John C. Campbell bigraphy, stories - Educators

John C. Campbell : biography

1867 - 1919

John C. Campbell (born in La Porte, Indiana, on 14 September 1867; died in Brasstown, North Carolina, 1919) was an American educator and reformer noted for his survey of social conditions in the southern Appalachian region of the United States during the early 1900s. He served a term as president of Piedmont College from 1904-1907.


He was born to Gavin and Anna Barbara Campbell, and grew up in Steven's Point, Wisconsin. He graduated from Williams College in 1892 and received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Andover Theological Seminary in 1895.

He married Grace H. Buckingham who died in 1905. He later married Olive Arnold Dame of West Medford, Massachusetts, in 1907. After Campbell's death in 1919, his wife, Olive Dame Campbell, established a folk school. In 1925, the John C. Campbell Folk School was founded in Brasstown, North Carolina.

Campbell studied education and theology in New England before traveling to the Southern United States. There he outfitted a wagon to serve as a mobile house as he interviewed working people, particularly small farmers.

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