Tag Archives: Fairfax House

The Kyle Family in St. Louis

Vir­ginia Kyle Camp­bell, cir­ca 1882.

Put your think­ing caps on for this one. Short ver­sion: The Camp­bells and Kyles knew each oth­er back in Coun­ty Tyrone, Ire­land, and Vir­ginia is relat­ed to many of the names we see on a dai­ly basis in St. Louis: James McCaus­land, Ralph Clay­ton and James Col­lier Mar­shall. Here’s the long (and fas­ci­nat­ing) version:

Vis­i­tors to Camp­bell House all know Vir­ginia Camp­bell was born Vir­ginia Kyle, the daugh­ter of Hazlett and Lucy Ann Kyle. What you may not know is the scope of the inter­re­la­tion­ships between the Camp­bell and Kyle fam­i­lies, their ori­gins in Coun­ty Tyrone, Ire­land, the extent of the fam­i­ly tree in Amer­i­ca, and the sur­pris­ing links to oth­er St. Louis his­toric sites. Don’t get lost as we trace some of the Camp­bell and Kyle links in St. Louis.

There are so many Kyle descen­dents that it is vir­tu­al­ly impos­si­ble to accu­rate­ly deter­mine spe­cif­ic fam­i­lies back past the end of the 18th Cen­tu­ry. The orig­i­nal Kyle fam­i­ly belongs to the Clan Camp­bell of Argyle, the sur­name orig­i­nat­ing from the Kyle dis­trict in Ayr­shire, Scot­land. As with the Camp­bells, the Kyles left Scot­land for Norther Ire­land and the two fam­i­lies undoubt­ed­ly knew each oth­er. Even­tu­al­ly some immi­grat­ed to the Unit­ed States.

In Sep­tem­ber 1818, Hugh Camp­bell came to the U.S. and was hired as a clerk in Mil­ton, NC by David Kyle of Coun­ty Tyrone. Hugh’s friend, James Reed, was already in the employ of David Kyle’s Cousins, Robert and Hazlett Kyle, the father of the yet-to-be-born Vir­ginia Camp­bell. Robert and Hazlett Kyle were also broth­ers to William and David Kyle, Jr. who, in 1824, would offer Hugh a part­ner­ship in their Rich­mond, VA busi­ness. Hugh wrote to Robert about this offer and, curi­ous­ly, men­tioned the unlike­li­hood of mar­ry­ing any­time soon. He did wait five years, and in March 1829 mar­ried David Kyle’s daugh­ter, Mary.

In Octo­ber 1831, David Kyle moved to St. Louis with his fam­i­ly (except Mary Camp­bell) and start­ed a busi­ness with Edward Edgar. Robert Camp­bell (in St. Louis) wrote to Hugh (in Rich­mond) reveal­ing he was watch­ing, if not active­ly involved, with the move: Mr. Kyle’s dwelling House is fin­ished — the rent [is about] $400…the Store House will not be com­plet­ed until 1st Novem­ber the work­man told me but I pre­sume Mr. Kyle will have lit­tle dif­fi­cul­ty in rent­ing a House.

Stephen­son House

In April 1832 Hugh Camp­bell end­ed his part­ner­ship with David Kyle Jr. and moved to Philadel­phia to start his own busi­ness. In June 1832 William Kyle died; Robert Kyle died three weeks lat­er. Per Hugh: Hazlett Kyle died at his house in Raleigh N.C. of a few days ill­ness, brought on by intem­per­ance & bad con­duct. His broth­er Robert of Fin­cas­tle went to pay a vis­it to con­do­lence to his wid­ow and to assist in reg­u­lat­ing the estate…[He] became sick on 30th & died on 31st in the same room where his broth­er breathed his last breath about 3 weeks pre­vi­ous­ly. I need scarce tell you that the cause was near­ly sim­i­lar. Thus have three broth­ers been called to their account in the course of about one year…Hazlett’s wife & chil­dren will have about the sum of $40,000 amongst them. Thus we see that Robert had some knowl­edge of the Hazlett Kyle fam­i­ly long before his first meet­ing with Vir­ginia in 1835.

In Feb­ru­ary 1835, David Kyle, father-in-law to Hugh Camp­bell, died in St. Louis, leav­ing a wid­ow and nine chil­dren (David Kyle, wife Lydia, and two daugh­ters — Mar­garet and Har­ri­et — are buried in Hugh’s fam­i­ly plot in Belle­fontaine Ceme­tery). After David’s death, Hugh spent sev­er­al months reset­tling the fam­i­ly in Fayette, MO. Besides Mary, the only child who had mar­ried by this time was Eleanor Kyle. In Decem­ber 1834 she mar­ried James Stephen­son at Christ Church in St. Louis. James was the son of Ben­jamin Stephen­son, the first sher­iff of Ran­dolph Coun­ty, Illi­nois and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Illi­nois Ter­ri­to­ry in Con­gress. His home is now a state his­toric site in Edwardsville, Illinois.

So, David Kyle came to St. Louis in 1831, his niece Vir­ginia arrived in 1841, new­ly mar­ried to Robert Camp­bell. His daugh­ter Mary came in 1859 with hus­band Hugh Camp­bell. These Kyles, how­ev­er, were not the first ones in the area. In 1825, anoth­er branch of the Kyles lived here and estab­lished their own mer­can­tile trade. Eliz­a­beth Kyle (a dis­tant cousin to Vir­ginia and Mary) mar­ried her first cousin, Alexan­der McCausland.

Fair­fax House

Of their eleven chil­dren, John opened the mer­can­tile firm Kyle & McCaus­land. Anoth­er son, James, opened a tract of land on the west­ern edge of St. Louis. McCaus­land Avenue is named after him. John and James’ sis­ter Rosan­nah mar­ried Ralph Clay­ton, the man for whom the city of Clay­ton is named. Anoth­er sib­ling, Eliz­a­beth, mar­ried James Col­lier Mar­shall in 1840 in Rock Hill. The Mar­shall fam­i­ly home — the Fair­fax House — is an his­toric site.

The con­nec­tions go on and on. We encour­age you to vis­it all these loca­tions and reflect on “small town” St. Louis the next time you take a dri­ve down McCaus­land or Mar­shall Avenues.