Walter Campbell was born in Severy, Kansas, on August 15, 1887, to Walter and Isabella Vestal. (He was later adopted by his mother's second husband, acquiring the name
Campbell.) He attended Guthrie High School, but left in 1903 before graduation. Mr. Campbell then attended Southwestern State
Normal School from 1903 to 1908, when he graduated. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, in which he was the first
Rhodes scholar from the new state of Oklahoma. As a result of the scholarship, he attended Merton College at Oxford
University from 1908 to 1911. He received a Bachelor's degree in 1911, and his master's degree (in absentia) in 1915.
Both degrees were for English Language and Literature.
Professor Campbell taught at male high schools in Louisville, Kentucky, for three years, 1911 to 1914.
He then became an English instructor at the University of Oklahoma in September, 1915. While at OU, he was the
director of Courses in Professional Writing.
Mr. Campbell entered the Field Artillery branch of military service on May 15, 1917, where he
gained the rank of Captain. He was the battery commander of Battery F and Battery A of the 335th AEF 87th Division.
He was discharged from service May 19, 1919.
Much of Campbell's research was about Indians and the West. For this reason, he spent a great deal
of time with several Indian tribes, including the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho. While he was doing research among the Sioux
Indians, he was adopted by Chief Joseph White Bull, Sitting Bull's oldest nephew, and made a member of the family. He was
named Makes-Room or Make-Room-For-Him (Kiyukanpi) and His Name Is Everywhere (Ocastonka). Kiyukanpi was the
name of Joseph White Bull's father, and Ocastonka is a reference to the Chief's great fame.
Mr. Campbell's photograph collection consists of photographs taken by him and photographs that he collected.