JAMES E. CAMPBELL, the thirty-eighth governor of Ohio, was born in Middletown, Ohio on July 7, 1843. His education was attained through private tutoring, and at Miami University in Ohio, where he studied law. During the Civil War, he enlisted in the Union Army, and later was discharged due to poor health. After his military service, he established his legal career in Hamilton, Ohio. Campbell first entered politics as the prosecuting attorney of Butler County, a position he won election to in 1875 and 1877. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1884 to 1889. Campbell next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1889 general election. During his tenure, the Australian ballot system was initiated; a tax was secured that supported the State University; and labor laws were strengthened. Campbell left office after running unsuccessfully for reelection. He also was defeated in his 1895 gubernatorial reelection bid. He later served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1892, 1920, and 1924. In his last position, he served on a commission to codify state laws, a post he held from 1908 to 1911. Governor James E. Campbell passed away on December 18, 1924, and was buried in the Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.