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Clayton County; In 1836, Iowa was included in the Wisconsin Territory. Clayton County formed 1837 from Dubuque, Wisconsin Territory, and Iowa Territory created in 1838.

1870 Clayton Co, Census

Source: Heritage Quest Original Images transcribed and submitted by Sue Elfving.

Elk Township

p. 216/17 - 5 Aug 1870

Colesburg PO

112/113 Samuel S. Combs, 46, male, white, Farming, PP=$310, b. KY
James W, 22, male, white, farm laborer, b. IN
Sarah, 20, female, white, keeping house, b. IN
Job, 18, male, white, b. IL
Alice, 15, female, white, b. IL
Minnie F, 6, female, white, b. IA

Note: Now he shows a middle initial of "S" instead of the "F" in 1860 Delaware Co., IA record. No wife in this record but he may have remarried by 1880.

DNA tests link Samuel S. Combs genetically to Jonathan Combs of Middlesex Co, NJ.

Boardman Twp

Strawberry Point

p. 154A

228/227 Coomes, Owen 35 M W Ireland 2,000 200 Ire
Mary 33 F W Keeping House ?
Katie 14 F W At Home OH
Hannah 13 F W At Home WS
Julia 8 F W At Home WS
Eugene 7 M W At Home WS
Martin 1 M W At Home IA

Note: Occupation Ireland?

1880 Clayton Co, Census

Source: FHL 1880 Census transcription

Elk Township

p. 828B

Job Combs, Self, Md, Male, white, 28, Farm Laborer, IL KY NY
Alice, Wife, Md, Female, white, 20, Keeping House, IA VA KY
Gertrude, Dau, Single, Female, white, 2, b. IA IL IA
Bertram, Nephew, Single, Male, white, 8, Attending School, IA, IL, IA

Note: Job, son of Samuel Combs. See 1860 Delaware Co, IA census and 1870 Clayton Co. census records.

p. 329C

Samuel Combs, Self, Md, Male, white, 56, Grocer, b. KY TN KY
Mary, Wife, Md, Female, white, 53, Keeping House, NY NY NY
William, Son, Single, Male, white, 11, Attending School, b. IA KY NY

Note: Could this wife Mary be a second wife. Samuel's 1870 census shows no wife. Or was she just omitted from 1870 census. Also Job's 1880 census record shows his mother born in NY and above Mary is shown as being born in NY.

1885 Clayton Co, IA State Census

FHL# 1021454, HQ# V221-53 (Clayton Co, IA - IAGenWeb Project, USGenWeb)

Elk Twp

91 4 27 S3/4. N.E. S.E

p. 250 June 1st, 1885

10/11 Combs, Job A 32 M M Farmer N N
Alice C. 26 F M N N
Gertrude 7 F S N N
Maud J 4 F S N N

91 4 32 SW NE NE

p. 254

32/34 Combs Samuel 60 M M Merchant KY N N X
Sabrina 51 F M IL N N

Note: This means that Samuel must have had had three wives: Mary Pinkley who bore all his children and died in 1868; Mary Unknown from New York who shows up in the 1880 census with an 11 year old son, William, who must be the issue of another marriage; and Sabrina Unknown. Mary Unknown must have died between 1880 and 1885. William is not living with Samuel and Sabrina Unknown, but he would have been 16, and maybe on his own. None of the wives are mentioned in Samuel's obit. (Wes Blank)

91 4 32 N.W. N.E.

33/35 RULON Kelley 34 M M Merchant Clayton N N X X
Allie 29 F M IL N N
Claude 8 M S Delaware N N
Earl 2 M S Clayton N N

Note: Allie is Alice Rebecca Combs d/o Samuel Stockwell Combs.

WB Note: Samuel Stockwell Combs had a daughter named Alice Rebecca Combs. She married William Kelley RULON (not Alice ROSS as reported). Samuel's son, Job Combs, married Alice C. ROSS who is sometimes referred to as Alice R. Combs. Easy to mix up!

Elk Creek Cemetery

Samuel Combs

Mary PINKLEY Combs

Job Combs (1909)

Sarah Combs (1910)

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

Important: All Records collected for this county may not have been added here as yet. See also the Combs Research List Archives