. Dr. S. D. Campbell possessed the character and attainments which come from good birth, breeding, careful early training, and encouraging opportunity. After graduating from the medical department of Columbia College, New York City, he engaged in general practice in the south, and because of heroic efforts in behalf of yellow fever sufferers, received a solid silver set from the city of Augusta, Ga., in 1854. He was also presented with a gold medal by the Howard Association of Norfolk, Va., in which city he had settled after removal from North Carolina. During the Civil war he espoused the cause of the Confederacy, was major surgeon in General Lee’s army, and received two wounds while in the service. When peace settled over the land he improved the opportunity to come west, and from then until his death, April 3, 1875, at the age of fifty-one, took infinite delight in the sunny skies and luxuriant vegetation of the Pacific slope. Dr. Campbell was a thorough student of his profession and current events, and unquestionably had the finest library in Solano county. He was an active Democrat at periods during his life, often served as county physician, and otherwise served the political interests of his home neighborhood. As a member of the Episcopal Church he enjoyed honor as its senior warden for several years and he always made it a practice to contribute generously toward it support. Dr. Campbell married after coming to the west, in Suisun, in 1867, to Juliet A. Turner, who bore him two sons, the younger of whom, William Robert Lee, is a resident of San Francisco. Mrs. Campbell’s father, William H. Turner, came to California in 1849, and after crossing the plains engaged in mining with sufficient success to justify him in returning east for his family, which he did in 1851. For years he was a well-to-do farmer of Suisun valley, and died there in 1886 at the age of seventy-one years.

            Palmerston C. Campbell was graduated form the Suisun high school at the age of sixteen. He then studied at Napa College for two years, and in 1887 entered the medical department of the University of California, where he remained for two years. In 1889 he went to St. Joseph, Mo., and entered the Northwestern Medical College, from which he graduated February 20, 1890. For a year he was an interne in the Buchanan County hospital in Missouri, immediately afterward returning to California, and entering upon the practice of his profession in San Francisco. Locating in Elk Grove, Cal., in 1893, he practiced there until 1897, and July 28 of that year sailed on the steamer Excelsior for the Klondike, the first ship to make the trip after the discovery of gold. He combined mining with the practice of medicine, and experienced all the delights of hunting big game, such as caribou, moose, bear and deer, and also shot ducks and fished in the beautiful streams of that frozen land. He assisted in laying out the site of Rampart City, on the Yukon river, and had already reached Nome before the discovery of gold at that point. He chanced to be at Skagway during the epidemic of spinal meningitis, and later cared for patients suffering from the same disease at Wrangel, Alaska. During the summer of 1899 he returned to California and engaged in practice in Vacaville until 1901, in which year he located in Point Richmond, where he has since practiced and speculated in real estate, and where he owns, beside the hall of the Native Sons of the Golden West, many town lots. He also owns a fruit ranch of fifty acres adjoining Vacaville.

            Dr. Campbell is a member of the Contra Costa County Medical Society, the California State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. He is active in Republican politics, and is fraternally extensively connected, being a member of McKinley Lodge, F. & A. M.; Vacaville Chapter No. 81, R. A. M. and Vacaville Commandery No. 38, K. T.; of Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of San Francisco, and the Independent Order of Foresters. He is also a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West. An interesting fact connected with the marriage of Dr. Campbell is that the ceremony which united him to Mary E. Hatch was performed in the same room in which occurred the marriage of his father in 1867. Mrs. Campbell was born at Ellsworth, Nye county, Nevada, and is the mother of three children, Helen, Duncan and Juliet. Dr. Campbell has established and maintained a high professional standard for Point Richmond, and besides is considered one of the most enterprising, cultured and progressive citizens of Contra Costa county.




Transcribed by: Cecelia M. Setty.

­­­­Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 643-644. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2015  Cecelia M. Setty.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library