Campbell, Celeste

From Lane Co Oregon


Celeste was born March 12, 1905 in Eugene, Oregon, daughter of Ira Campbell and Idaho. As a child she lived in the Ira Campbell House with her siblings Jackson, Cogswell and Eva in Eugene.

She attended the Public Schools here and graduated from the Eugene High School, one of the two out-standing honor students. In 1923, she joined the Portland Mazamas, and climbed Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and Mt. Jefferson. In 1926, she received her B.A. from the University of Oregon in Romance Languages. She obtained her B.M. in music (piano) in 1928. During the Summer of 1927, she traveled to most of the capitals of Europe. In January 1931, she visited the Hawaiian Islands with her mother. On the campus, she was active in Mu Phi Epsilon, national music honorary and in Pi Lambda Theta, national education honorary.

In September 1925, she hiked the Oregon Skyline Trail, from the McKenzie Pass to Diamond Lake. Later, she joined the Eugene Obsidians and climbed the Three Sisters and Diamond Peak, becoming an Obsidian Princess in 1939. In 1949, she and a niece, Bonnie Johnson, climbed (alone) Mt. Lassen. From 1932 to 1942, she taught music, piano and voice, (after 1933) at her home at 1833 Fairmount Blvd., Eugene. During World War 2, she and many other little children assisted in surgical dressings for the Red Cross by picking over spagnum moss. Also she had one band of helpers who went out into the country and saved fruit by picking it and bringing it in to town, where the mothers canned it for the War. During World War ll, Celeste worked continuously at the Eugene Filter Air Warning Service under the U.S. Air Force as well as doing some Air Observation Work. She was a member of the Red Cross Motor Corps. and spent many hours doing Surgical Dressing at the main office.

She drove a tractor on her cousin's dairy farm, about 22 miles north of Eugene for two complete summers (or a total of 12 months in all, often working all night (13 hours at a time.) The Fall of 1943, she took a paid job, as secretary to Howard Morriam in the Office of Defense Transportation in the Eugene Armory. June 13, 1944, she began work at the University of Oregon in the Physical Plant Dept., becoming a Clerk-Typist I under Civil Service. July 1, 1953, she transferred to the University of Oregon Telephone Exchange Office where she was a P.B.X. Operator I.

Celeste belonged to the Eugene Shakespeare Club and the Eugene Fortnightly Club, the Natural History Club, the Lane County Pioneer Society, & The State Association of University of Women. She enjoyed all of nature, birds, trees, flowers, animals and weather, also was an observational astronomer. She spent as much time as possible in the mountains or at the ocean.

Celeste with the valuable assistance of her sister, Eva Frazer Johnson, has assembled, compiled and typed the Mary Gay Cogswell Pioneer Cemetery paper on the pioneer families of A.J. Campbell, John Cogswell, Martin Baker Gay & Jacob Frazer.

The house that John Campbell built in 1892 was owned by the Campbell family for over 100 years. In 1993 Myra and Roger Plant purchased the home, completely renovating it and opening it to the public as a bed & breakfast inn.

She belonged to the Red Cross Motor Corps and assisted with surgical dressings in both World War I and II. The Campbell Senior Center, located at 155 High St., was named after her.

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