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The Campbell Cemetery is located in Randolph County on the north side of the Spring River near Imboden (Lawrence County). It is the only surviving historic resource that is associated with Lawrence County’s first county judge, James Campbell. While it is not known exactly when the cemetery was established, it is believed to have existed by around 1835.
Lawrence County, the second of five counties created out of land that would become the Arkansas Territory in 1819, was established in 1815. At the time, the area was part of the Missouri Territory. While the offices of clerk, sheriff, and coroner were created in 1819, the office of county judge was not created until 1829. By that time, the county government had been moved from Davidsonville to the southern edge of the county at the now extinct town of Jackson. James Campbell, an early settler to the area, was selected as the first county judge in 1829 and occupied the office until 1832. As the county judge, Campbell became an important figure in early northeastern Arkansas.
The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 25, 2006, due in part to it being the burial place of Campbell, who died around 1837. While Campbell’s grave is unmarked, other family members’ graves are identified. Noteworthy vernacular grave markers also contributed to its listing. The cemetery contains four large limestone box tombs with lids carved in the shape of a five-sided coffin. There are also five stone cairns, which are piles of stone on a grave usually associated with Scottish culture. Some graves are simply marked with a chunk of fieldstone.
For additional information:“Campbell Cemetery.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/historic-properties/_search_nomination_popup.aspx?id=2173 (accessed April 10, 2014).
Mike PolstonEncyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture
Last Updated 4/22/2014
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