THE MCCOMB FAMILY

 

The following account of the history of the McComb family is taken from three sources:

 

            “History of the McComb Clan” by J. Clinton Rundles, July 1956

            “The McComb Family” by Arthur McComb, probably 1961 or 1962

            Information written by Orpha Davis Smith as recalled by Thomas McComb

                        In the 1930’s

 

JAMES MCCOMB from whom we are all descended was the youngest of 10 children born to ROBERT and MARGARET (STURGEON) MCCOMB between the years of 1810 and 1828.  Although Robert and Margaret were born in County Down, Northern Ireland, they were of Scottish descent.  There was a great influx of Scottish people into Northern Ireland.  These people were assimilated, but known as Scotch Irish Protestants.

 

JAMES was born April 4, 1828.  When he was less than two years old, Robert and Margaret decided to leave Ireland.  We can only guess that his decision was based on the fact that this was the time of the potato famine and a critical food shortage existed in Ireland.  Also America appealed to foreigners as the land of great opportunity. 

 

ROBERT AND MARGARET set sail in 1830 for the United States with the intention of landing in New York and going on to Kittanning, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.  Some of Margaret’s family, the STURGEONS, had already settled there.  Robert expected to join them and engage in the trade of weaving.

 

Two boats set forth.  They encountered bad weather and Robert’s ship was disabled.  They were transferred to another ship that was bound for New Orleans.  It took 6 weeks for the crossing.  After landing they took passage on a river steamer for Pitts-burgh, but Margaret was too ill  to travel and they stopped at Cincinnati, Ohio.  Robert had only $50 left and he was ill too.  They were befriended by Mr. and Mrs. Sampson Newbrough.  Because neither Margaret nor Robert could take care of James, Mrs. Newbrough took him home with her.  The Newbroughs were kind people of ample means.  Mr. Newbrough even devised a box for their wagon so that they could take James back and forth to see his mother who died 2 months later. 

 

Newbrough owned 80 acres in Ohio in Clermont County on the Brown County line.  Orpha Davis Smith’s family history, as recalled by Thomas McComb, locates it a quarter mile south of Cynthia, Ohio.  It was, at any rate, close to the town of Williamsburg, Ohio, and Williamsburg is east and somewhat south of Cincinnati

 

The Newbroughs wanted to adopt James, but his father objected.  However, he did allow them to keep James.  Later he was indentured or bound out to them until he was 21 years of age.  The child retained his own name.  It is told in all the versions of the family history that when ROBERT MCCOMB was in a better position to care for his son, he made his way to the Newbrough home to get him.  The foster parents were kind enough to give their consent and James, who was then about 6, packed his clothes.  According to Arthur McComb’s account of the family history, Mrs. Newbrough had improved Jimmy’s English and Robert spoke with quite an Irish accent.  Jimmy was quite reluctant to leave these people who had treated him as kindly as their own son.  Robert and Jimmy started out but the boy was silent and somewhat tearful.  As they neared Robert’s home, they sat on a log to rest.  James confessed he wanted to return to the Newbroughs.   Robert asked if they fed him well and used him well and to both questions he answered “yes”.  Robert picked up his son and started back with him.  Mrs. Newbrough met them halfway with tears of joy in her eyes, knowing that Jimmy was really hers now. 

 

Robert remarried, according to Thomas McComb’s recollection, about 15 years after the death of his first wife.  He had one child, ROBERT, by his second marriage.  Jame’s father, Robert, spent his remaining years in this same area and is probably buried close to Batavia, Ohio.  Robert occasionally visited his son, James, at the Newbroughs.  James, half-brother, Robert, lived close to Oxford, Ohio, which is north and a bit west of Cincinnati.  It is believed that he is buried in that small town, the home of Western College and Miami University.  He had 3 children;  ROBERT, JIM, and SARAH.   There is little in the history of the family as to the disposition of the other children.  In later years, JAMES MCCOMB, did get in touch with some of them. 

 

Within a period of 22 years after James McComb and Margaret Simonton were married, 10 children (8 sons and 2 daughters) were born to them:

 

                                                            Born                           Died                            Age 

 

1.  ROBERT MCCOMB                   July 1851                    Sep 10, 1932               81

     married  Feb. 24, 1871

     REBECCA REAM                       Oct 18, 1848               July 9, 1921                73

 

2.  THOMAS C.                                 Sep 30, 1853               Jan 10, 1941               87

     m. Sep 2, 1891

     MATILDA NOTESTINE                        Sep 2, 1863                 Aug 26, 1932              69

 

3.  JOHN S.                                        July 7, 1855                Nov 1, 1932                77

     m. Sep 15, 1885

     AMELIA JACKSON                    Oct 2, 1969                 Nov 1942                    73

 

4.  MARY CAROLINE                     Sep 12, 1857               Dec 1, 1928                71

     m. March 9, 1876

     JOHN JAMES RUNDLES         Nov 14, 1845              Apr 1, 1900                54

 

5.  JAMES IGNATIUS                     Aug 17, 1860              Mar 16, 1937              77

     m. Aug 15, 1889

    LILLIE TATE                               July 18, 1865              Jan 27, 1946               80

 

6.  MORTON THEOPHILUS          Sep 13, 1861               Apr 19, 1942              81

     m. Mar 17, 1889

     ROSETTA BUSH                        Oct 16, 1868               Mar 23, 1953              84

                                                            Born                           Died                            Age

 

7.  EMMA                                           Jul 28, 1864                Mar 23, 1926              62

     m. Jan 6, 1889

     SAMUEL DAVIS                                     Jul 19, 1842                Feb 23, 1911               69

 

8.  WILLIAM S.                                 Aug 16, 1866              May 13, 1902              34

      m. Jan 8, 1893

     OLIVE COOK                              Jan 8, 1875                 ?

 

9.  HIRAM EDWARD                      Nov 22, 1870              Jan 18, 1933               62

     m. Mar 23, 1875

     SAMANTHA B. HAMM              Mar 23, 1875              Feb 15, 1953               77

            (marriage date must be incorrect, same as birthdate)

 

10. DAVID OLIN                              Jun 11, 1872               Apr 15, 1937              65

      m. Dec. 25, 1900             

      ANNA C. MATSCH                    Jul 20, 1879                ?

 

After 10 years of married life, James and Margaret Ann McComb were greatly pleased to become land owners.  December 30, 1860, SAMPSON NEWBROUGH sole 160 acres on the East side of Auburn Road to JAMES MCCOMB.  (Recorder’s Office Book 38, page 369) Fort Wayne for a consideration. 

 

September 25, 1865, SAMPSON NEWBROUGH sold 80 acres west of the Auburn Road to JAMES AND MARGARET MCCOMB (Recorder’s office Book 38, page 369, Fort Wayne).  All the 240 acres were sold for a “consideration” by Samuel Newbrough, foster parent of JAMES MCCOMB.  The consideration was really a legal gift. 

 

James and Margaret were cultured and upright people.  They were devoted to their community, family, home and their church, the Union Chapel United Brethren Church.  James was very public spirited, a staunch Democrat who felt that the issue of the Civil War should have been arbitrated instead of being settled by force of arms.  He also was a kind, diplomatic man who was often called upon to settle community disputes.  Because his decisions were impartial, he helped settle many quarrels that might otherwise have gone to court.  He served as Township Trustee from 1880 to 1884. 

 

Margaret was a very neat and trim woman, holding her looks and figure until old age.  She learned to cook and bake in a log cabin where an open fireplace had to serve as electric range, oven and central heating system.  She knew how to swing the tea kettle and cooking pots on the crane and it is reported that she came up with plenty to eat for her large family.

 

 

 

 

 

From THE VALLEY OF THE UPPER MAUMEE and ANNALS OF THE TOWN-SHIPS, 1887 edition, reprint by Brant and Fuller, Madison, Wisc., pages 329-330  

 

JAMES MCCOMB, of Perry township, was born in Ireland, April 4, 1828.  His parents, ROBERT and MARGARET MCCOMBS, emigrated to America when James was about 2 years of age, and settled in Claremont county, Ohio.  After landing in Cincinnati, his mother was taken sick and died, and he was bound out to SAMPSON NEWBROUGH, with whom he remained until 21 years of age.  In 1850 he was united in marriage with MARGARET SIMONTON, and they have had 11 children:

 

ROBERT S., THOMAS C., JOHN S., MARY C., wife of John Reynolds, JOSEPH (deceased), JAMES I., THEOPPOLIS M., EMMA, wife of Samuel Davis, WILLIAM S., HIRAM E., and DAVID O.

 

Mrs. McComb was born July 21, 1833.  She and husband are members of the United Brethren Church.  Mr. McCombs is a leading citizen and has served as trustee from 1880 to 1884.  His landed possessions are 200 acres of fine farming land, which were heavily timbered when he first came here.

                        ______________________________________________________

 

1880 Census of Perry Township, Allen Co., IN………page 186A

 

Robert S. McComb………married………male, 29……..born Ohio……farm laborer

            Father born Ireland, Mother born Ohio

Rebecca E. McComb…….wife………… female, 30…… born Ohio……keeping house

 

Lucy B. McComb……….daughter……..female, 8………born IL

Emma J. McComb……..daughter……..female 2………. Born IN

                        ______________________________________________________

 

1880 Census of Perry Township, Allen Co., IN  190B

 

John J. Rundles                    married          male, 34          born IN           Farmer

            Father born NY,  Mother born Ohio

Mary C. Rundles                   wife                 female, 22      born IN           Keeps house

            Father born Ireland,  Mother born Ohio

 

Don C. Rundles                     son                  male, 2            born IN          

James Rundles                      son                  male, 1 mo     born IN

 

Jacob Zern                 other, single              male, 24          born PA          Farm laborer

 

 

1880 Census of Perry Township, Allen County, IN   186A

 

James McComb                     married          male, 52          born IRE        Farmer

            Parents both born IRE

Margaret McComb               wife                 female, 46      born Ohio       Keeps house

            Father born Ohio,  Mother born MD

 

Thomas McComb                  son, single      male, 26          born IN           Farm laborer

John S. McComb                   son, single      male, 24          born IN           School teach.

James I. McComb                 son, single      male, 20          born IN           Fireman

Morton McComb                   son, single      male, 18          born IN           Farm laborer

Emma McComb                     daughter        female, 15      born IN           At home

William S. McComb              son                  male, 12          born IN           At home

Hiram E. McComb                son                  male, 9            born IN          

David O. McComb                son                  male, 7            born IN

 

Joseph C. Simonton                         Bro-in-law     male, 37          born Ohio       Sawyer

            Father born Ohio,  Mother born MD

______________________________________________________________________________
 

McCOMB BURIALS AT PERRY TOWNSHIP CEMETERY, HUNTERTOWN, IN

 

OLD SECTION:

 

McCOMB, AMELIA N.                    1864-1941                                           John

McCOMB, FORREST’S                   CHILD

McCOMB, FREEMAN J.                 Feb. 29, 1896-Aug. 18, 1897

McCOMB, JAMES                            April 4, 1828-Sept. 29, 1905             Margaret

McCOMB, JOHN S.                                     1855-1932                                           Amelia N.

McCOMB, JOHN’S                           CHILD

McCOMB, MARGARET                  July 21, 1833-Feb. 10, 1914              wife, James

McCOMB-RUNDLES, MARY C.    1857-1928                   wife of John Rundles

McCOMB, MAY FERN                    1907

McCOMB, ROBERT S.                    1851-1932

McCOMB, ROYAL DALE               Nov. 12, 1897-Feb. 25, 1898

McCOMB, WILLIAM S.                   Aug. 16, 1867-May 13, 1902

 

NEW SECTION:

 

McCOMB, BETTY M. FRAZIER    1923-1958       O.E.S.                                     Danford

McCOMB, C. WEIR                                     1893-1971       Mason                         Irene

McCOMB, CECILE FITCH            1892-Oct. 16, 1980

McCOMB, CHARLES ARTHUR    1891-1960       Mason                         Leta

                                                            (next to F. J. McComb)

McCOMB, CLARA B. GUMP          1902-1973                                           Forest J.

McCOMB, FOREST J.                     1896-1978                                           Clara

McCOMB, HIRAM EDWIN                        1870-1933                                           Samantha

McCOMB, JAMES I.                        1859-1937                                           Lillie

McCOMB, JAMES WILLIAM         1884-1936

McCOMB-CAIN, LEONA G.           1892-1923       next to T. C. McComb

McCOMB, LETA                              1894-Dec. 2, 1975                              Charles

McCOMB, LILLIE M.                      1865-1946

McCOMB, MATILDA                      1863-1932                                           Thomas

McCOMB, MORTON T.                   1861-1942                                           Rosetta

McCOMB, ROSETTA                      1868-1953                                           Morton

McCOMB, SAMANTHA B.                         1875-1953                                           Hiram E.

McCOMB, THOMAS C.                   1853-1941                                           Matilda

McCOMB, VERDA M. GARMAN   1903-1931                                           Mother

McCOMB, VERNE E.                      1892-July 1963                                  Cecile

 

McComb – Golden Wedding Anniversary

 

As found in the News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, IN, Thursday, March 1939

 

Mrs. and Mrs. Morton T. M’comb, prominent residents on Sunday will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary at their home in Huntertown.  At noon they will entertain with a family dinner and in the afternoon, between the hours of three and six o’clock, they will hold open house for their many relatives and friends. 

 

Their children who will be present are:

            Mrs. Ralph L. Jones and Mr. Glenn McComb of this city

            Mr. Lynn McComb of South Bend

            Mr. Verne McComb

            Mrs. Donald Dunten, both of Huntertown.

 

There will be present besides, 17 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, the small daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Moores of Indianapolis

 

Other relatives to attend will be:

            Mr. McComb’s brother, Mr. Thomas McComb of Fenwick, Mich.

            Mr. and Mrs. William Bush

            Mr. and Mrs. John Standford of Brookston

            Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Bush of West Lafayette

            Mrs. J. I. McComb

            Mrs. H. E. McComb

            Mrs. D. O. McComb of Fort Wayne

            Mrs. John McComb of Huntertown

 

Mr. McComb, born in 1862 has been a resident of Perry Township throughout his life.  His wife was born in White City. 

                        ……………………………………………………………………………

Read also the poem written for the event under Poems:

            “Fifty Years, Dear Mate”

 

THE FOREST JACKSON McCOMB AND CLARA BELLE GUMP FAMILY          By Keith McComb

 

FOREST was born Oct. 2, 1896 to JOHN McCOMB and AMELIA JACKSON at a farm on Coldwater Road, 8 miles north of Fort Wayne.  Perry Hill School is now located there.  He had three brothers, HUBERT, ARTHUR, FORD and a sister, BERTHA.

 

CLARA was born Feb. 10, 1910 to GEORGE CALVIN GUMP and ICEY MOUDY, on a farm located three-quarter miles east of Coldwater Road.  (That house is now on the Historic Register)  She had four brothers, RUSSELL, FOREST, GEORGE and WALTER and two sisters, MARTHA and EVA. 

 

For his first 8 years of school, FOREST attended a one-room school at Royville near Coldwater and Union Chapel Road.  After that he went to Fort Wayne Central High School for one year.  He became an avid reader and later studied writing by correspondence course.  He had several stories published in well-known magazines, but he is best known for his nostalgic articles in the E-Section of the Sunday Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.  It was a favorite among local folk.

 

CLARA also attended a one-room school on the corner of Coldwater and Gump Roads for 8 years.  She received many awards in math, spelling and writing.  Later she took courses in bookkeeping and became an excellent bookkeeper for McComb Home Builders.  She was known as one of the best cooks in the area, especially for her apple dumplings and oyster dressing.  She tightly guarded the secret of her dressing recipe for fear someone else would make it. 

 

FOREST and CLARA were married Jan. 1, 1919.  They farmed for a while and later moved to the city of Fort Wayne.  This union produced six sons, RICHARD, HAROLD, KEITH, BRUCE, JACK and MONTY, who died at birth. 

 

RICHARD and KEITH served in World War II and JACK served in the Korean Conflict.  HAROLD stayed at home and worked as a tool and die maker.  BRUCE was still in school and helped run the farm.  The family had strong ties and all survived the great depression years and W.W.II.

 

In 1943 FOREST and CLARA bought a farm one and one-half miles Northwest of Huntertown on McComb Road where they remained the rest of their lives.

 

After W.W.II, RICHARD started the McComb Construction Company and one by one the brothers joined the company along with FOREST.  After a few years agreement was made to break into five construction companies, to save overhead.  On large jobs they would combine and work together.

 

FOREST was a lifetime baseball fan and coached his boys in the sport.  Due to his instruction, some of his sons are now in the Fort Wayne Baseball Hall of Fame at the Kruse Victory Museum in Auburn, IN.  When the family gets together they talk construction, baseball, euchre or politics, but they all agree that the thing they taught most was honesty and integrity. 

 

CLARA was killed in an automobile accident, March 31, 1973 at the corner of Coldwater and Gump.  FOREST died of natural causes, August 11, 1978

 

 

HAROLD LEROY McCOMB                      By son, Terry L. McComb

 

HAROLD was directly related to General Stonewall Jackson through his great grandfather, PHANUEL JACKSON.  He was the second of five sons born to FOREST and CLARA McCOMB, on June 7, 1921.  They were RICHARD, HAROLD, KEITH, BRUCE and JACK.

 

Growing up on a farm during the Depression and hard times taught him to be a good fire-wood cutter.  Necessity made him a good mechanic, working on farm machinery and the family car.  He and his brothers attended Huntertown grade school, and graduated from Northside High School, in Fort Wayne, in 1939.  As a teenager he became a very good baseball pitcher and threw several no-hit games in Federation Ball.

 

At Northside he met AILEEN (DOTTY) BERTRAM.  They were married on February 3, 1940.  They had six children in the following order:  TERRY, ALAN, TOM, DEAN, KAREN, and SHERI. 

 

Natural mechanical ability landed him a job with Swanson Machine Company on South Calhoun Street as a set up man.  This factory produced parts vital to the effort of World War II. 

 

Having learned the construction trade from his uncle, ART McCOMB, he started his own construction business building homes, in 1951.  His ability to fix things allowed him to invent tools used in his own business, though he never patented them.  These included the first set of light weight basement forms ever used in Fort Wayne.  Until then, it took two men to lift one form into place.  The new forms could be set by one man.

 

He poured many concrete streets for new sub-divisions.  At that time you could buy a machine that would level the concrete for about $100,000.  He invented a self-propelled machine where you could form up and pour 150 feet of street every day.  This machine cost about $2,000.  It was the talk of the industry.  Others made special trips to his jobs to watch it work.  This company still thrives today doing all types of construction, including commercial.

 

One of his hobbies was building model airplanes with gasoline engines.  He would spend months building them, fly them a few times, then hang them from the ceiling in his home.  The basement housed his elaborate model train exhibit.

 

A generous and loving family man, he enjoyed taking his children fishing and to major league baseball games.  He also enjoyed watching them play in local leagues. 

 

In this day and age, most children either move to other states or go into a different business from their family.  All six of his children and 5 of his grandchildren are in the construction business in the area.  A testament to family love.  To date there are 14 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.

 

He died March 7, 1996, leaving a legacy of kindness, compassion, and great skill.

 

KEITH L. McCOMB                         By Jenny McComb

 

He was born August 13, 1923, on a farm where Perry Hill School stands.  His parents were FOREST J. McCOMB and CLARA BELLE GUMP.  He had five brothers, RICHARD, HAROLD, BRUCE, JACK and MONTY, who died at birth.

 

He graduated from Northside High School in 1942. 

 

As an avid baseball fan he played for the G.E. Club and Rudisill Service.  In a hand picked team for an exhibition game he was catcher for the pitcher, NED GARVER, against a professional black team from Indianapolis.

 

Drafted into the Army Air Corp, Jan. 1943, he was trained as a mechanic and later retrained in photo reconnaissance under Elliot Roosevelt.  As a member of the Ninth Air Force assigned to General Patton, his job was to install cameras and film in P-51 Mustang fighter planes and develop pictures.  He served in England, France and Germany.

 

February 14, 1946 he married LUCILLE ELAINE REYNOLDS.  They had three daughters, THERESA KAY (born 12-04-46), JANET ANN (born 09-22-49), and PEGGY JEAN (born 03-29-52).  They were also foster parents to more than 50 children.

 

As president of the Huntertown Lions Club and father of three girls, he was instrumental in getting the Lions ball program changed from all boys to co-ed.  He continued coaching and sponsoring a team in the Fort Wayne Women’s League for which he was honored as the best sportsmanship coach in the league, an honor not normally given to a man.

 

After having worked several years as a carpenter for his brother, he formed McComb Home Builders in 1955-1989.  Most of his work was done in Allen county and the surrounding area.  Many carpenters are still building in the area who trained under him. 

 

ELAINE died of cancer, March 19, 1989.  He married GENEVA (JENNY) HODGE, June 30, 1990.

 

He is a 50-year Mason and served as Commander of VFW Post 11314 for 6 years. 

 

In order to pass on the history of World War II, he shows slides at local schools of the pictures he took while in service.  He also encourages the youth to make the best of their school years as he credits Northside High School with his excellent training he received in mechanics, drafting and shop. 

 

In an effort to come up with new entertainment for the county fair and local festivals, in 2000, he gave birth to Rupley’s Dixon Lawnmower Square Dancers.  This consisted of dancers riding lawnmowers while performing patterned dances.  It was such a novelty at local fairs that it eventually was shown on National television.

 

He has 8 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren with more to come.  His motto has always been, “Do a person a good job at a fair price and you will never be out of work.”   He is a man of high integrity and unyielding patriotism.

 

RICHARD STANLEY McCOMB                          by Keith McComb

 

RICHARD was born August 24, 1919, on a farm where Perry Hill School is now located.  He was the first of six boys born to FOREST J. McCOMB and CLARA BELLE GUMP.  His brothers were HAROLD L., KEITH L.,  BRUCE L., JACKSON C.,  and MONTY McCOMB.  He attended the Huntertown school five years.  He also attended the Rome City School three years and one year at South Side High School in Fort Wayne.

 

He was a natural baseball player.  When in the 7th grade in Rome City, he was asked to play short stop on the High School team.  They won the county tournament and the other coaches complained about Rome City playing a younger kid on the high school team.  They were overruled and the victory stood.  He was drafted into the Navy in 1944.  He was put on their best ball team to entertain the troops, up and down the east coast.  Later he sponsored his own baseball team and had a lot of success managing and playing.  He was inducted into the Fort Wayne Baseball Hall of Fame located in the World War II Victory Museum at Auburn.

 

In August 1940, he married RUTH BUEHRER.  They had three children, JOSEPH, DAVID and KATHY.

 

After being discharged from the Navy in 1946, he put the construction skills he had learned at the General Electric Company and the Navy, to work in his own construction company.  He was a very successful and worked at it the rest of his life.  He passed away, January 6, 1998.  His wife, RUTH, and two sons are still managing the McComb Construction Company.

 

He served on the board of the Allen County Fairgrounds and worked very closely with others to oversee the construction of the buildings there.  Having an eye for a good deal, he helped get the most for the money.  He was very proud of the fairgrounds and never missed the county fair.

 

Growing up in the Depression, he thought hard work was more important than going for more education.  Everyone says that his theory worked for him.