My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography from the book,  The History of Crawford County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

Tom Comstock was born in Perry County, Tenn., and is a son of Ephraim and Nancy (Goodman) Comstock. His father was reared in Breckenridge County, Ky., and the mother in Graves County, Ky. Tom was born in 1838, and immigrated to McDonald County, Mo., in 1853, where he remained until nearly grown. When twenty years old he was married to Miranda Brown, daughter of Murphey and Rebecca P. Brown, of McDonald County, Mo. There he remained until the Rebellion, at which time he took his stand with the South, and became a noted element in the cause, not for cruelties or barbarity, but for the noble ambition of maintaining what he believed to be justice toward his people in the South. He was a private in Shelby’s brigade of Missouri troops until the last year of the war, when he was transferred to an Indian special service regiment in the Indian Territory. Mr. Comstock during the war was always tender and merciful toward prisoners, women and children. At the close of the war he was disbanded in the Chickasaw Nation, near a place called Oichita; he then went to Lamar County, Tex., where he bought a small farm, on which he lived for over two years, then returning to his old neighborhood in Missouri, but not being satisfied there, he immigrated to where he now resides, in Crawford County, Ark., where he has lived for about twenty years, most of which time he has been farming. He has now added the mercantile trade to his business, his qualifications for which are only a common-school education, with a reasonable degree of natural wit, humor and sociability. He has no desire to gamble, but being mixed with Indian blood he has a natural feeling for intoxicating beverages, but is not rude or quarrelsome when he is drinking, but full of love and kindness toward his wife and children. He is in easy circumstances, and has a fine residence and a beautiful home on Lee’s Creek, one and one-fourth miles from the Cherokee Nation line. He is well known in the country by the old familiar name of Uncle Tom. He delights very much in the comforts of the chase, and frequently he and his old associates, Att Ewing, Bob Lowe, Old Hardy Mattax, Jack Morton and others, go out in the Indian country on a camp hunt, which is a pride in the life of Uncle Tom, and the numerous stories and anecdotes he can tell of the wild forest, the beautiful grass, the rough hills, the jaggy rocks, the howling of wolves, the gobbling of turkeys, the lovely crack of the rifle, the hunter’s equipage, the lonesome camp, the opportunity for contemplating the glory of nature, carries with them a love too extensive for utterance. Uncle Tom at times appears to be a little skeptical on the authenticity of the Bible doctrines, but he firmly believes in the power that rules, which he calls God; he does not believe that the devil, or all the devils in hell or on the earth, has ever changed God’s course or interfered with His will or Divine planning. In following Uncle Tom’s career we find in 1882 he engaged in politics for the first and only time, not solicited by friends, and seemingly no motive in view only curiosity, bringing his claims before the people as an independent Democrat. There were four newspapers published in his county, and they all opposed him; he asked his people to support him as their representative in the State Legislature; he was ably opposed by a statesman, who was the regular Democratic nominee and an able lawyer, and also an independent Republican, who was a lawyer, but, as events proved, he was the choice of his people by an overwhelming majority. While a member of the Legislature he did more for his county than any previous member, placing four leading measures into a law that was stubbornly opposed in the General Assembly, and which his county so strongly favored; these things alone make him a noted and popular man in his county. Uncle Tom is a devoted Mason, seeming to think Masonry gave him his best lessons; he has been several times master of subordinate lodges and often a member of the Grand Lodge of his State. He seems to give the Masonic business too much attention; he is often found in melancholy reflection, when apparently he should be lively and jubilant; he seems to believe in dreams at times and other times appears to be thinking about imaginary pursuits, and even brought to tears over these foolish persuasions.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 222 biographies included in The History of Crawford County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Crawford County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Crawford County, Arkansas family biographies here: Crawford County, Arkansas

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.