Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Sadie Campbell Papers
A housewife, mother and active community member, Sadie Campbell was born in 1881 and lived at 1 Depot Street in Cheshire, Massachusetts for most of her life until she died around 1970. Her parents, Augustus R. and Georgiana (Waldron) Tyrell were natives of western Massachusetts. They also resided in Cheshire but had their business in Savoy, a hill town up the road from Cheshire. Augustus Tyrell owned a woodlot and a talc mine in addition to providing legal services for family and friends. Although it is unclear if Augustus Tyrell was a lawyer, he served as executer to several estates, was involved in numerous land transactions, composed wills, and dealt with insurance claims. Sadie's mother, Georgiana, was most likely a housewife, who was very active in their small community and maintained a large social network. Georgiana's marriage to Augustus in 1880 was her second marriage although it is unclear why her first marriage, to Henry C. Platner, was dissolved.
Sadie Campbell was one of only eight women that graduated from Cheshire High School and gave the salutatory address the ceremony in 1898. She moved to North Adams, Massachusetts with her husband, George Campbell to whom she was married for nearly 25 years until she divorced him and moved back to her family home on Depot Street in Cheshire. They had two sons, Harold and Robert Leslie, who attended the local schools. Sadie Campbell was closely tied to the Cheshire community and, like her mother, had a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Those who knew her describe her as a very happy and friendly person. Judging from the number of calling calls from Campbell's friends, the women in the town of Cheshire were very friendly and worked together to organize various clubs, event and family functions. Cheshire was actually home to one of the first reading clubs in America, the Cheshire Ladies Reading Club of which Campbell was member of for several years during the 1950s. She also served as secretary of the Merry Wives of Cheshire Shakespeare Club from 1937-1941, and participated in the Cheshire Cat Tearoom which provided another outlet for the women in Cheshire. Additionally, she spent considerable time working with her church and local schools. Campbell was a prodigious cook and many of her recipes are preserved in this collection.
One of Sadie Campbell's sons, Robert Leslie, ultimately settled in New York and sought work with Portland Cement Company. Harold, her other son, also settled in New York and worked as a land surveyor in Mount Kisco, marrying a women named Thelma with whom he had one son, Donn. Donn Campbell attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where he was trained in veterinary medicine. Sadie Campbell remained at her home in Cheshire until she died in 1971 at the age of ninety.