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Levi Combs, b 9 Mar 1796, near Salisbury, Rowan Co, NC; d 13 Jul 1886, Fayette, Washington Co, AR; m (1) 27 Jul 1817, Wilkes Co, NC; Sarah ARRINGTON (d/o John & Mary STEVENSON Arrington), b 16 Apr 1791, Wilkes Co, NC; d 7 Apr 1859, Washington Co, AR.

31 [30] Jul 1886. Fayetteville Arkansas Weekly Democrat. No. 31. Washington Co, AR. Died.

In Fayetteville, Ark., Tuesday, July 13th, 1886, Levi Combs, aged 90 years, 4 months and 4 days. It has passed into a proverb that truth is stronger than fiction; and how often is this exemplified in the history of both men and things. There has long lived in Fayetteville, one whose personal history runs back into the "dim and dimmer" past, till we reach the time of George WASHINGTON and the beginning of our government.

The Subject of this sketch was born during the presidency of George WASHINGTON, and consequently lived under every administration of the federal government from Gen. WASHINGTON to President CLEVELAND.

How strange it must seem to those who knew the deceased so intimately and well, to think that only a few days ago they took by the hand, looked into the living face and felt the pulse beat of one who came down from this remote past. This venerable patriarch saw a great many strange sights and had to do with a great many strange things during this most splendid century of the worlds history through which he lived. How interesting the history he might have written.

He was born near Salisbury [Rowan Co], North Carolina, March 9, 1796. His parents dying when he was an infant, he was adopted into the family of a kind-hearted gentleman whose name was John ARRINGTON and grew to manhood in his native state. In 1817 he was married to Miss Sarah ARRINGTON, youngest daughter of the gentleman who raised him.

About the year 1822 this young couple moved to Tennessee which was then the "far west" and which had been born into the union as a sovereign state the same year (1796) the subject of this sketch was born. After a residence her of eight years, he again sought a home further to the northwest, this time locating in the rapidly developing state of Illinois. However, he only remained in his new home three years, and hten came to Washington county in the territory of Arkansas. This was in 1833. He bought land 5 miles southwest of Fayetteville and made him a home on which he lived 37 years. In 1858 while living on this place his wife died, aged 68 years having been born in 1790, six years before her husband.

After the death of his wife, he still lived on the homestead till 1870, when he sold his farm to Hiram MILLER. After this he had no permanent home till he came to live with Dr. PUTMAN, one of the most highly esteemed citizens of Fayetteville. This was in 1875 and hence for eleven years he lived as one of the family, and, in fact, treated as a father by the amiable doctor and his good wife.

If only a cup of water given in the name of a disciple brings its blessing, how rich will be the reward of Dr. P. and his family, hwo through all these years have been the stay of this ancient pilgrim. To such in the end the Master will say: "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungered and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger ye took me in: * * * * * * * inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me."

The deceased was converted in N. C. in the beginning of his long and eventful life, and gave his best years to the service of God. His Bible and his religion were his greatest consolation; and as his body bent with the weight of years and his eyes were dimmed with the mists of age, his faith grew stronger and his hope brighter. After coming to Ark., he identified himself with the Christian church and lived in its fellowship more than 40 years. For many years he exercised his gifts in exhortation and in preaching the Word. As his powers began to fail he had to give up active service and for several years before his death was denied the privelege [sic] of attending church altogether.

His health had generally been good and his death was the result of natural decay. He gradually grew weaker and weaker until the heart that had beat through 90 years finally stood still, and the grand old pilgrim, wayworn and fatigued, slep like a little child on its mother's bosom. In his last years he fully realized the wish of Edwin Waugh is [sic] his "Life's 'Twilight" and beautifully expressed in this stanza:
Then let me with untroubled breast
Awhile in shadow lie,
Before I lay me down to rest
And bid the world 'Good-bye.'"
N. M. R.

19 Mar 1796. near Salisbury, Rowan Co, NC (possibly Surry or Wilkes). Born: Levi Combs, whose parents die shortly thereafter, and he is raised by John & Mary STEVENSON Arrington of Wilkes Co, NC.

The 1795 Wilkes Co, NC tax lists include George, Peter, Hicks, John and Thomas Combs. In 1796, no Combs are on Wilkes tax lists (not known if extant), but in 1797, George, Peter, Hicks and Bediance Combs are on the Wilkes tax lists (John and Thomas missing, and Bediance new). It is possible that Bedience (who was non-tithable) may have been a.k.a. Obedience, the "Biddy" NANCE who m 31 May 1779, John Combs), and possibly now widowed (or deserted).

In 1800, only two Combs are on the Wilkes Co, NC census (George and James) and neither have young children in their household. John ARRINGTON, however, was in Iredell Co, NC in 1800 and had two males under ten in his census household, one of which was his son, John, Jr., b 1792. The other is unaccounted for and may have been Levi (it is not known when his parents died).

Aug 1800 (Wilkes WB2:14) August term 1800. Inventory of George Combs estate, decd. [Items, not listed] Retd. by William MILLER, Admr. (Wilkes Co, NC, Will Abstracts, Books One & Two, 1778-1811, Mrs. W. O. Absher, SHP, Easley, SC, 1989)

On 22 Aug 1800, John ARENTON [sic] purchased items from the Wilkes Co, NC estate of George Combs, Deceased. Also present were Peter Combs and Henry HAYS (his daughter, Keziah, m 1801, Wilkes, Thomas Hicks Combs).

On 27 Jul 1817, Wilkes Co, NC, Levi Combs m Sarah ARRINGTON, with John ARRINGTON, his bondsman.

In 1820, Levi is on the Wilkes Co, NC census, but by 1822 (per newspaper article) he was in Tennessee, and he may have been the Levi HICKS named in an 1826 Washington Co, AR deed, although possibly a resident of Hardin Co, TN at the time. In 1830, there is a Levi Combs in Fulton Co, IL who appears to be this Levi, who is listed near a James Combs, and has close connections to the family of Redding and Stacey Combs Putman, the latter b 2 Sep 1794, Wilkes Co, NC, and close kin to the Bennett and Dorothy Combs Family of Pendleton District, SC.

Levi removes from IL to Washington AR where he patents land at West Fork in 1838, located at Twp. 15N Range 30W, Section 7 (His son, Joel Arrington Combs, patents land in the same section in 1843). The following year, Reding PUTMAN, widower of Stacy Combs, patents land in the adjacent section (5), and on the 1840 Washington Co, AR census, Levi's name precedes that of Reding PUTMAN (widower of Stacy Combs) by only six names.

In 1850, Mary STEVENSON Arrington is listed in the HH of Levi and Sarah, but by 1860, Sarah is deceased, and his mother-in-law and the family of his son, Alfred Bennett are in his household.

8/28/1866 Washington Co AR. Levi may have been the same who married Sarah GUDE this date, and she may have been the Sarah Combs who committed suicide in Jan 1869. Researcher Penny Quinnelly lists this marriage on a Family Group Sheet and states that Levi had a daughter, Lilly Mae, by his second marriage (no more info given).

1870 Washington Co, AR Census. Levi is living alone, age 74, born North Carolina.

July 16, 1886. Fayetteville Arkansas Weekly Democrat. (Weekly Newspaper). Washington Co, AR. Uncle Levi Combs died at the residence of Dr. PUTMAN, this city, Monday night. He came to this county at an early day and settled on the West Fork of White river. He was over 90 years of age at the time of his death, and he has always enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his acquaintances. A good man has gone and an old land mark has passed away. (Combs Researcher Herbert Holcomb)

The relationship between Levi and Stacy Combs Putman remains undetermined (research in progress as there has to be one...