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Macy Campbell


Suffers stroke in Georgia; dies there Saturday night

Book on cooperative marketing unfinished

Professor Macy Campbell, head of the Department of Rural Education here, and nationally known educator, died last Saturday evening, April 16, 1927, at Macon, Georgia, from a cerebral hemorrhage suffered Friday.  At the time of his stroke he was in attendance at the annual convention of the Georgia State Teachers Association.

Mrs. Campbell reached Macon Sunday and returned immediately with the body.  Mr. Henri Paul, a friend of long-standing, went to Chicago to meet her.

Professor Campbell was born at Pleasanton, Iowa, August 12, 1879, and attended the village school there.  He taught rural schools for three years, was Superintendent of Schools at Alden, Iowa, 1905-1909, and at West Liberty, 1912-1913, following which experience he came to Iowa State Teachers College to become head of the Department of Rural Education.

He graduated at Iowa State Teachers College in 1905, as Master of Didactics; he received his degree of Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa in 1911; and did special work at Iowa State College, Ames, in 1904.

Professor Campbell’s first claim to prominence came through his part in advocating the consolidation of rural schools—a movement only just begun at the time.  He took a leading part in the encouragement of such consolidation projects, and it was through his direct influence that many of the present consolidated schools exist.

During the World War his fame grew.  He was made county chairman of the Liberty Loan Association here and a member of the American Red Cross.  Later he was made head of the state-wide thrift movement in the schools and wrote “Little Lessons in Thrift.”  In 1918 and 1919 he was again active in the United War Work campaigns.

Besides his prominence in war work, he gained considerable renown as an educator.  He was a member of the National Education Association and the Iowa State Teachers Association.  He served on many important committees in both organizations, and was twice president of the latter.

Mr. Campbell was the country’s foremost authority on rural life and problems.  He traveled into all parts of the United States, visiting the farmers as well as the school houses, and making an exhaustive first-hand study of conditions as they are.  “Country Life at the Crossroads” was Mr. Campbell’s most recent publication—only printed this year and already in its second edition—recognized as one of the really important contributions of the times to the cause of rural advancement.

At the time of his death he was working, in collaboration with Ex-Governor Frank O. Lowden, on a book on cooperative marketing.  Of the twenty-two chapters planned, sixteen were completed.

Professor Macy Campbell was absolutely unselfish, devoting his every energy to the business of securing better odds for the school children and adults of the rural communities of the country.  During his school days he made an unusual record as an athlete, especially in walking, a sport then prominent. He earned his way through school by operating a college book store and by summers spent on the farm of Charles E. Hearst, now president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

Professor Eells has been made acting head of the department.  He has been for several years assistant director, and in recent years has practically taken over the work as head, owing to the frequent absences of Professor Campbell.

Professor Campbell leaves a widow and five children:  Lee Loren, 16; Catherine, 13; Dorothy, 10; Malcolm, 7; and Mary Francis, 5.  He had a brother, Lee Campbell, superintendent of a consolidated school in Delaware County, and a sister, Jessie Campbell, a nurse in Plattsburg, New York.

Edited by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, from an article in the College Eye, April 20, 1927, page 1.

Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives 
University of Northern Iowa 
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675 
Telephone: (319)-273-7295
Fax: (319)-273-2913 


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