Campbell Court

The clan

Clan tartan

Campbell Court is named for Stewart Campbell, who was born in Perthshire, Scotland, and was one of the chief supporters of John J. E. Linton (see Linton Avenue) in the formation of the County of Perth. When Linton departed for Montreal in 1849 as a one-man delegation to get the necessary legislation passed, the names being considered for the new county were Bannockburn, Monaghan and Peel.

The name Perth was substituted at the last minute in Montreal, and it may have had something to do with Linton's friend and loyal fellow worker, Stewart Campbell, being a native of the Scottish county of Perthshire. There is no doubt that Campbell helped create the county of which he became the first clerk, in 1853. He remained at that post for 25 years, except for the one year he was voted out of office.

An old oil painting of Stewart Campbell was discovered in the basement of the Perth County Courthouse in 1960 and now hangs in a new frame on a courthouse wall. The painting shows a tartan plaid draped over Campbell's shoulder. He was one of a small group of men who organized the campaign to separate from Huron and hosted a fundraising rally on his farm in 1847.

The Campbell farm was near the northern edge of Stratford in Ellice Township, not far from where Campbell Court is today. Most of that farm is now occupied by the John Gaffney Construction Co. Ltd. (see Queen Street), headquartered on west side of Highway 19.

Stewart Campbell taught school in his native Perthshire and later became superintendent of a brewery. He emigrated to Canada at the age of 38 and came to the Stratford area where some of his Perthshire friends had settled earlier. He was clerk of the Township of Ellice in 1846 and its treasurer in 1850. He was appointed clerk of the provisional county council in 1851 and 1852. His neatly-kept minute book records the narrow 5-4 vote by which a nine- member body decided to go ahead with the creation of Perth. When Perth County council held its first meeting in 1853, it chose Campbell as its first county clerk. In 1854, he was also clerk of the newly created Village of Stratford and his expertise helped get the village government started. He continued as county clerk until his death in 1878.

There are more than three dozen families with the name Campbell listed in the 2022-23 Stratford telephone directory. The people and their proud Scottish ancestors have been honoured by the naming of Campbell Court. With notes from Stanford Dingman