THE DAVID CAMPBELL MEMORIAL
& PORTLAND FIREFIGHTER MEMORIAL PLAZA
David Campbell is probably one of the most storied firefighters to ever serve in Portland, Oregon. His story is almost legend. His story has been documented in many places and in many ways. Here, we have attempted to compile many of his stories for ease of access.
To find the members who have lost their lives in the line of duty and due to service connected illness/injury, visit "The Ultmate Sacrifice" page of this web site.
"David Campbell Full Story 2020.01.14" - This compilation was created to consolidate as much of David Campbell's story into one document as possible. This story follows his life from his birth in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the memorial the community created in his memory. Click on the PDF symbol to access the story.
"David Campbell - The Boxer" - David Campbell was well known for his boxing activities. In about 2010, a man named Bruce Charles researched Campbell's boxing career and came up with this story. Enjoy. Click on the PDF symbol to acces the story.
"National Registry Of Historic Places" - The David Campbell Memorial plaza, located at W 18th and Burnside in Portland, Oregon is a well known fixture in Portland. It was funded by public contributions and completed June 28, 1928.
In 2010, a person named Hope Svenson, on behalf of the Bosco-Milligan Foundation and the Architectural Heritage Center submitted the application to the US National Park Service "Registry of Historic Places." This is significant for providing protections and recognition of the site. On August 12, 2010, the US National Parks Service accepted it to their registry. The application is an interesting and comprehensive historic look at the David Campbell Memorial and Portland Firefighter Park. Click on the PDF Symbol to access the story.
David Campbell as a firefighter in 1892
David Campbell and his Executive Officers in 1908. Left to right: Mike Laudenklos, Jay Stevens, David Campbell, Biddy Dowell, John Young.
David Campbell at the wheel of his Pierce Arrow Chief's Car. Campbell was an advocate for a motorized fire department so he purchased this car in 1909 and used it to beat horse drawn fire apparatus to the scenes of fires. By 1911, the department purchased their last horse drawn apparatus. By April of 1920, the department was fully motorized.
Two portraits of David Campbell, dates unknown. The left photo shows him as a Battalion Chief, the right as Chief.
Four pictures showing the fire where David Campbell lost his life. The Union Oil Plant was located on SE Water Avenue and Salmon Street. Campbell arrived to take command of the fire. In an effort to evacuate personnel from the impending building collapse, he was caught in it and died.
David Campbell's funeral procession was said to be the largest in Portland history, with an estimated 150,000 citizens lining the streets to bid him farewell.
The David Campbell Memorial plaza is located at W 18th and Burnside Street in Portland. The public began a fundraising effort soon after Campbell's death. The memorial would be completed in 1928. In 1962, Portland Firefighter Park would be added to the east side of the plaza when the triangular piece of property was expanded to lessen traffic at the intersection. The intersection has undergone many revisions over the decades. This photo was taken in 1931.
The David Campbell Memorial Association
Founded as the David Campbell Memorial and Medal Fund on June 21, 1913, the David Campbell Memorial Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of Fire Chief David Campbell, and the many more whose lives were cut short due to their service to the citizens of Porltand. The Campbell Memorial Trustees have maintained the David Campbell Monument, located at W Burnside and 18th, since it was completed in 1928.