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A brief bio of Samuel S. Combs prepared by Combs Researcher Wes Blank, in collaboration with Constance Combs and Barry Combs.

Samuel Combs has been linked through DNA findings to Jonathan Combs of New Brunswick, Middlesex Co, NJ Johnathan Combs of Sullivan Co, TN .

Samuel Stockwell Combs was born on February 28, 1824, in Kentucky. According to the 1880 census, his father was from Tennessee and his mother was from Kentucky.

On May 25, 1841, he acquired two homestead patents of 40 acres each in Posey Township, Clay County, Indiana. By 1846, he had married Mary PINKLEY of Indiana (born April, 1822). Three children were born to Samuel and Mary in Indiana, Andrew J (November 12, 1845), James Wilson (January 14, 1847) and Sarah A (June 16, 1850). We know that James was born in Clay County and Sarah was almost certainly born there too.

On December 29, 1851, Samuel and Mary sold their eighty acres in Posey Township to Alford Wyatt. The land they sold is five miles south and two miles west of the present city of Brazil, Indiana, on sections 22 and 27 of Posey Township. Uriah W Modisett was one of the witnesses to the sale. Uriah, along with Michael Combs, was prominent in the development of Staunton in Posey Township and the building of the Vadelia Railroad. There may be a connection between Samuel and Michael Combs.

The family moved to Illinois where two children were born, Job (May 7, 1852) and Alice (1855).

In the 1856 Iowa State Census, Samuel and his family were listed in Washington Township in Jones County, IA. They must have just moved to Iowa as their residence in Iowa was shown as 0 years. Living with them was Benjamin Pinkley, 26, probably a brother of Mary.

By 1860, the Combs were in Elk Township in Delaware County, Iowa. Their last child, Minnie F was born in 1864. Benjamin Pinkley was still living with the family. Samuel's occupation was listed as “miller” in the 1860 US Census. Curiously, his son James later married Alma Redden, the daughter of an Elk Township mill owner, William Redden.

In the 1870 Census, the Combs family is listed in Elk Township, Clayton County, IA. Elk Township, Clayton County, is immediately north of Elk Township, Deleware County. Their child, Minnie F, had been born in 1864, and Mary had died on December 19, 1868. In the household were Samuel, James W, Sarah, Jobe (sic), Alice and Minnie F.

It appears that Samuel remarried another Mary, this one born 1827 in New York. In the 1880 census Samuel, Mary and a son William, born 1869, are shown. Samuel is listed as a grocer. If they married, it must have been after 1870, and William is probably a stepson, since neither Mary or William are shown in the 1870 census.

Samuel Combs died on April 27, 1894. He and Mary Pinkley Combs are buried in Elk Creek Cemetery, a beautiful site on a hill behind a farmyard in southern Clayton County. Buried near them are children Job (1909) and Sarah (1910).

Samuel Combs Obituary
From Barry Combs. He doesnít have the source.


Samuel Stockwell Combs was born Feb. 28, 1824, in Kentucky and died April 27, 1894, in Clayton Co., Iowa, after six weeks of great suffering from la grippe, erysipelas (skin infection), and kidney trouble.

He sleeps to wake when Jesus, whose coming he so earnestly prayed and longed for, shall come to call him. He was converted at the age of seventeen. At one time, when his children were small, he was sick unto death, but by earnest, fervent prayer to God that he might live to raise those helpless little ones, he was restored. He never ceased to thank and praise God for that great blessing and spoke of it in his last illness. He still prayed to live, for he so longed to be alive when Christ came back. But if it was not the Lordís will to restore him again it was all right. O such a noble sweet pure nature was his. It seemed that his suffering for over thirty years of invalidism had only served to sweeten and purify his nature. He was a great Bible student. He loved the Crisis next to his Bible and spent many happy hours in reading it. His funeral sermon was preached from 2 Tim. 4:7,8. I think in all that audience there was no one whom he had not tried to persuade to come to Jesus. May God in his infinite mercy and love grant his daily prayer, that all his dear ones may be found worthy of an inheritance with him at Godís right hand. M.F.R.

Wesley Blank, Constance Combs & Barry Combs
January 19, 2009