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Washington Territorial Legislature creates Whitman County (out of Stevens) on November 29, 1871. The county seat is Colfax. Whitman County, located in southeastern Washington, was named after Marcus Whitman, the missionary killed (along with his wife and other followers) by Cayuse in 1847. Whitman County is in the Palouse country, and is bordered by Spokane County to the north (and a small part of Lincoln County at its northwest corner), by Adams County to the west (and a small part of Franklin County at its southwest corner), by the Snake River to the south, and by the Idaho state line to the east. The county has a primarily agricultural history, with an emphasis on wheat (today it ranks first in wheat production among Washington counties and second among counties in the nation); it was also known for its fruit orchards along the Snake River before the 1970s, when lakes inundated them upon completion of the Little Goose and Lower Granite dams (Source: The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History,

1880 Whitman Co, WA Territorial Census

Combs Martha J., 1837 43 Head of household
Florence E, 1863 15 at school--(actually born 15 Oct 1864 in MO)
William L, 1865 17 works on farm
James G at school (no age for him but he must be 12--was 52 in 1920)
Leora, 1872 8
Roman, 1876 4 (Census says Roman but tombstone says Raymond)
Susan, 1879 1

ED: 57 Third Enum Distric


p. 3C/367, June 8 & 9, 1880

27/29 Combs, Thomas W, M, 48, Head of Family, Md, Farmer, TN TN TN
Martha J, W, F, 43, Wife, Keeping House, b MO VA TN
William L, W, M, 17, Son, Single, Works on farm, b. IL TN MO
Florence E, W, F, 15, Daughter, Single, At School, b. MO TN MO
Gideon, W, M, 12, Son, Single, At School, b. MO TN MO
Leora, W, F, 8, Daughter, Single, At School, b. MO TN MO
Roman, W, M, 4, Son, Single, b. MO TN MO
Susan, W, F, 1, Daughter, Single, b. MO TN MO
BOON A, W, M, 61, Boarder, Single, Farmer, b. NY RI RI

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