The present popular and efficient judge of the county court of Edwards county, was born in the neighboring county of Wayne, February 20th, 1837. His father, Alexander Campbell, was a native of Kentucky, whilst his grandfather, also Alexander by name, came from county Tyrone, Ireland. His mother, whose maiden name was Amelia Bird, was also of Kentucky nativity. In a family of nine children Joseph M. was the fourth in order of birth. Of the number six are yet living, five of whom are settled around the parental home in Wayne county, where his people first located in 1817. The subject of this biography obtained a fair common school education, and when twenty years of age entered the school-room as teacher. During the war for the Union he enlisted in Company G 18th Regiment Illinois Volunteers, of which he was made Orderly Sergeant, and in the fall of 1861, was promoted to Lieutenant, after a year's service he resigned and returned home. In 1864, he entered the law office of W. H. Robinson, of Fairfield, as a student of law and in 1865, was admitted to practice. The following year in the month of November he came to Albion to prosecute his profession. Here he soon acquired a fine practice, and what was of greater value, the esteem of his fellow-citizens as being a man of unquestioned integrity of character. Although, politically a Democrat, in a county recognized as one of the Republican strongholds he was because of his recognized fitness for discharging the duties of the office elected judge of the county court in 1873, a position he has since held. In the discharge of his official duties his work is marked by judicial ability and fairness in all dealings. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, in the workings of which order he takes great interest. On the 17th of December, 1878, he was united in marriage to Annabelle Thompson, daughter of Dr. Francis Burdette Thompson, one of the pioneer physicians of the county.

Extracted 12 Aug 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 A Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence, and Wabash Counties, Illinois, page 226.

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