James Ira Campbell, ’24

James Ira Campbell photo

We recently received a truly marvelous collection, a generous gift of the family of James Ira Campbell, ’24. Campbell was one of those all-around guys, a good student, popular, busy with band, drama, Honor Council and other campus activities. For our purposes, though, the most important thing about young Mr. Campbell is that he was the editor-in-chief of the 1924 Campanile and, luckily for us, a bit of a pack rat. This collection arrived in three (!) boxes and includes copious material relating to the production of that volume, everything from the page proofs with annotations to business records to a gorgeous pile of photographs, some used in the book, others not. Here’s what it looked like spread out on the map cases today:


It was breathtaking. It really was–at one point I realized that the reason I was uncomfortable was that I was holding my breath. Encountering a collection this large, in such good condition, and so old is a rare thing. I will enjoy every minute of this and I am deeply grateful to the Campbell family.

I was going to wait until next week but I just can’t. Here’s a small taste, one of the stranger images I’ve come across anywhere. It shows a Rice student in a baseball uniform competing in the javelin throw at a home track meet:

Campbell throwing javelin 20s 045

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6 Responses to James Ira Campbell, ’24

  1. Karl Benson says:

    Perhaps a baseball game going on at the same time as a track meet? This dual-sport athlete could throw a javelin in a baseball uniform, but he couldn’t play baseball in a track uniform.

  2. francis eugene 'gene' pratt says:

    What a glorious picture.
    I look forward to seeing much more of this collection.
    Thanks James Ira and the rest of the Campbell family.

  3. francis eugene 'gene' pratt says:

    Surely, you jest.

  4. almadenmike says:

    The baseball-uniformed javelin thrower may be Charles Oscar Pollard. He’s listed in the baseball fact book as getting a baseball letter in 1924 (perhaps a typo, as he’s in the Houston Post’s list of 1923 graduates). A “C.O. Pollard” is listed as getting a football letter in 1918, and “Charles Pollard” in said to have earned a track letter in 1920.

    Pollard is mentioned frequently in the 1922 and 1923 Threshers that I looked at for his success in both baseball (as a pitcher, catcher, right field …) and javelin (and sometimes hurdles). It seems that baseball came first, however. An article in the April 6, 1923, Thresher (https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/65067/thr19230406.pdf?sequence=1) about an upcoming meet at UT-Austin had this paragraph:

    “(Lonnie) Thomas and Pollard handled themselves well last week in the javelin throw. Thomas will probably be the only Owl entrant in this event as Pollard has to stay in Houston with the baseball team.”

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