My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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.

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Hon. Carman Adams Newcomb, a substantial and respected citizen of this vicinity, and a man who, by reason of true personal worth and deserved recognition, has occupied a prominent place in the affairs of Jefferson County, was born near the town of Mercer, Mercer Co., Penn., July 1, 1830. Theodore Newcomb, his father, was a native of Greenfield, Mass., in which locality he remained until a young man, afterward going to Michigan in the employ of the American Fur Company. Subsequently he removed to Mercer County, Penn., and while living there was married to Miss Mary Carman. She was a Marylander by birth, but accompanied her parents to Mercer County, Penn., when a child. Mr. Newcomb died at West Union, Iowa, at the advanced age of eighty-one. His widow still survives, and is eighty-seven years old, having been born in October, 1800. She is well preserved in mind and body, and makes her home at West Union, Iowa, where one of her daughters, Mrs. Mary Hoyt (a widow), also resides. Mr. and Mrs. Newcomb were faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church during life. Carman A., the subject of this sketch, was reared in his native county, attending the common schools, and subsequently had the advantages of the Mercer Academy; having secured a good education he then commenced reading law. Soon after, with perhaps a natural desire, he came West, locating for a short time at Freeport, Ill., where he taught school, resumed his law studies and was admitted to the bar; and was married, while here, to Sarah K. Fisher, daughter of P. D. and Lovina Fisher, who were also born in Pennsylvania. Some eighteen months later he removed to West Union, Iowa, and was occupied in the practice of his profession until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he raised Company F, Third Regiment Iowa Infantry Volunteers, and was commissioned its captain by Gov. Kirkwood, of Iowa, but subsequently resigned on account of ill-health. He located at St. Louis in 1863, when, his attention having been directed to fruit-culture, he opened a fruit farm at Vineland, Jefferson County, where his health was much improved. Mr. Newcomb now returned to St. Louis, but in about two years located at Kimmswick, Mo. Mr. Newcomb has just cause to feel a sense of pride at the official prominence to which he has attained. He was first elected prosecuting attorney of Fayette County, Iowa, and then judge. After locating in Missouri he was chosen as representative in the Legislature from Jefferson County, in 1865; and was also appointed by Gov. Fletcher judge of the circuit court, though he never acted in this latter capacity. March 4, 1867, he took his seat as a member of the Fortieth Congress from Missouri; at the expiration of his term in Congress he received the first appointment made by Grant, in 1869, after his cabinet was formed, that of United States Marshal, and held that office for over seven years, and in other ways has faithfully served the interests of those by whose suffrages he has so often been called to public position. Since his retirement from the marshal’s office he has been interested in several incorporated business concerns, meeting with success. Politically, he has ever been a stanch Republican, warmly aiding that party in its many movements. Personally, Mr. Newcomb is highly esteemed. Reserved and unostentatious in manner, he impresses those with whom he comes in contact as a man of true instincts of character—a friend to all. Realizing his distaste of anything savoring of notoriety, it is but proper to say in this connection that the above sketch, imperfect though it may be, has been included within the present work only through the solicitations of many friends, notwithstanding his decided preference to have it omitted. Mrs. Newcomb is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Newcomb is, if anything, a Unitarian in belief, but believes with Pope—
“For forms of faith let graceless zealots fight,
His can’t be wrong, whose life is in the right.”

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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