Tag Archives: Yakima

Tracking My Father

Sighting across Cowiche Canyon, Yakima

This afternoon, as the sun started to dip behind the hills, I laid on my belly and pretended to sight a 22 across Cowiche Canyon. As my father had done. He described going up up the narrow canyon with his big brother and his “running mates” where they had devised a contest. One point for every rock marmot they killed on the far side. I know how politically incorrect that sounds now, but back in the day — the day being 1925 or so — it seemed like good fun. The sport, and the skill that derived from it, had a lot to do with my father surviving World War II. But that’s a story for another time.

This afternoon, I wanted to see the canyon for myself. So I climbed up a hill and laid on my belly — not soft, loose dirt as I’d imagined, but unforgiving black basalt poking up between the sage brush and tawny grass. My father must have been wary of rattle snakes as he settled down and took aim.

This is your country, I thought to myself, the landscape that shaped you.

He would have put the sun at his back, as I did. Across the canyon, a couple of hundred feet away, the sun would have shone a spotlight on his targets.

Maybe he would have glanced at his companions before taking aim. Smirked. He knew he wouldn’t miss.

Editor’s note: Part of Cowiche Canyon is now under a conservancy — no more marmot hunting, but a great resource for the people of Yakima County and beyond.

Cowiche Canyon, Yakima, WA




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Kudos for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer… in 1887

Editorial cartoon credit: washingtonhistoryonline.org

Editorial cartoon credit: washingtonhistoryonline.org

Doing some research for a memoir about my father, who grew up in Yakima, I waded through microfiche of old — very old — newspapers. When Washington was still a territory, women had the vote. It may have won statehood, but women lost… until 1910 when the state constitution was amended to grant voting rights to women. The Yakima Republic ran this editorial piece on February 17, 1887, during one of many unsuccessful suffrage pushes:

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says ‘it has recently been charged with being in league with the devil. It will now probably be charged with being in league with the Democratic party. The first accusation was bad enough, but the second would be unbearable.’ And this, because it had the nerve and independence to express its views upon woman suffrage, as a question of public policy. When the press is sought to be throttled because of independence and utterance of its convictions, by those who do not happen to agree with such convictions of public policy, it shows a narrow and illiberal spirit, and, if it yields to an attempt to bulldoze it for opinions [sic] sake, it losses [sic] its influence and becomes a mere weather cock, turned by every varying breeze. An intelligent press is a public teacher, and its mission, like the pulpit, is to mould public opinion for the best interest of the greatest number of society, and of a higher civilization. This should be done, not by bluster, by threats, by command nor by ridicule but by addressing the reason, and presenting the advantages and disadvantages of a measure sought to be adopted, modified or abrogated, to the judgment of the public. Ours is a Republican form of government, which guarantees the free utterance of convictions, whether of speech or of the press, and they who seek to silence or stifle them by any species of restraint, because they are not in accord with their own, exhibit a dogmatism partaking of tyrany [sic]. The Republic admires the independent utterance of convictions, whether in accord with them or not.

Source: Washington State Library

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The Obituary of Henry S. Campbell

Henry S. CampbellOct. 24, 1916 - Jan. 12, 2013

Henry S. Campbell
Oct. 24, 1916 – Jan. 12, 2013

My brothers and I wrote a press release about Dad’s considerable accomplishments in the Marine Corps, but we decided to write an obituary that balanced what he did with who he was. Here’s the version we published in the Tacoma News Tribune on January 27 and the Yakima Herald on February 3:

Henry Snively Campbell, 96, a retired USMC Colonel who during WWII was twice awarded the Bronze Star with “V” for valor, died January 12 at his daughter’s home in Sacramento, CA. Henry was a hero to his family. Surmounting challenges including WWII, heart disease, and the death of his 4 year old daughter, Madeline, to leukemia, he continually demonstrated his unconditional love for family and friends, with whom he shared his passion for the outdoors and classical poetry. To the end, he touched the lives of everyone who knew him with his kindness and good humor. He was deeply loved by his family, and he will be greatly missed.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 1 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Tacoma, WA, which he attended with his wife, Eileen, from 1969 until her death in 1999. Later, his remains will be interred with Eileen’s alongside their daughter Madeline at Arlington National Cemetery, where she has lain since 1953.  In lieu of flowers, Henry may be honored by making a donation to The Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org).

Born in Yakima, WA, on October 24, 1916 to Admiral F. (“A.F.”) and Jessie Snively Campbell, Henry met Eileen Driscoll of Boise, ID, while attending a class on Browning during his senior year at the University of Washington in 1939. They married shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 26, 1941 in Quantico, VA, and remained happily married and very much in love until Eileen preceded him in death on May 10, 1999.

Anticipating the U.S. entry into World War II, Henry joined the Marines and graduated with the 5th Reserve Officers Commissioning Class as a second lieutenant in May 1941. He taught rifle and pistol marksmanship at the Officer’s Candidate School in Quantico, VA, for two years, and then served with the 23rd Regiment, 4th Marine Division, on Roi-Namur, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima.

Henry received his first Bronze Star with “V” in 1944 for his performance and valor as regimental supply officer attached to the 23rd Regiment, 4th Marine Division on Saipan. His citation read, in part: “under heavy hostile fire…(Captain Campbell) through several sleepless days and nights… insured the combat supply…. of all units in the vicinity of the beach on which his regiment landed… His outstanding service and conduct…. were in keeping with the highest tradition of the US Naval Service.” His second Bronze Star with “V” was awarded for his exceptional performance as regimental operations officer during the Iwo Jima campaign.

In the late 1950s, Lt. Col Campbell served as the U.S. representative to Canadian Armed Forces Staff College in Kingston, Ontario, Canada; and then as Executive Officer, Marine Barracks at 8th and I in Washington, D.C. He was promoted to Colonel in 1959.

While stationed in Honolulu in 1962, Henry suffered a massive heart attack that forced his retirement from the Marine Corps. After leaving active duty, he and Eileen returned in 1963 to their native Pacific Northwest. Henry accepted a position with Weyerhaeuser Company, where he held a variety of human resources positions.

After retirement in 1980, Henry pursued his lifelong passion for the outdoors as an avid hunter, fly fisherman and competitive skeet shooter. He enjoyed taking friends and family to hunt upland game birds in Eastern Washington, and he fished rivers throughout the western United States. He joined the Puget Sound Fly Fishers Association in 1984, and received the club’s Al Allard Award for outstanding service in 1995.

Henry is survived by four children and their spouses:  Scott Campbell and Pat Ford-Campbell (Seattle, WA), Bruce and Bronwen Campbell (San Diego, CA), Dean and Gwendolyn Campbell (Edina, MN), and Elizabeth (“Betsy”) and Todd Stone (Sacramento, CA).  He was also very proud of his grandchildren and great grandchildren:  Sandy Campbell Kaduce and her sons, Maxim and Oleg (Mukilteo, WA); Marc Campbell and his son, Henry (Chandler, AZ); Vincent Campbell (San Diego); Madeline and Thomas Stone (Sacramento); Alison and Eileen Campbell (Edina) and Isaac Campbell (San Diego). Henry is also survived by a niece and several nephews including: Louise Campbell Ulbricht and her daughter, Mary (Tacoma, WA); William F. Campbell, Jr. (Yakima, WA); Ed Campbell, Jr. (Yakima); Ross Campbell; and West Campbell (Yakima).

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