He was born in Mayfield, Chinguacousy Township, Peel County, Canada West and educated there and in Brampton. In 1870, Campbell married Elizabeth Baldock; he married Josephine Aitken in 1876 after the death of his first wife. He was editor and publisher of the Brampton Conservator from 1873 to 1890. Campbell was mayor of Brampton in 1887 and 1888 and president of the county Agriculture and Arts Association. He also served as chairman of the school board. Campbell was a county master for the Orange Lodge and served in the local militia during the Fenian raids. He ran unsuccessfully in Peel for a seat in the provincial assembly in 1886.