Elizabeth May [1811-1891]
By Ron Bebee, Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Robert Montgomery Campbell tombstone has been repaired and reset at Mount Pleasant Cemetery near Potter, Kansas. R.M. Campbell was born March 10, 1821 and died November 18, 1879. He was buried near two miles from where he, his mother Sarah, and brother Addison Carrick each homesteaded in southern Atchison County in 1856-1858. They were some of the earliest settlers in Kansas and Mount Pleasant, along the Old Military Road which extended from Fort Leavenworth (some ten miles south) to the western frontier.
The tombstone was located by Kendall Campbell of Garfield County Oklahoma in the fall of 2001. Mt. Pleasant cemetery is a private, largely unmaintained one, some 200 yards west of Rawlings Road (west of the water tower) about two miles north of Potter and some six miles south of Atchison. The stones were found in an overgrown area on the north edge of the cemetery where some 40 other tombstones can be located.
Lana and I (Ron Bebee) arrived Sunday afternoon October 24th and immediately cleared the area of some cedar trees and brush that had overgrown the base of the large tree where the three piece tombstone had been found in 2001. There was a small reunion of the Campbell clan. Juanita Campbell (wife of Richard Campbell, son of George, grandson of Elliott Campbell son of R.M.)) and her two daughters, Patty (Wichita) and Susan States (Hennessey, OK) who had spent the weekend in Kansas City. Ron Bebee is the son of Doris (Campbell) Bebee whose father was George Campbell, oldest son of Elliott Campbell, oldest son of R.M. Lana (Bishop) Bebee is great-granddaughter of Samuel C. Campbell, fourth son of R. M. Campbell.
That afternoon I dug a foundation of gravel and concrete and set a pre-cast base slab that I had brought from Tulsa. I then mortared the sandstone base stone (approximately 16x16x8). The next morning we took the marble base and post to Byrd Monument in Atchison and Josh (Byrd?) drilled the base and post for a brass anchor rod. Josh indicated the shop there is over a hundred years old and could have been where the stone was carved. Later I found that the probate records indicated it was furnished by E.P. Greene who made the tombstone and charged $23.00 for his work. Josh indicated it would cost $600-700 today. Records indicate the monument company waited four years before they were paid.
Back at the cemetery, after epoxying the anchor rod to the post and setting the 12x12x6 marble base, we cleaned and epoxied the post to the base, then patched the broken post together.
I would like to see a brass plaque added to commemorate the pioneer descendents of R.M. Campbell who left Kansas for Oklahoma Territory. R.M. had 8 sons who lived to adulthood, five of which settled in the Cherokee Strip. One daughter Carrie also settled in Garfield County, Oklahoma. Robert Montgomery Campbells wife Rachel (Hill) survived to follow her sons to Oklahoma Territory where she died in 1926. She was buried near Goltry, Oklahoma.