THE ERNST RAVEN FAMILY
Biography of Louise and Thomas Campbell

South Carolinian Thomas Jefferson Campbell (1832-1919) returned to Austin in 1865 following his service in the Civil War as a sergeant with the Texas Infantry.

Louise Raven Campbell (1836-1910) emigrated from Germany in 1838 with her parents, Ernst Raven (1804-1881), who had been a bookbinder at the court of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Auguste Mentzel (1809-1887) Raven. After five years in Baltimore, Maryland, and four more in Texas, the Ravens settled permanently in Austin in 1848 as early colonists of the Republic of Texas. Ernst Raven established his bookbinding business, was an alderman of the city for a time, and was appointed by the Duke as Consul for the State of Texas in 1861. Sam Houston, a member of his Masonic lodge, was a frequent visitor at 'The Ravens' Nest.'

Thomas and Louise Campbell were married in 1857 and had six children by 1869: Arthur, Frank, Olivia, Jennie, Leonard and Addelle.  The last daughter they had was named Louonie.  Thomas Campbell worked as a carpenter for builder and contractor Charles F. Millett, who served as Austin's first fire chief from 1866-69. Campbell was an original volunteer with the 1870 Colorado Fire Company #2 and served as its 'Recorder' from 1877-79.

The arrival of the railroad in Austin on December 26, 1871, brought economic prosperity to Austin. The population doubled to 10,000 in a few years, offering Campbell ample work. Barely a month after the first train arrived, Campbell purchased Lot 4 of Block 105 to build a home for his family.

In 1874 Campbell sold the lot west of his home to Eugene T. Deats, who became his new partner at a shop on Bois d 'Arc (7th) between Congress and Colorado, but in November of 1877, Deats, also a volunteer fireman, was injured in a fire at the blind asylum and died six months later the first in Austin to die from injuries sustained in the line of duty. Eight days after Deats' death, the Campbell’s beloved, 16-year-old, daughter 'Ollie' died. Thomas continued his business as carpenter and builder, moving the shop to his home in 1881 (the year the Old Capitol burned down) and working with his sons Frank and Arthur. A second daughter, 'Delie' died in 1885, also at age 16. Arthur continued to work with his father until 1891, when Thomas retired from carpentry and became a night clerk at the police station.

The Campbell’s sold their home in January of 1898 to the widow of Dr. Robert W. Miller of LaGrange.  

 

They are buried with the Raven's at Austin's Oakwood Cemetery which is near downtown.

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