Doctor Evan Ennis Combs & Mary Sydnor Hinde

A Report by Combs &c. researcher MIchael R. WilSon


All the world loves a story. “Once upon a time” is the magic phrase that draws a group together about any glib spinner of yarns. A tale as old as the 1794 Whisky Rebellion in western Pennsylvania, or as puzzling as the changing the spelling of ones name, there will always be people to listen and to learn.

"A good story is the opener of many doors. It introduces a speaker, illuminates discourse, beguiles weariness, banishes gloom, brightens the night, and adorns the day….We follow the lure of the story because we are hungry for it. After every disappointment we sigh - and begin another" (Slater, p. 322). This view was presented as part of the foundation for a 1913 freshman composition course. The author was convinced that it was important to tell stories without bungling or creating barrenness in the process. "Historical narration…is illuminated by vivid descriptions, when the sources afford material for such descriptions" (Slater, p. 338).

A present day concern exists that views the art of telling stories as being a lost art. There is a current belief that this has created a void, or lack of a bridge, between one generation and another. If various cultures are studied it is apparent that information about values, morals, and what is basically right and wrong, is passed on from one generation to the next. A lot of the time this is accomplished in presenting various forms of narratives - stories (Fine, p. 157) (Eubanks & Parish, p. 27) (Bolman & Deal, pp.117-121).


Until about 1890 the pride and delight of Americans was their quality of land. The possession of land was the aim for almost all their actions. Land acquisition was used for curing social evils, governmental enticements, status, gaging wealth or just to be a monarch in their own right. "An artisan works, that he may die on land of his own" (Woestemeyer, p. 37). Dr. Evan Ennis COMBS moved his family in 1842 from Montgomery County, Kentucky to Saline County, Missouri (National Historical Company, p. 641). His wife, Mary "Polly" Sydnor HINDE, was a Kentuckian by birth. They were married on 17 Apr 1817 in Montgomery County, Kentucky. Ennis and Polly COMBS had ten children - Sarah Elizabeth, Edward Mark, Mary Ann, Silas Evans, John Cuthbert, Fielding Alexander, Caroline "Dolly", James H., Susannah "Susan" E. and Evan Ennis Jr. Dr. Ennis COMBS died of cholera 18 Jun 1849 on a return trip to Kentucky, while on the Ohio River (Walker & Wilson, p. 45) (Perrin, p. 777).

The migration to Missouri was influenced by the letters that were sent by family members in the area. The HINDE's, EVANS', SCHOLL's and COMBS' all had various relations which made the move to Lafayette, Saline, Jackson and Ray Counties in Missouri, rather than going to other parts of Kentucky or to the State of Tennessee. In February 1844 Septimus Scholl (a Jackson County, Missouri cousin of Mary "Polly" COMBS) wrote Nelson Scholl in Clarke [sic] County, Kentucky stating that:

"there are several places in Saline County in the neighborhood of Doc Combs (Dr. Evan Ennis COMBS) and Marshall (Missouri) I would be glad to hear from by some person who had examined the premises, which I have enjoined on John Haggard and Silas Combs &c. I also want you to send me particular word what you think would be most prudent to bring with me and if you would send any furniture by water or bring more horses than we require on the road. What sort of oxen and wagons &c, and what part of the country you would prefer taking in consideration the price of land the future prospects as to timber, stock raising, trade, hemp, wheat, tobacco, mules &c, the most proper time to move and the probable chance for renting a year, provided I should not make a purchase immediately, and which would be the most advisable plan, to buy or rent" (Giulvezan, p. 2).

Mary "Polly" Sydnor (HINDE) COMBS is the daughter of Dr. John Wood HINDE I. Her mother is Elizabeth Sydnor (MARK) HINDE. The parents of Dr. John Wood HINDE are Dr. Thomas and Mary HINDE. Dr. John and Elizabeth HINDE had thirteen children (Ham, p. pp. 99-103). Dr. Thomas HINDE was a surgeon in the British Army and Navy. "He left this service and came to America and was a surgeon in the Revolution, afterward settling in Virginia" (American Biographical Archive, Fielding Combs. p. 34).

Dr. Evan Ennis COMBS first wife died between 16 Sep 1837 (date of birth of youngest child - Ennis COMBS Jr.) and 25 Jul 1848 (date of will) (Williams & Williams, p. 51). It's not clear if Mary "Polly" S. COMBS died in Montgomery County, Kentucky or in Missouri [see note 1]. Evan Ennis COMBS Jr. was born in Kentucky, not in Missouri. In Dr. Ennis COMBS will it states that "Ennis COMBS (is) to live with Silas EVANS who has raised him this far until he is 21 years of age" (Combs &c. RootWeb Research Project, p. 1). Silas EVANS was residing in Missouri when the will was probated.

Dr. Evan Ennis COMBS was married a second time to Susan N. CATLETT (Wilson). By 1851 Susan N. (CATLETT) COMBS was living in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri (Buchanan County, Book H, p. 245). No evidence has ever been found which indicates that Susan N. COMBS ever lived with any of the children of Dr. Evan Ennis COMBS between 1849 and the time of her death 11 Apr 1876 (Wilson). In 1860 Susan N. COMBS was living with Ann CATLETT in St. Joseph, and next door to Dr. D. CATLETT (Nelson & Jackson, p. 109)[see note 2].


By 1850 Dr. Ennis COMBS family had scattered in a number of directions. Caroline "Dolly" moved to Saline County, Missouri in 1845. She returned to her former home in Montgomery County, Kentucky after the death of her father. She is found living with her sister, Mary CALDWELL, in 1850 (1850 US Census, Kentucky - Montgomery County, p. 41) (Giulvezan, p. 14).

  1. Mrs Caroline "Dolly" (COMBS) HAWLES, 69, (b: 25 Apr 1828) widow of Horace HAWLES, died at home in Redwood City, California a couple of weeks ago. She was Miss Caroline COMBS, daughter of old Dr. COMBS who was well known to the older generation of our people. She was raised w(h)ere William H. PREWITT now lives near old Lulbegrud Church. Was a school mate of Mrs. Anne MITCHELL and Mrs. Mary T. REID. In 1853, she was in a party that crossed the plains, Mr. Jacob TRUMBO, being a member of the same party. She married Horace HAWLES after she went to California and he died a millionaire. She died only moderately rich" (Elliston, p. 75) (Walker & Wilson, p. 44). "I have seen Dolly once since she came out (to Independence, Missouri)" stated her cousin Eliza WALLACE in her letter to Rodney M. HINDE dated 8 Nov 1845 (Giulvezan, p. 14).
    • Caroline HAWLES had a daughter also named Caroline. Her daughter married and had two children, both were living at one time in Redwood City, California. They are Mrs. J.W. GOODWIN and Porter ROBINSON (Musser, 24 Jun 1998, p. 1).
  2. James H. COMBS (b: Dec 1832) is also residing with his sister Mary CALDWELL in Montgomery County, Kentucky in 1850 (1850 US Census, Kentucky - Montgomery County, p. 41). James H. graduated from the Mt. Sterling Academy in 1852. "In 1853 he crossed the plains, with ox and mule teams, to California. He first settled in San Ramon Valley, where he remained one year. He then went to San Jose, where he remained about two years. In 1856 James H. COMBS returned to Jackson County, Missouri (American Biographical Archive, James H. Combs. p. 46). He married Anna Elizabeth MARSHALL (b: Jul 1839) formerly from Lexington, Kentucky on 15 Jul 1860 (Musser, 23 Jun 1998, p. 1). Anna Elizabeth COMBS parents were Robert and Elizabeth MARSHALL, natives of Kentucky.

    • When James H. COMBS returned to Jackson County, Missouri in 1856 he farmed property in Fort Osage Township. His farm was very close to Sibley, Missouri. "Most of…Sibley…was burned by the Federal soldiers during the Civil War. It is said that Federal boats passing on the (Missouri) river were fired upon by bush-whackers and others, from this point, and the soldiers taking it for granted that this was the headquarters of rebels and enemies of the government, hence the destruction of the town" (Ramfre Press, p. 309). After the Civil War James H. COMBS was known to be strongly associated with the Confederacy, as well as supporting members of Quantrill's Raiders. One story is documented where James H. COMBS helps Frank James during a heated battle along the Missouri River:
    • In an attempt to escape capture by Union soldiers, ten members of Quantill's Raiders were racing for Jackson County. The river is heavily patrolled and the rebels were trying to cross the river in Ray County, Missouri into Osage Township. "When the guerrillas left their horses the Federals were on the northern side of the (Missouri) river firing futilely across…(After crossing they) spread…out again under the warming sun and waited and watched. The dismounted men had need to mount themselves rapidly, it was battle everywhere. James Combs especially gave Frank James a horse destined soon to become famous" (Edwards, pp. 171-172).
    • James H. COMBS moved his family to Redwood City, California in 1872. He and his wife Anna Elizabeth COMBS had six children - Robert Marshall (b: abt 1863, MO), Mollie Sue (B: abt 1866, MO), Carrie H. (b: abt 1873, MO), James H. Jr. (b: Dec 1875, CA), Marshal R. (b: Aug 1878) and Bessie () (1880 US Census, California - Lake County) (1900 US Census, California - Lake County).
  3. Evan Ennis COMBS Jr. (b: 16 Sep 1837) is living with Silas and Sarah "Sally" (COMBS) EVANS in 1850 (1850 US Census, Missouri - Lafayette, p. 248) (Walker & Wilson, p. 45). This was the wish of his father who provided for this arrangement in his will. By 1860 Ennis is married to Sarah Waddell CALLAWAY (b: Jul 1840) (Musser, 24 Jun 1998, p. 2). They are still living in Lafayette County with Sally EVANS in 1860 (1860 US Census, Missouri - Lafayette, p. 371).

    • Ennis COMBS Jr. moved his family to Monrovia, Los Angeles County, California after 1863. He and Sarah his wife had four known children - Belle (b: Feb 1863, MO), a twin brother (b: Feb 1863) that did not survive, Annie who died when she was about 2 years of age, and Willie (Musser, 24 Jun 1998, p. 1). In the 1900 Federal Census Ennis COMBS Jr. had a lodger by the name of Matt T. TERRY, age 59 (b: Jun 1840), born in New York. His occupation is listed as shoe maker. Ennis is recorded as owing a farm and a listed occupation as a landscape gardener (1900 US Census, California - Los Angeles).
  4. Silas COMBS (b: 22 May 1821, Montgomery Co, KY) married Martha Jane PREWITT 30 Aug 1842. Martha Jane was born in Fayette County, Kentucky 17 Mar 1822. "Silas was reared and educated in his native county on a farm. In 1842 he moved to Missouri and located in Saline County, where he was engaged in farming till 1851, when he went to Jackson County (Missouri). In 1867 he came to Cass County, Missouri. In 1875 he took a trip to California and remained there two years" (National Historical Company, p. 641). Silas COMBS then returned to Cass County, Missouri and operated a 150 acre farm.

    • For six years Silas COMBS was the constable in Index Township, Jackson County, Missouri. In the fall of 1881 he was elected township collector (National Historical Company, p. 641). Silas COMBS had Jackson County, Missouri land transactions with James A. MCBRIDE on 9 Apr 1858 (Jackson County, Book 26, p. 531), John W. POLK on 12 May 1860 (Jackson County, Book 35, p. 323), H. W. PATTON on 13 Apr 1860 (Jackson County, Book 36, p. 198) and Shelby FISHER and others on 7 Feb 1870 (Jackson County, Book 71, p. 603).
    • Martha Jane and Silas COMBS had thirteen children - Edward M. (b: abt 1845, KY; d: prior to 7 Oct 1925), Mary S. (b: abt 1847, MO; d: prior to 7 Oct 1925), Bettie SANDERS (b: abt 1848, KY), Theodocia "Dote" THOMSON (b: abt 1849, MO), Samuel Woodson (b: abt 1850, MO - living in Nevada, MO in 1925), Susan E. HEIGHTOWER (b: abt 1852, MO - living in Nevada, MO in 1925), Ennis (b: abt 1854, MO), Florance NUNN (b: abt 1856, MO - living in Nevada, MO in 1925 with her husband John NUNN), Robert Lawson. (b:abt 1859, d: 7 Oct 1925), Carrie (b: abt 1861, MO), Mattie W. JONES (b: abt 1864, MO - living in San Diego, CA with her husband Dr Roy Vernon JONES), Dollie H., and one chid that is not identified (National Historical Company, p. 642) (The Independence Examiner, 7 Oct 1925) (1860 US Census, Missouri - Jackson County, p. 317) (1870 US Census, Missouri - Cass County, p. 611A) (Musser, 24 Jun 1998, p. 1).
    • Silas COMBS was a member of the I.O.O.F. fraternity. He was also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church (National Historical Company, p. 642). Robert L. COMBS, his son, was elected the Blue Township Constable, in 1908 he was elected City Marshall of Independence, and four times elected the Independence City Collector. He died of a heart attack in 1925 while serving his fourth term in office (The Independence Examiner, 7 Oct 1925)
  5. Dr. John "Cud" Cuthbert COMBS (b: abt 1822) married Harriet F. SHORTREDGE (b: abt 1834, MO) (Musser, 22 Jun 1998). p. 3. Nelson Scholl wrote Rodney M. HINDE 18 Aug 1845 and stated that "Cousin John's (John C. COMBS) family is all well and in fact all the connection is well. Doc (Ennis) Combs and family is well. Cud (John C. COMBS) has gone to Saline and he and Daddy (Septimus SCHOLL) intend on his return from Howard (County, Missouri) to have a hunt" (Giulvezan, p. 12) (Musser, 24 Jun 1998, p. 1).

    • John C. COMBS and his wife sold several parcels of land 18 Aug 1851 to Strother RENICK, of Lafayette County, Missouri. The land that was being sold was located in Jackson County, Missouri. The legal descriptions are W NE Section 20, Township 50, Range 29; and NW & NE SE Section 20, Township 50, Range 29; and E ½ SE Section 20, Township 50, Range 29; & E ½ NW Section 35, Township 50, Range 29 (Jackson County, Book R, p. 555). The property is located south east of Sibley, Missouri in Fort Osage Township. Another parcel was sold to James M. MAVEY on 22 Mar 1849 (Jackson County, Book O, p. 20).
    • John C. COMBS moved his family from Jackson County, Missouri to Tulare County, California between 1873 and 1880. He and his wife Harette had nine known children - Mary S. (b: abt 1856, MO), Susan H. (b: abt 1858, MO), Samuel L. (b: abt 1859, MO), Martha (b: abt 1862, MO), Catharine (b: abt 1864, MO), Irene (b: abt 1865, MO), Fanny CADWELL (b: abt 1869, MO) and Etnae (b: abt 1873, MO) (1880 US Census, California - Tulare County).
  6. Dr. Edward Mark COMBS M.D. (b: 7 Feb 1818, d: 8 Jan 1893) (Osborne, p. 117) married Louisa E. BUTLER on 3 Mar 1842 (b: 30 Mar 1822, d: 17 May 1885)[see note 3]. Louisa E. COMBS, a native of Montgomery County, Kentucky, is the daughter of Jacob and Sarah (HUKLE) BUTLER, natives of Delaware (Perrin & Others, p. 777). Edward M. COMBS studied medicine with his father until he was twenty years of age. He graduated from the medical department of Transylvania University in 1840. Dr. Edward M. COMBS then practiced with his father in Montgomery County, Kentucky and Saline County, Missouri. In 1845 Dr Edward M. COMBS moved to Kiddville, Clark County, Kentucky. He practiced in Kiddville until 1858, when he moved his family to Lewisport, Hancock County, Kentucky along the Ohio River. In 1870 Dr. Edwad M. COMBS moved his family again, this time to Clark County, Kentucky. "Dr. Edward Combs lives near Winchester, (Clark County) Kentucky" (Musser, 22 Jun 1998, p. 2). He is buried in the Winchester Cemetery, Clark County, Kentucky (Perrin & Others, p. 777).

    • Dr. Edward M. COMBS sold land to Augustine B. CALDWELL that was located in Jackson County, Missouri on 3 Jul 1853 (Jackson County, Book T, p. 436). A second parcel of land in Jackson County, Missouri was sold to Nancy Jane BATES on 21 May 1868 (Jackson County, Book 56, p. 378).
  7. Dr. Fielding Alexander COMBS (b: 10 Aug 1828, KY) married Elizabeth F. CARTHRAE (b:1828, d: 20 Feb 1865) 15 Aug 1848 in Saline County, Missouri (Walker & Wilson, p. 45) (Dodd, p. 153). Elizabeth F. CARTHRA is the daughter of Charles Wesley and Elizabeth CARTHRAE, and the sister of Dr. Charles Alexander CARTHRAE who practiced medicine with Fielding A. COMBS (Ham, p 100).
    • Dr. Fielding COMBS was educated at the Literary Academy at Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. In 1848 he graduated from Medical College at Transylvania University. In 1842 he emigrated to Independence, Missouri. Dr. Fielding COMBS started his medical practice in Independence, Missouri. He later moved to the Marshall area, in Saline County, Missouri.
    • In 1877 Fielding A. COMBS moved his family to Lake County, California. In 1879 he moved his family again to Tulare County, California. Here he purchased a large ranch and tried his hand at farming. He was not successful at farming so he sold out and moved to Visalia, California. Fielding and his wife Elizabeth had six known children - Howard M. (b: Aug 1863, MO), James E. (b: Oct 1870, MO)[see note 4], Mary, another daughter Sydnor C. (b: Aug 1872, MO), and Nannie L. (b: Jun 1875, MO), and Sarah (1900 US Census, California - Tulare County) (American Biographical Archive, Fielding Combs. p. 35). This is approximately the same time frame that John Cuthbert COMBS moved his family to Tulare County, California. James E. COMBS lived in Visalia, Tulare County, California (Musser, 24 Jun 1998, p. 1).
    • Various sources characterize Dr. Fielding A. COMBS as a Democrat. He was an active Mason and a member of the I.O.O.F.

    See the Tulare Co, CA, biography of Fielding A. COMBS, from the History of the State of California and biographical record of the San Joaquin Valley, California: an historical story of the state's marvelous growth from its earliest settlement to the present time ... Also containing biographies of well-known citizens of the past and present, James Miller Guinn, The Chapman Publishing Co. (1905)

  8. Sarah Elizabeth COMBS married Thomas Burke STEVENSON 24 Nov 1835 (Walker & Wilson, p. 44) [see note 5]. One source has Sarah and Thomas STEVENSON residing in Frankfort, Kentucky (Boyd, p. 20).

  9. Susannah "Susan" E. COMBS (b: 15 Mar 1830) (Walker & Wilson, p. 44) married Howard MATTHEWS ON 25 Sep 1845, in Jackson County, Missouri (Dodd, p. 153). "Susan (MATTHEWS) was married the 25th of September, to a widower by the name of Matthews (Giulvezan, p. 14). Dr. Ennis COMBS gave a nine year old Negro girl, by the name Mary, to his daughter on 7 Jul 1847. This deed of gift recorded Susan E. MATTHEWS as a resident of Jackson County, Missouri (Jackson County, Book L, p. 530). In Dr. Ennis COMBS will, dated 25 Jul 1848, it lists Susan MATTHEWS as being deceased (Williams & Williams, p. 51).

  10. Mary A. COMBS (b: 4 Oct 1824) was married to Augustus B. CALDWELL (b: 4 Aug 1819) on 24 Aug 1841. Dr. Ennis COMBS gave a twelve year old Negro girl, by the name Jane, to his daughter on 7 Jul 1847. This deed of gift recorded Mary A. CALDWELL as a resident of Jackson County, Missouri (Jackson County, Book L, p. 531). Augustine B. CALDWELL and John HEARD probated the John A. MIZE will on 23 Dec 1847, in Jackson County, Missouri (Meador, p. 54). In the 1850 Federal Census for Montgomery County, Kentucky Mary A. CALDWELL is living with her sister Caroline COMBS and her brother James H. [see note 6]. Her husband is not listed as part of the residence. Two children are listed - Robert (b: abt 1845), and Mary (b: abt 1849) (1850 US Census, Kentucky - Montgomery County, p. 41).


There was an abundance of activity in Jackson County in the 1840's as various members of the COMBS', EVANS', HINDE'S move into the Independence, Missouri area. Septimus SCHOLL wrote a letter to Rodney M. HINDE, Polly (HINDE) COMBS brother, 3 Jul 1846 and described the community this way:

"Our country has been a place of rendezvous for the last several months. There were several hundred Indians of the Sacks and Foxes passed up the country last winter to their place of destination 160 miles above this. There were from 300 to 500 wagons left this place for Oregon and California, about the same number to Santa Fe, loaded with merchandise and they are still a going notwithstanding the war with Mexico is still a raging. There were 1,000 volunteers started from here a few days past for Santa Fe. It looks like they intend to trade and fight at the same time. Some of the wagons were loaded with arms and ammunition &c…Your brother James is living near to where Silas Evans and Combs live" (Giulvezan, p. 18).

Located in Sibley, Missouri is a small cemetery which is just a few hundred feet from the historic Fort Sibley, also known as Fort Osage. This well manicured graveyard is bordered on three sides by walls. One of the walls has a galvanized chain linked gate which allows for passage into the burial ground. The fourth perimeter area lacks any sort of wall. In fact there is an obvious two to three foot drop in the ground where a fourth wall would stand if one had been constructed. This escarpment runs the entire length of the cemetery. When an individual stands in the depression one can see that it runs into a very densely vegetated area on one end, and around the backside of Old Fort Sibley on the other. This deep groove in the ground is the trail that was cut by the wagon wheels of those pioneers traveling on the Santa Fe Trail.

"On a trail journey, the interior of a covered wagon was a woman's province, and upon undertaking her duties as wagon housekeeper her first reaction was usually astonishment over how much a wagon could hold. A female observer describing a Conestoga (a type of wagon with broad wheels for westward travel over the prairies) remarked that it had ‘eight holes cut in the canvas on one side, and a child's face peeping out of every one of the holes. Besides the children, it contained cats, dogs, beds, cooking stove, tin pans and kettles'" (Brown, p.103).

On 6 December 1846 Septimus SCHOLL wrote Rodney M. HINDE and stated that "I am of the opinion that we are located in one of the most promising points on the river and general thoroughfare on the western frontier, and if we have good health (which I flatter myself we will have) and can reconcile ourselves to the climate, we can hardly fail to do well…We are here in ten miles of the Indian Territory which is lined with their huts in their natural dress and costume. There are Delawares, Pottawatomies, Shawnees, Pawnees, Fox, Sioux, Haws, all within 100 miles of us. When I meet them strolling over the country, it puts me in mind of the ancient tales of Kentucky. I can hardly reconcile myself to treat them with civility when I reflect how many of my near relation have suffered by them … I have tried to reconcile my feelings to every class and condition as I meet them or as they present themselves" (Giulvezan, p. 20).

"Our town of Independence is thronged at this time with soldiers, ten companies of mounted volunteers are rendezvousing there for Mexico by way of Santa Fe. Oxen, wagons, beef cattle bring fine prices and will continue to do so until government gets supplied. A great many Santa Fe traders, Rocky Mountain hunters, Oregon emigrants keep up a continuous buzz in town (Giulvezan, p 22) … Daniel Boone has just returned from the plains with 27 (buffalo calves) - he took 30 milk cows and caught 35 young buffalo calves and they suck the tame cows and in that way they bring them in fat" (Giulvezan, p. 23).

Septimus SCHOLL also describes the living accommodations around the area of Independence in 1844. He writes on 1 December the following:

"I have purchased one hundred and eight acres of land, one-half of which is in a neat state of cultivation with a common log house shingled and stone chimney with a good kitchen, smoke house, stable, corn crib, all new and well put up, an apple orchard of 75 bearing trees of the best selected fruit, … a delightful spring house and spring of never failing water in about 40 yards from the door, and a laid way to the place. The spring house is laid over with flat rock one-third of which is covered over by water as clear as crystal about three inches deep … (The) 108 acres is a garden spot, well timbered what is not cleared, with large linn, hackberry, black walnut of a large size, with mulberry, pawpaws, and plums. The land is situated 3 miles from Independence, a flourishing little town three miles of the Missouri River. It is about six miles from the nearest place from my place" (Giulvezan, p. 6).

In 1847 Septimus SCHOLL discusses a home being constructed by Silas EVANS:

Nelson, Marcus and Joseph have just returned from Saline (County, Missouri) on a hunting expedition packed with venison where they met with Silas EVANS which has got home on his hazard plow and is finishing off a frame and log house and so much engaged that he only took one drive with them. The doctor (Dr. Ennis COMBS) has also just returned and left all well. Silas C. (Silas COMBS) has another heir, a daughter" (Giulvezan, p. 15) [see note 7].

It was not uncommon to be gone for long periods of time. In one letter it was stated that they were absent for 100 days. The manner of travel varied on these periods of absence. Septimus SCHOLL outlines the traveling schedule from Clark County, Kentucky to Independence, Missouri, which was a topic of discussion in a 1846 letter to Rodney M. HINDE:

"We were on the river 16 days and left the boat at the Arrow Rock (Arrow Rock, Missouri) and got a carriage to take us out to Silas Evans (living in Saline County at this time) where we sent for Nelson and Cyrus (in Jackson County) which brought the carriage and horses and conveyed us home where we found all as well as might be expected after so long an absence" (Giulvezan, p. 19)[see note 8].


Tell me and I will forget,
Show me and I might remember,
Involve me and I will understand
----------Chinese Proverb----------

We learn about things when we break them into smaller parts and analyze the smaller segments. In 1735 Carl von Linne, a Swede, began classifying living things. He put man into a genus category termed Homo, and the species titled sapiens. He separated man from the other primates within the class Mammalia. The reasoning for this separation was based on the premise that man could reason. Man has the great gift of a developed brain. The brain allows man to think and to reason. But this marvelous benefit must be developed or there is a failure to communicate effectively.

Significance is forged through an appreciation and a building of ones knowledge. We use many forms of expression to create meaning - art, music, rituals, icons, and stories are just a few examples. There are many families that make dinner a ritual, or center the activities with kin around food. Specific times of the year are associated with specific foods, preparations and presentations. These rituals create significance within the family, as well as convey concepts about who they are.

There are also those families that employ "magnet art" as means of expression. Magnet art is typically those crayon drawings that are attached to the refrigerator door. After a period of time these works of art are usually placed in storage, periodically retrieved and the moments relived in private as the tears form in your eyes. If only those moments could be saved.

Stories are just as important as food, rituals, music and even magnet art. They provide a means of developing the character, establishing what is right or wrong, and teaching things that develop the soul (Proverb 1:1-7).

What we write is not nonsense. It is not lofty or impractical. The true nonsense or impracticality is not understanding what hardships and dedication that has preceded our existence. Dr. Evan Ennis COMBS lived in an area that is almost void of his very presence, or the presence of his family members. If this story is not told we loose a connection with the magic - the enlightenment of the COMBS community.

Often it seems impossible to find the necessary information on which to build a narrative. As ethical researchers one tries to find information that suggests an obvious step-by-step approach to a valid conclusion. But there are other times when one must use a surrogate to make a point about the lives of family members.

On 19 Oct 1847 Septimus SCHOLL lost a son to measles. He wrote Rodney M. HINDE about this experience which demonstrates the emotion of the family at this time:

"Joseph was not here. He departed this life on the 27th of September of measles. Oh God, give me fortitude to bear up under my loss. I cannot step out of doors nor even raise my head but I see something Joe has had a hand in doing or making, for he was a good obedient boy and an enterprising and industrious, and there was little done only what he had a full share in performing, in fact I see or hear but little but what places him full in my imagination. But - he is not here. The sound of clarinet, the elder fife, the wild geese, the brant (a small, black-necked wild goose), the prairie hen has become almost death to me to hear them, they being his favorite pursuits - laboring hard five days and a half in the week to get an opportunity to spend a few hours a Saturday evening in his favorite sports, for he was truly industrious. In losing of him I lost a staff and prop of my latter days. Oh God, give me fortitude to bear up under such an affliction and forgive me if I should regret an occurrence which I have no control over, for the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed is the name of the Lord. They buried him in the garden about 60 yards off the house, dressed in a suit of black with gloves &c. On - his coffin covered with black velvet and trimmed inside with white. The neighbors and friends attended and aided in rendering the last services to a departed friend" (Giulvezan, p. 23).

On 12 Jan 1848 Septimus SCHOLL wrote a second letter to Rodney M. HINDE with a continuation of the death of his son, Joseph:

"When I got home I found our family in a condition which I leave you to judge, having buried Joseph and little Peter (a very young slave boy that was buried next to Joseph who died of measles) three weeks. What was here was enjoying tolerable health, though most of them having had the measles. Joseph was sick three weeks complaining as usual in cases of measles until a few days before he died, being very little trouble only a few days, the measles having fell on his bowels which Dr. Combs (Dr. Ennis COMBS) and Caldwell could not check, both tending on him, but terminated in death in a few days - very unexpected to his friends and acquaintances" (Giulvezan, p. 25).

It's not necessary to have a list of the COMBS', HINDE'S or EVANS' that attended the services for Joseph SCHOLL. Most of them would have been present at the burial. You can feel the grief in Septimus SCHOLL'S account of his sons death. Special effort was taken by the family for his burial at the end of the garden. Joseph SCHOLL does not appear on any burial list in Jackson County, Missouri. In checking the area where the farm was located, no monument could be located for either Joseph or Peter.


  1. Daryl Combs from San Pedro, CA provided me with his personnel COMBS data base for Dr. Ennis COMBS in 1997. He has Mary "Polly" COMBS death as about 1838. I have no information that supports this date, but Daryl probably has a document that may support this statement.
  2. Ann CATLETT is believed to be the sister of Susan N. COMBS. Dr. D. CATLETT is believed to be the brother of Susan N. COMBS. This is only speculation since there is no documentation to support these assumptions.
  3. Two sources show the birth date for Dr. Edward Mark COMBS as 7 Feb 1818. The text Kentucky Cemetery Records, v. 1, page 117, line 9, by the Kentucky Records Research Committee (1960) shows an incorrect date of 7 Feb 1848.
  4. One source has Howard M. as a doctor, another source has James E. as a doctor. One of them or both of them are medical professionals but a second souce has not been obtained to verify the facts. The Musser Letters contains a specific statement that James E. COMBS was a dentist.
  5. Walker & Wilson have the date of marriage 24 Nov 1835. Boyd has the marriage date as 25 Nov 1835. Used Bible records as best source at this time.
  6. Williams & Williams have Mary CALDWELL as being deceased. This is in error since she appears in the 1850 US Census in Montgomery County, Kentucky.
  7. This child would be Mary S. COMBS based on date of letter and birth order.
  8. All of the extraction from the SCHOLL letters were transcribed as they were found in the original. No errors were corrected. Additional comments are placed inside of parentheses and were not part of the original documents.


     Michael R. WilSon
     1109 NE 97th Place
     Kansas City, Missouri 64155