Archie Campbell was born in 1897 and spent most of his life in Wells and Eddy counties. He traveled to New Brunswick, Canada, in 1914 and, while there, met a Canadian lass, Jessie Gilliss.
They married in 1917, returned to the U.S. and, by 1932, had established the Crystal Springs Ranch, a spread that eventually encompassed 11,000 acres near Warwick.
They started out with horses, mules and 100 Black Angus cattle. During the Depression, they sold mules to the U.S. Army. The Campbells purchased the very best prize-winning animals at the Valley City Winter Show and, by 1980, were running 2,300 head of cattle, 250 horses and one retired team of 37-year-old mules on their spread.
When the Cooperstown Veterinary Clinic was called to the ranch, two vets and two assistants showed up. Vernon Knudson, DVM, remembers what fine and hospitable people the Campbells were and that Archie always wore a Stetson hat, no matter how cold the weather.
Campbell also owned and operated a large road construction com-pany and relied on several foremen and ranch hands to handle livestock chores.
The Campbells didn’t have children but took good care of their employees. Their crew was well-fed and never had to work on Sundays.
They underwrote funeral and burial expenses for a couple of his orphaned cowpokes. When someone in the area needed medical care, the Crystal Springs Ranch foreman was dispatched to transport the injured or ailing to the hospital.
Campbell died in 1980, and his passing spelled the demise of the Crystal Springs Ranch, situated mid-point between Devils Lake and the Sheyenne River.
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