Running north and south along the eastern edge of the University of Arizona, Campbell Avenue was named in honor of a judge whose influence reached from a local to a national stage.

John H. Campbell was born in Tuscola, Ill., on Sept. 19, 1868. He attended schools there until he was 20 years old.

In 1887, he went to Washington, D.C., where he became a clerk in the U.S. Department of Treasury. He studied law at Columbia University and earned his master of laws degree in 1891. (He also earned a bachelor's degree from Columbia.)

The following year he was admitted to the bar of the District of Columbia, where he rose to prominence in the legal profession. In 1894, he was reassigned to the law department of the Department of Justice.

Campbell held that post until 1901, when he arrived in Tucson. He formed a partnership with Roscoe Dale, and the two worked together until Campbell was appointed assistant U.S. attorney for the Arizona Territory. When his time in office had ended, he formed a partnership with former Supreme Court Justice Frederick S. Nave of the law firm Nave & Campbell, and once again opened an office in Tucson.

In 1905 he was chosen associate justice of the Supreme Court of Arizona, and he served in that role until 1912 with a distinguished record. He was one of the final associate justices in Arizona's territorial government.

Campbell married Estelle Freet of Pennsylvania on April 15, 1890. She endured tuberculosis for most of their 20-year marriage and died in 1910. This left three biological children - William, Helen and Ruth - and an adopted son, Frederic G. Nave.

Judge Campbell went on to marry Elise Gill in 1916, and she died in Tucson in 1958.

Campbell was a Republican and was a member of the Arizona Board of Regents. He resigned in 1927 in a dispute over the firing of Cloyd Heck Marvin as university president.

He died on June 10, 1928, in Loma Linda, Calif.

Editor's note

Each week the Star tells the stories behind Tucson street names. If you have streets to suggest or stories to share, contact writer David Leighton at

Special thanks to Kiley McCarthy and Ashley Deans. Sources: "Plaza of the Pioneers," Tucson Museum of Art, 1982 Jo Conners, "Who's Who in Arizona," Arizona Daily Star Press, 1913 James H. McClintock, "Arizona Prehistoric - Aboriginal Pioneer Modern. The Nation's Youngest Commonwealth," SJ Clarke Publishing, 1916. "Helen Campbell Land, museum curator, dies at 92," Arizona Daily Star, Oct. 18, 1987