To interpret the law properly in all its complexities and unerringly to apply its provisions to establish human rights and defeat injustice demands such a comprehensive knowledge not only of books but of life itself that he who reaches a high plane in this profession must command more than negative consideration in the minds of his fellowmen. It is told both in history and romance that a kind of law is upheld among savages, but when it is explained it resolves itself into the old axiom that “might makes right,” and in modern, civilized life it becomes the task of the exponent of the law to overcome this all too-prevalent idea. Hence, on a solid educational foundation must be built up a thorough knowledge of what the law means to the present-day man and how it can be applied to circumvent evil, protect the helpless and bring happiness and safety to the deserving. Among the members of the Florida bench, one who has always interpreted the law in a just, able and dignified manner, whether as a private practitioner or as a member of the bench, is Hon. Angus G. Campbell, judge of the First Judicial Circuit of Florida, of DeFuniak Springs, Walton County.
Judge Campbell was born November 19, 1874, at Eucheeanna, Walton County, Florida, and is a son of Daniel and Emma (Bowers) Campbell. The Campbell family, as the name would indicate, is of Scotch origin, having been for many years residents of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, whence came Daniel Campbell, the great-grandfather of Judge Campbell. His son, the grandfather of the judge, was Angus Campbell, of Carolina, who married Katherine Morrison. The maternal grandparents of Judge Campbell were Giles and Christian (McKinnon) Bowers. Daniel Campbell, the father of Judge Campbell, was born in Florida and educated for the profession of law, in which he reached a place of eminence. For many years he followed his vocation with much success at the old county seat, and was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1885, and a member of the State Legislature in the sessions of 1887 and 1903. During the ’70s he served as judge of the County Court of Walton County, and was one of the most influential citizens of his community for many years. He still makes his home in Walton County, and is highly respected for his many sterling traits of character. During the war between the states he served as a member of a Florida regiment of volunteer infantry in the Confederate service, and from the early age of seventeen, when he enlisted, fought bravely during three years of the great struggle. At one time he was captured by the enemy and confined in prison at Columbus, Ohio, but his exchange was subsequently effected.
Angus G. Campbell attended the public schools of Walton County, following which he pursued a course at the Florida State Normal School, DeFuniak Springs, from which he was graduated in 1891. He then began teaching school and studying law in his spare time in his father’s office, and about five years later was admitted to the state bar after an examination, in October, 1897. At that time he went to Milton. Florida, beginning practice at that point in January, 1898, and continued until August, 1904, when he returned to DeFuniak Springs. Here he joined his father in the general practice of law, and in 1908 was elected mayor of the thriving little county seat, a post which he held until July, 1909. From 1909 to 1913 he served in the capacity of county solicitor, and in 1914 again engaged in general practice. He was not allowed long to remain out of the public view, however, as in April, 1915, he was appointed to succeed Judge Wolf as judge of the First Judicial Circuit, comprising Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties. He was reappointed in 1917 for a six-year term and has every reason to believe that he will be again appointed in 1923. On the bench he has presided with ability, firmness and fairness. At the bar, while insisting his own rights, he respected those of others in pleading his cases depending on clearness of statement and force of argument.
In December, 1899, Judge Campbell was united in marriage at DeFuniak Springs with Miss Katherine McKinnon, daughter of John L. and Mary (Gillis) McKinnon, both natives of Florida, the former of whom is now deceased. Mr. McKinnon was an agriculturist who was also engaged in the lumber and sawmill business, and was a Confederate veteran of the war between the states, in which he was wounded and taken Prisoner. He was also the author of a history of Walton County. Three children have been born to Judge and Mrs. Campbell: Carrimae, Marry Love and Angus G., Jr. They are members of the Presbyterian Church. He is a Knight Templar Mason and an Odd Fellow.
Cutler, H. G., ed. History of Florida: Past and Present, Volume III. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1923, pp. 48-49.
Burial: Magnolia Cemetery, DeFuniak Springs