Ed. Note: Although the title of this article suggests that it is intended for Jackson Co, MO researchers, its author, Combs Researcher Michael R. Wilson, has, in fact, provided his readers with an excellent picture of early schools throughout America's frontier, and most particularly in Missouri. See also Michael's James H. Combs and the contested 1866 Jackson County, Missouri Election for insight into post-Civil War Missouri.

Background: Evan Ennis Combs (s/o Cuthbert & Sarah EVANS Combs, Sr.), b 1790-1795, VA; d 18 Jun 1849 of Lafayette Co, MO; m 17 Apr 1817, Clark Co, KY, Mary Sydnor HINDE, sister of Rodney M. HINDE who married 20 Sep 1840, Clark Co, KY, Catherine SCHOLL, d/o Septimus and Sarah MILLER Scholl (See reference below to The Septimus Scholl Letters).

by Combs Researcher Michael R. Wilson


The nation was growing rapidly in the middle decades of the 19th century, changing continually in hundreds of ways. The country was developing a national economy, marked by the dependence of each community upon all the others, the production of goods in one area for sale in other regions, the increased specialization of both agricultural and industrial producers, and the growth in the size of the average unit of production. Even in areas fairly close to the frontier, the small, crude, relatively self-sufficient farmer was becoming far less common than had been in earlier times.

At first there was little chance for schooling for children in pioneer communities. This situation forced mothers to teach their children themselves. Finishing schools also did not exist, so families accustomed to genteel environments created atmospheres of refinement. They taught their children elegance and grace in pioneer setting (Six Mile Baptist Church, p. 9).

"From the rough pioneer country that it was in 1808 Six Mile Territory (Fort Osage Township area, Jackson County, Missouri) rapidly grew so that in the '50's it was a prosperous farming community. It was open country no longer. Where forty years before Indians had roamed the hills and plains, there were lovely, comfortable southern homes with Negroes working in the fertile fields and bearing orchards. Ladies and gentlemen traveled back and forth in their own carriages behind high stepping horses with Negro drivers. The Santa Fe Trail carried a constant stream of traffic over the road that followed the old Indian Trace…Mathews' Tavern on the Missouri (River), a few miles east of Sibley (Missouri), had offered accommodations to passengers on the steamboats for some time…A Half-way House between Lexington (Missouri) and the growing town of Independence (Missouri) where wagon trains were outfitted for their journey to the west was located about three miles south and west of Matthews Landing on the old Indian Trace" (Six Mile Baptist Church, p. 13).

Basic adjustments within the community were taking place in the 1850's, although sometimes unnoticed. Education in the United States was conducted largely by means of small rural schools. Most of the country's population lived on farms and was scattered over a great area of countryside. Each farming section had its own schoolhouse and its teacher. The building was usually small, often having one room in which all the students sat.

The educational process is actually a reflection of the society of which it is a part. The early 19th century schools "were in the hands of conservatives, and hence cautious men, who inclined to believe that the supreme value of their teaching lay not so much in the matter at hand as in the mental training they could derive from it" (Meyer, p. 238).

"In the early nineteenth-century America, teachers intruded (imposed) moral dimension into every aspect of their teaching…Children would learn to govern their passions, not only by being whipped or beaten into submission, but by attending to the tasks of normal learning - memorizing and reciting passages from the Bible, learning to read and write, deriving from books and teachers, a vocabulary with which to organize and understand reality" (Finkelstein, p. 16).

Robert DANIEL emigrated from Montgomery County, Kentucky where he grew up, to Jackson County, Missouri in the fall of 1836. He stated in 1877 that he "attended the old-fashioned subscription schools, held in log school-houses, and enjoyed poor educational advantages in contrast with the youth of the present generation" (Brink & McDonough, p. 30).

Mercer Green JOHNSTON attended schools in Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky from 1876-1880 and articulated the following:

"We were all dreadfully afraid of her. She (Lou HARRIS) ruled despotically; to cross her meant one certain thing - a thrashing, tho' you might be the biggest fellow in school…If you did right, she was your loyal, ardent friend, and gave you unstinted praise" (Finkelstein, p. 256).

During the existence of the subscription schools the pupils brought their own texts to class. There are accounts of partial sections of Bibles, old newspapers, a copy of a novel or an old catalog being brought to school for reading lessons. Teachers treated each person as being unique. They would make individual assignments, listen to each recitation and give individual appraisals. Going to school was a private, asocial experience.

After 1850 the one-room schools still had students of widely varying ages, backgrounds and levels of achievement. However the seating arrangement within the school buildings were beginning to be changed. Students no longer sat on benches around the perimeter of the school room. Desks and tables replaced the benches. It was not uncommon to see boys on one side of the room and girls on the other. The stove, which was used for heating, was moved to one end of the room. Numerous windows were also designed into new buildings for light and ventilation. Teachers were removed from their elevated platforms. The proper place for the teacher was in front of the classroom, and no longer occupying the center of the room. These changes were the results of the common school movement (Finkelstein, p. 21).

Another major change taking place in this country during the first half of the nineteenth-century, was the cultural acceptance for women to earn a living by teaching school. Women were being encouraged to move with the westward migration and transform the children of the wild frontiers into ordinary placid citizens (Brown, p. 284).

"Until the middle of the nineteenth century, schoolteaching…was monopolized by the dominant males…(The) population increase was running so far ahead of the supply of school teachers that children would grow up in ignorance unless women came forth and entered the profession by the thousands…Men…were deserting teaching for more profitable occupations, and few could be persuaded to return…to the…schoolroom" (Brown, pp. 284-285).

Letter writing and the circulation of periodicals, coupled with the slashing of postal rates, revolutionized the spreading of knowledge. Farmers and the working classes began demanding educational reform. They became so concerned about education issues that citizens formed local school districts to deal with their demands (Baldwin & Kelley, p. 144).

The Board of Education T50 R30 was a locally formed and controlled school district by the people living in a section of Osage Township, Jackson County, Missouri. The school district was know to consist of at lest four subsections, each one containing some sort of schoolhouse. On 4 APR 1870 John M. and Mary PHIPPS sold one acre of land for the price of one dollar to the school board. This land was to be used by "the said Township School Board for the use of Sub. District No. (4) in said Township" (Jackson County, Deed Book 74, p. 247). A building was erected on this site and was named Combs School.


The Civil War changed the sociological dynamics of Jackson County, Missouri. The county was torn between two factions. Most of the hostilities were between the Confederates in the outlying area and the Federal soldiers stationed at Independence, Missouri. Between 1862 and the spring of 1863, Independence kept changing hands. "But as it was, first one side and then the other was in control of the town, so there was cruelty and needless injuries inflicted upon the once noble and beautiful little city of Independence" (Union Historical Company, p. 288).

One week after Captain William Clarke Quantrill's guerrilla raid on Lawrence, Kansas Brigadier General Thomas L. EWING Jr. issued the famous "Order Number 11" (Kansas City Daily Journal of Commerce, 27 AUG 1863).

Head Quarters District of the Border, Kansas City, Missouri, August 25, 1863. "All persons living in Jackson, Cass and Bates counties, Missouri, and in that part of Vernon included in the district, except those living within one mile of the limits of Independence, Hickman Mills, Pleasant Hill and Harrisonville , and except those in part of Kaw township, Jackson county, north of Brush Creek and west of the Big Blue, are hereby ordered to remove from their present places of residence within fifteen days from the date hereof.

Those who, within that time, establish their loyalty to the satisfaction of the commanding officer of the military station nearest their present places of residence will receive from him certificates stating the fact of their loyalty and the names of the witnesses by whom it can be shown. All who receive such certificates will be permitted to remove to any military station in this district, or to any part of the State of Kansas, except the counties on the eastern border of the State. All others shall remove out of the district…" (Union Historical Company, p. 389).

"…Southern sympathizers were ordered to leave the country. Family after family loaded all they could carry and hurried away. The Six Mile Territory was left desolate…The empty houses and deserted fields were ghostly… Frightened, half starved cats and dogs haunted the desolate homes… During the Civil War services were not regular (at the Six Mile Baptist Church). The late Rev. G.L. BLACK, of Liberty, Missouri, who was pastor when the war started, held services when he was able to get into the country" (Six Mile Baptist Church, p. 11).

"Under Order Number 11 the families of the bushwhackers along the border are pulling up stakes and making their way south. Drive these families all out, and the bushwhackers, if properly followed up in the field, will soon leave too" (Kansas City Daily Journal of Commerce, p. 2).

Finally the war ended. Gradually the owners came back to their homes…" (Six Mile Baptist Church, 13). Cynthia HUDSPETH returned to Jackson County in March 1865. James H. Combs also returned to the county (Contested Election…). Some families sold their land and stayed where they had located after the issuing of Order 11.

One of the prominent pioneer families in the Six Mile area was the William HUDSPETH clan. He moved his family and slaves to Jackson County in 1828. William HUDSPETH had been to Jackson County in 1826 but did not move until after the death of his wife (Tabitha (BEALL) Hudspeth). Several individuals in the family were members of Six Mile Baptist Church. "William HUDSPETH helped organize the first school in Sible [Sibley] Missouri" (Ford, p. 3). They had eleven children. Several of his sons and grandsons rode with Captain William Clarke Quantrill during the Civil War. One of his prominent children was George Washington HUDSPETH (Ford, p. 5)[see not 5].

The adventurous George Washington HUDSPETH made two trips to Mexico during the Mexican War. He served with Colonel Doniphan's Regiment. George HUDSPETH also made two trips to the California gold fields. The first trip was with his four brothers Thomas, Benoni, Silas and Robert. He returned to Jackson County, Missouri after five years in California and became a prominent farmer and stockman. Later George HUDSPETH served as a school director for the School District in Township Number 50, Range Number 30. He held this position for more than 20 years. George W. HUDSPETH died 19 Apr 1903 (Ford, p. 83). During the Civil War when Order 11 became law, he moved across the Missouri River to Ray County. He remained there for one year and six months. George was also a member of the Six Mile Baptist Church (Ranfre Press, p. 905).

There was the spirit of adventure in a number of associated Six Mile families that also made the same trip to the gold fields in California. In a letter dated 18 Jun 1849 from Septimus SCHOLL to his son-in-law Rodney M. HINDE he states:

"I will venture to inform you that Marcus [SCHOLL] started to California on the 1st day of May in company with Cyrus R. SCHOLL of Callaway, Daniel MUIR, Sylvester MUIR, Boone HAYS, Amazon HAYS, Linville HAYS, Upton HAYS, Cud Combs, Fielding A. Combs, Sr. [see note 6], Dr. CALDWELL, together with a number of our acquaintances… They went in company with Boone HAYS which consisted of 19 wagons and 60 men forming said company and do not expect to return before fall 1851…" (The Septimus Scholl Letters, p. 31).


Combs School was located on one acre in the NW 1/4 of section 20, township 50, range 30. The building is no longer standing, being demolished with the expansion of 24 Highway (Thompson, p. 107). The approximate location of the site is 3 ½ miles west of Buckner, Missouri; in the east bound lane of US 24 Highway. The exact location is just west of the intersection of Lake City Valley Road and US 24 Highway.

Each style of school construction represents an epoch in our history. The old log schoolhouse of Colonial times represents one period. From the Revolutionary days to about 1840 there was the octagonal or primitive square frame building. The third era began about 1840 and ended somewhere after World War I. These structures are typically called one-room schoolhouses. A fourth period has also evolved which is the unified or consolidated school system. Combs School began as a one-room schoolhouse and was phased out during the consolidation era.

The Combs School consisted of the basic design of a one-room structure. It had a small vestibule on the front of the building that allowed entry into the one main classroom. The school was of balloon construction with wood 1x6 clapboards attached to the studs for exterior covering. The portal opening had a solid wooden attached door, which allowed the door to swing to the left. The door was secured when not in use with a hasp and padlock. The hasp probably squeaked when it was pulled over the padlock staple when the building was being opened [see note 1].

Two large double-hung windows were on each side of the vestibule. Each window contained eight panes of glass. The left and right sides of the main classroom contained three pairs of double-hung windows. Each pair of windows were side-by-side, and about eighteen inches from the floor. All the windows in the structure were about eight feet in height except the one on the back of the school. The window on the back wall was a twelve pane 3'x6' double-hung window. Windows would have made clanking sounds as the metal sash weights hit the studs and side jambs inside the walls. The sash weight pulleys would rust over the years and make loud squeaking sounds upon opening or closing.

In 1895 the building had a wood shingled pitched roof. The original floor would have been wooden planks nailed to floor joists. Young boys of this era would have had boots which would have made a definite leather to wood scuffing sound that would have echoed inside a hollow classroom. A small space existed between the wooden floor and the ground. Just inside the door into the main classroom, originally there would have been a wood burning potbelly stove. The heating plant was probably changed a couple of times during the existence of the school.

Combs School was painted white. The building set on a relatively flat area, with a gentle slope to the rear. In the late 1800's curtains were hung over the windows that would have blown in the breeze on warm days. There probably were times when students would have been setting and playing outside under an oak, elm or walnut tree that are common in the area. One can only imagine the fashionable hats that adorned the walls, the smell of wood burning in the stove, or the breeze across ones face on a warm day inside the school. There would also be the smells of fresh mud, the aromatic aroma of horse manure, the earthy smell of rain hitting the dirt path, and the occasional fragrance from the outhouse (Combs School, picture) (Thompson, p. 108) (The Sentinel, 11 Feb 1963)[see note 2].

Two lists of textbooks were found for Combs School. One was a list for students In 1899. The second list was not dated. The following is a list of the textbooks that were used at various times at Combs School:

No Date Given

"Reading - Appletons
Spelling - Webster
Arithmetic - Rays
Geography - Harpers
English Grammar - Reed & Kellogg, Holbrook
Civic Government - Towsend
Physiology - Hutchison
Mental Arithmetic - Rays
History - Swinton


Franklin Readers
Severs Spellers
Milnes Arithmetic
Language De Garms
Physiology Baldwin
History - Shinn
Civics - Marlin
Copy Books - Newland"

(Thompson, p. 108)

Beginning In 1871 the Combs School was also used as a church. A circuit minister would travel the area and periodically preached at the school. Most of the time this was a contractual arraignment for a specified period of time. "(The) circuit was known as the Pink Hill Circuit, and consisted of the following points: Green Chapel, Blue Bottoms, Combs School House or Six Mile, and Pink Hill. The first minister in charge was Rev. T.P. COBB" (Cox, p. 1).

On 9 Aug 1949 a meeting was held for the reorganization of Fort Osage R-1 School District. Combs School District Number 11 was included in the consolidation and became part of the Fort Osage School District. The first documented teacher at Combs School was Janie CHILES in 1885. She was the teacher at the age of 16. The last teacher, prior to becoming consolidated in the 1948-49 school term, was Grace CARMEAN [see note 3]. The old schoolhouse moved into a new era.

During the 1893-94 school term Mattie CORN was the teacher. She was confronted with a strange situation when the student population suddenly increased. The incident was created by the parents of children in the Peacedale School. "Peaceable, it seems, was not peaceful: two groups weer (sic) at odds over where the schoolhouse should be situated, one group had moved the building while the other group slept -and some Peacedale pupils found it more convenient to attend Combs" (Thompson, p. 109).


Sioux Indian trackers say that hidden in the trails of animals are the stories of their lives. The Long Hunters of the Virginia frontier depended on their skills to read these signs. Many mammals have written these stories carefully, and the stories are awaiting the tracker who can successfully unravel the clues. "Clues contain a wealth of information about character, mood, success at finding food, and even the mammal's sex life… But learning to read these stories does not happen quickly. It takes practice to gain the necessary skills and insight" (Halfpenny & Biesiot, p. 106).

James SMITH, who represented Bourbon County, Kentucky in the 1788 State Legislature, was captured by Caughnawagas Indian's in 1755 [see note 4]. He was made a prisoner for five years during which time he was taught to track animals. Explaining a desperate time in finding food for Indian captives he wrote "The only chance we had, under these circumstances, was to hunt bear holes, as the bears, about Christmas, search out a lodging place where they lie about three or four months…(and) we found a tree scratched by a bear's climbing up…" (Smith, pp. 38-39).

In answering some research questions one must use alternative methods to be able to reach a valid and logical conclusion. By now it must be apparent that there was a complete lack of documentation as to the origin of the name for the Combs School.

One-room schools dotted the Jackson County countryside. "In 1909 there were 87 such rural schools, nine town or city schools and only three consolidated districts" (Fowler, p. 344). To determine the origin of the name, the most logical place to seek the answer was with the Fort Osage School District. School District personnel were very cooperative, and provided a number of names of individuals who might have an explanation, but the question could not be answered. However, using the compiled history of the Fort Osage one-room schools, it was determined that the names were usually selected based on one of four criteria - in honor of the person who provided the property, a significant name of the area associated with the site, a contributor to the educational process (teacher, principal, superintendent, etc.), or a family that was to be honored (Thompson, pp. 1-135).

The person who sold the property for Combs School to the school district for $1.00, was John M. PHIPPS. In 1870 John M. PHIPPS was twenty-eight years old, and married. The maiden name of his wife was not Combs.

The Combs name was also not associated with any significant object or location, such as a stream, bridge, trail, establishment or crossroad. The only other name associated with Combs School was the expression "six mile area." This eliminates the first two categories. School names consistent within these two groupings account for the majority of the names of the one-room schools in the township. Names such as Lone Branch, Lake City, Sunny Nook, Bone Hill and Woodland are prime examples.

The selection of school board members was not taken lightly. An article in the Kansas City Star quoted a one-room school teacher who said "usually when there was a school board election the men went with their pistols and shotguns… There was a lot of arguing about who would be on the school board" (Fowler, p. 345). School board members were important because they made the selection of the teacher for the coming school year. They were also influential in what was taught and not taught in the school.

In 1935 a story appeared in the Independence Examiner about early experiences with Lamertine HUDSPETH as told by Reese Alexander:

"Most generally, the boys of any community, find ways to torture and harass persons who are not popular or who are generally disliked because of personal idiosyncrasies. I recall a time when Lamertine HUDSPETH and I gave old man John M. PHIPPS a most miserable time by shooting at a mark upon a gatepost. Every time he started to reach through for the fastening we would blaz (sic) away at a mark just above his hand. Mr. PHIPPS owned 40 acres of timber just north of Uncle Joel HUDSPETH'S place in Fort Osage Township, and in order to haul his fir wood, Mr. PHIPPS had to drive through Uncle Joel's spring lot gate. There he was with his team standing, and every time he reached through for the fastening we would blaze away at a mark on the post which we had carefully placed just at the right place where we expected his fingers to be. We held the old man there quite a spell and he was hopping mad when Uncle Joel came home and made us stop the shooting, or I guess we would be there yet" (Ford, p. 120)[see note 7].

In 1936 a second story was told by the same narrator about the Combs School:

"The winter of 1874 was severe as compared to the winter of 1936, when I was going to school at the old Combs School near Lake City. I lived that winter at Uncle Joel HUDSPETH'S place and went to school every day on horseback with Lamertine HUDSPETH. Ice and snow were on the ground three months that winter, with no let up at all. I rode a horse named Bogus. He was the champion skater of all horses, and had ample opportunity that winter to show his talents. His feet were about the size of number 8 dinner pot lids. The total distance of about a mile and a half from the front gate to the schoolhouse was just one sheet of ice. Lamertine rode a pony named Indian Joe and with all the slipping and sliding we did that winter on horseback, neither of us got a fall and the horses kept their feet.

The biggest moment of the school year came to us unexpectedly late one afternoon when John STAMPER, and Mary BROADEN came to the schoolhouse for Mr. DOUGLAS, who was also a Justice of the Peace, to marry them. Mr DOUGLAS dismissed school and performed the ceremony right then and there. It was a bigger and more impressive stunt than seeing the President of the United States in later years" (Ford, p. 120).

Frances BURNLEY remembered a story about how caravans of what they called gypsies often passed through Six Mile. One time she remembered a time when a large caravan camped overnight very close to the Combs School. She was so frightened that she kept the children inside until the gypsies moved on. Frances was the teacher that organized the hot lunch program and taught simple cooking at the school (Thompson, p. 336).

One of the oldest living one-room school teachers in the Fort Osage Township area is Poka AULD. Poka is 93 years of age and was a one-room school teacher at Union School. In an interview about Combs School she stated that there were a couple of subscription schools at the turn of the century. She also stated that her mother, Bessie DIXON McMillin, taught a subscription school in her home.

Poka AULD did not know much about the Combs School. She thought that she had heard one time that the Combs school was named for a widower who taught a subscription school sometime in the 1800's. She was not familiar with any Combs in Jackson County, except she remembers a policeman that was named Combs many years ago (Wilson, 19 Jul 1998).


"Potato Soup
Cook 5 potatoes, cut fine, with 1 large onion in salted water, until tender.
Then add 1 quart of whole milk and 2 tablespoons of butter.
Pepper to taste and thicken if desired.
Polka AULD, Independence"

(Six Mile Baptist Church, p. 18)

Prior to the Civil War an important part of the newspaper was a serial story. Each addition of the newspaper would contain another episode of the account. In 1857 the Western Journal of Commerce, an Independence, Missouri newspaper, was running a series on "The Pirates's Daughter" (Millett, p.1). In reading a couple of the published chapters it became apparent that the stories of the original readers was more interesting than the written fictional epics.

To solve a mystery the true investigative question that needs to be asked is what is the motive. Three things were important to those families migrating across the western frontier - their land, their God, and the educational system. Each pioneer community suffered many of the same experiences that preceding communities had endured. Their primary objective was to grow from a primitive society to a more complex civilization. The establishing of a formal school system was considered a necessity in evolving into a refined or cultivated society.

So was Combs school named for a person or a family? If the statement that men went to school board elections with their pistols and shotguns is any indication, then the name of the school would be very important to them. Apparently PHIPPS was not an acceptable choice and unfortunately people shot at him anyway.

When this research project was first initiated it was speculated that the school was named in honor of Dr. Evan Ennis Combs. That theory has now been completely eliminated. It is true that Ennis Combs was a widower at one time, but he remarried to Susan N. CATLETT. There is also no indication that he taught school or had any association with educational politics.

So which Combs in Fort Osage Township is the most feasible candidate? Could it be James H., or Silas Combs? Probably not. Could it be John C., or Ennis Jr? Not likely. What about Dr. Edward M. Combs? No, he does not appear to meet all of the criteria. Could it have been one of Ennis Combs daughters? All of Dr. Ennis Combs daughters are either in other locations or deceased. So what about Fielding A. Combs? This is the most likely person.

The next most logical question then becomes why Fielding A. Combs? Fielding A. Combs was a medical doctor that was well known in the Independence area. It's a known fact that he traveled to the California gold fields with the SCHOLL'S, HUDSPETH'S and a number of other associated families. He would have been present and probably cared for Thomas HUDSPETH, who died 16 Nov 1849 while looking for his gold fortune in California (Ford, p. 81). Since George HUDSPETH probably had a say in the naming of the school, Fielding Combs would have been a known companion. George and Fielding had shared common and threatening experiences, similar to those of soldiers in combat situations. Common news accounts about traveling to California were very similar as depicted in the following article:

"Emigrants by the overland route are pouring into the State (California) in great numbers. The great majority of the trails had more or less difficulty with the Indians" (Western Journal of Commerce, p. 2).

Fielding A. Combs and his family would have been able to survive the Civil War during the implementation of Order #11. With Fielding Combs being a physician, his family would have been able to live in Independence, or Kansas City, Missouri. All documents indicate that Fielding was in Jackson County, Missouri during the hostilities. He probably had a little more freedom in moving around Jackson County, compared to other people whose movements would have been completely restricted inside the county. However, Fielding Combs would have been a known Confederate sympathizer and not trusted to any extent by the Federal soldiers.

12 Jan 1848 Septimus SCHOLL wrote his son-in-law Rodney M. HINDE as made the following statement: "Cyrus goes to school to Fielding Combs" (Scholl Letters, p. 25). Fielding Combs was running a subscription school in January 1848. This is not an uncommon occupation for members in the family as Daniel B. SCHOLL explains to Nelson SCHOLL in his letter:

"I could do very good business by keeping school this year. I could get 25 scholars subscribed at $10 per scholar, my board and horse found gratis" (Scholl Letters, p. 1).

The only part of the puzzle that needs to be verified is the marital status of Fielding Combs. Fielding A. Combs was married to Elizabeth F. CARTHRAE on 15 Aug 1848. They had six children - Howard M., James, Mary, Sydnor, Nanie and Sarah. Elizabeth F. Combs had to have died after Jun 1875 due to the ages of their children (1900 US Census, California - Tulare). Therefore Fielding A. Combs was not a widower prior to 1870 [See Combs Ed Note below]

Fielding A. Combs still has two out of three criteria stated by Poka AULD - male, and a teacher. No other male Combs, living in Fort Osage Township prior to 1870, with teaching experience can be identified. Therefore one must go with the best candidate, with what evidence that is available, and that would be Fielding A. Combs.

Maybe some day another researcher will want to try and determine the reason for the naming of a one-room school in Jackson County, Missouri Combs. It's possible that more evidence will be acquired which will prove or disprove the documented conclusion. But the question was asked, the research conducted, the conclusion drawn, and a narrative was written. If the conclusion is incorrect there is no harm. The harm would be not telling the story.


Note 1 - My grandfather, Orville Brown Combs, gave me two books while growing up in Kansas City. One was the New Testament with Psalms. The second was a book titled Amateur Builder's Handbook, by Hubbard Cobb, with a 1950 copyright. I don't remember the reason for him giving me the second book, but I used it to help identify the building components of the Combs School.

Note 2 - The description of Combs School is based on available photographs of the building. In a few instances information was provided by knowledgeable individuals with the Fort Osage School District.

Note 3 - Grace CARMEAN was introduced 1 Aug 1966 as a descendant of William HUDSPETH in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky, during the commemoration ceremony for William HUDSPETH as a founder of the town and county seat.

Note 4 - Caughnawagas is a branch of the Mohawks who were friendly to the French.

Note 5 - While looking for the Combs Schoolhouse I found the old HUDSPETH Cemetery. I asked the owner of the property, Bobby DEAN, for permission to get to the cemetery located at 2800 North Six Mile Church Road, Independence, Missouri. Mr. DEAN gave his permission and provided me with a copy of what is titled "Volume III, Hudpeth Family." No date or author is printed on this document. The complete five volumes are located in the Mid-Continent Public Library, Genealogy & Local History, North Independence Branch, Highway 24 & Spring, Independence, Missouri 64050.

Note 6 - Cud Combs is John Cuthbert Combs and his brother Dr. Fielding A. Combs; two of Dr. Evan Ennis Combs sons.

Note 7 - John M. PHIPPS is the man who donated the land for the Combs School in 1870.

Combs Ed Note: In regard to the marriage and widowhood of Fielding A. Combs: (a) It is not known whether he may have had a prior marriage (before his 1848 marriage to Elizabeth CARTHRAE) without issue; and (b) The 1900 Tulare Co, CA Census has not been obtained as yet; however, the 1880 Tulare Co, CA census lists Fielding A. Combs with no wife, and with his youngest child age 18 (b ca 1862).


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Brink & McDonough. (1877). Historical Atlas Map - Jackson County, Missouri. Philadelphia, PA: Brink, McDonough & Company. Reprinted by the Jackson County Genealogical Society, 420 South Main Street, Independence, Missouri 64050 [816-252-8128].

Brown, D. (1958). The Gentle Tamers: Women of the Old Wild West. Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press.

Cobb, H. (1950). Amateur Builder's Handbook. New York, NY: William H. Wise and Company, Inc.

Combs School. (No date). Picture of Combs School. Located at the Jackson County Genealogical Society, 420 South Main Street, Independence, Missouri 64050 [816-252-8128]. File Number C1234F5.

Cox, L. (Mrs.). (no date). A History of Pink Hill Church. Document is located at the Jackson County Genealogical Society, 420 South Main Street, Independence, Missouri 64050 [816-252-8128].

Finkelstein, B. (1989). Governing the Young - Teacher Behavior in Popular Primary Schools in Nineteenth-Century United States. New York, NY: The Falmer Press.

Ford, A.G. (1972). Through the Years with the Hudspeths. Vol. III. Anna G. Ford, 412 East 36 Street, Kansas City, Missouri.

Fowler, L. (1 JUN 1972). New uses found for 1-room schools. Kansas City Star In F. Thompson (ed.), In the Beginning. pp. 344-345.

Halfpenny, J. & Biesiot, E. (1986). A Field Guide to Mammal Tracking in Western America. Boulder CO: Johnson Publishing Company.

Kansas City Daily Journal of Commerce. (27 AUG 1863). Military Matters - General Order Number 11. p. 3, v.9(79).

________________________________. (29 AUG 1863). Local News. p. 2, v.9(81).

Millett, H.S. (14 NOV 1857). Constanza or The Pirate's Daughter. Western Journal of Commerce, Chapter XI. p. 1, v.4(6).

Meyer, A.E. (1957). An Educational History of the American People. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.

Six Mile Baptist Church. (DEC 1936). Six Mile Cookbook - A Collection of Pioneer & Modern Recipes. Compiled by the Ladies of the Six Mile Baptist Church. Independence, MO: Lambert Moon Printers & Stationers. A copy located in the Jackson County Genealogical Society, 420 South Main Street, Independence, Missouri 64050 [816-252-8128].

Smith, J. (1961). Prisoner of the Caughnawagas. In F. Drimmer (ed.), Captured by the Indians - 15 Firsthand Accounts , 1750-1870 (pp. 25-60). New York, NY: Dover Publishing Company, Inc.

The Sentinel. (11 FEB 1963). "Janie Chiles, Shown with first pupils, is dead." Jackson County Genealogical Society, 420 South Main Street, Independence, Missouri 64050 [816-252-8128].

Thompson, F. (DEC 1991). In the Beginning. [Published for the U.S. Bicentennial - A text on the One-Room Schools in Fort Osage School District before Reorganization]. "Combs School - District Number 11." A copy is located at the Jackson County Genealogical Society, 420 South Main Street, Independence, Missouri 64050 [816-252-8128].

Ramfre Press. (1966). The History of Jackson County, Missouri. Cape Girardeau, MO: Ramfre Press Company.

Union Historical Company. (1881). The History of Jackson County, Missouri.

Kansas City, MO: Birdsall, Williams and Company.

1900 US Census - California, Tulare. v. 47, ed. 70, sheet 12, line 22.

Western Journal of Commerce. (24 OCT 1857). Later from California. p. 2, v.4(3).

Wilson, M.R. (19 JUL 1998). Personal interview of Poka (MCMILLIN) Auld, Independence, Missouri.

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