Family Group Sheet data from: Pat Combs O'Dell -
Joseph Napoleon Combs
birthdate and birthplace
06 Oct 1808 Loudoun Co, Va [date from Thomas Brabham bible]
death date, place
1st marriage
19 Dec 1831 Loudoun Co, Va: Nancy Jane Brabham
Nancy Jane Brabham
birthdate and place
08 Apr 1815 Loudoun Co, Va
deathdate and place
17 Apr 1884 Dallas Twp, Taylor Co, Ia 69yrs & 9 days
Guss Cemetery, Nodaway Twp, Taylor Co, Ia
Thomas Brabham
Mary Powers
#1 Robert William born 02 Dec 1832 Loudoun Co, Va
married 23 Nov 1854 Morgan Co, Oh: Sarah Keever
died 30 Oct 1891 Morgan Co, Oh
buried Centerville Cem, Centre Twp, Morgan Co, Oh
#2 Sarah Jane born 13 Apr 1834 Loudoun Co, Va
married 08 May 1856 Morgan Co, Oh: Edward Petty
died 02 Apr 1916 Westfield Twp, Plymouth Co, Ia
buried Riverside Cem, Akron, Plymouth Co, Ia
#3 Joseph Thomas born 07 Sep 1835 Loudoun Co, Va
married 22 Jan 1858 Morgan Co, Oh: Keziah McDonald
died 02 Nov 1923 Gravity, Taylor Co, Ia
buried Guss Cem, Nodaway Twp, Taylor Co, Ia
#4 Mary Nancy born 1837 Loudoun Co, Va
married 13 Nov 1862 Morgan Co, Oh: David Davis
died Apr 1912 near Gravity, Taylor Co, Ia
buried Guss Cem, Nodaway Twp, Taylor Co, Ia
#5 Burr Harrison born 27 Dec 1839 Loudoun Co, Va
married 10 Mar 1870 Henry Co, Ill: Lucretia Ann Painter
died 25 Feb 1918 Dallas Twp, Taylor Co, Ia
buried Guss Cem, Nodaway Twp, Taylor Co, Ia
#6 John Albert born  
died 22 Jul 1841 Loudoun Co, Va [Thomas Brabham bible]
#7 Elizabeth Francis born c1844 Morgan Co, Oh
married 17 Nov 1861 Morgan Co, Oh: Robert Wines
died 1870's Henry Co, Ill
#8 Francis Marion "Frank" born 08 May 1848 Morgan Co, Oh
married 14 Nov 1875 Taylor Co, Ia: Flora Belle Hixson
died 28 Apr 1919 Spencer, McCook Co, SD
buried Spencer, McCook Co, SD
#9 Margaret Anna "Sis" born 07 Jun 1852 Morgan Co, Oh
married 12 Sep 1872 Henry Co, Il: Samuel Barman
died 13 Mar 1928 Ida Co, Ia
buried Mt Hope Cem, Battle Creek, Ida Co, Ia
#10 Cydnor "Cyd" born 23 Jul 1860 Morgan Co, Oh
married 08 Oct 1881 Holt Twp, Taylor Co, Ia: Mary Belle Casteel
died 09 Feb 1923 Alexander, Hanson Co, SD
buried Alexander, Hanson Co, SD
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1840 Loudoun Co, Virginia Census - Jonah Hood 2nd District

Joseph Combs, 1 male 30/40; 1 male 5/10; 2 males /5; wife 20/30; 1 female 5/10; 1 female /5

1850 Morgan Co, Ohio census; Dist No 108, 31 Aug 1850

1053 1073 Joseph N. Combs 41 m farmer Va
    Nancy J. Combs 34 f   Va
    Robert W. Combs 17 m farmer Va
    Sarah J. Combs 16 f   Va
    Joseph F. Combs 14 m   Va
    Mary N. Combs 13 f   Va
    Burr H. Combs 10 m   Va
    Elizabeth F. Combs 05 f   Ohio
    Francis M. Combs 02 m   Ohio

1860 Morgan Co, Centre twp, Ohio

1172 1141 Joseph N. Combs 52 m farmer Va
    Nancy J. Combs 45 f   Va
    Mary N. 23 f   Va
    Burr H. Combs 20 m   Va
    Elizabeth F. Combs 16 f   Ohio
    Margaret A. Combs 08 f   Ohio
    Francis M. Combs 12 m   Ohio

1870 Henry Co, Clover Twp, Illinois

148 162 Francis Combs 22 m farmer Oh
    Nancy J. Combs 55 f   Va
    Margret Combs 18 f   Oh
    Sydna L. Combs 09 m   Oh
1870 Morgan Co, Centre twp, Ohio
70 65 Robert W. Combs 37 m farmer Va
    Sarah 31 f   Ohio
    Ann J. 14 f   Ohio
    Margaret E. 13 f   Ohio
    William 13 m   Ohio
    Sarah F. 07 f   Ohio
    Mary 05 f   Ohio
    Clement 03 m   Ohio
    Effie 1/12 May f   Ohio
06 06 Robt Wynes 27 m farmer Va
    Elizabeth Wynes 26 f   Oh
    Joseph Wynes 06 m   Oh
    Emma J. Wynes 05 f   Iowa
    John e. Wynes 03 m   Ill
    Sarah Wynes 01 f   Ill




birthdate is from the family bible of Thomas Brabham and Mary "Polly" Powers.

~sketch in Taylor County, Iowa History of 1881, page 763
J.T. Combs, farmer, section thirty-five, post office Holt, was born in Loudoun County, Virginia, Sept 7, 1835. When six years old his parents moved to Morgan County, Ohio, where our subject grew up on a farm and received a limited education. Removed to Henry County, Ill, in 1863 and a decade later came to Taylor County. Was married Jan 22, 1858 to Miss Keziah McDonald of Morgan County, Ohio. They are parents of six children: Sarah Jane, now Mrs A.C. Davis; Joseph E.; Seville; Francis Marion; Edward; and Melvin. He owns a fine farm of 200 acres well imporved, fine house, commodios barns and an excellent orchard. He is engaged in farming and stock-growing. Is a member of the Lodge 254, I.O.O.F., Hawleyville.
~newspaper clipping of the 87th birthday celebration of J.T. Combs
The home of J.T. Lower, near Ladoga, was the scene of an unusual and pleasant gathering, Sunday, Sept 10, it being the eighty-seventh birthday of his grandfather J.T. Combs, or better known as Uncle Joe Tom. All his known living relatives were invited and eight-two of them responded with baskets of fried chicken, salads, and dainties, to make the day a success; yet none were jollier, nor could add any more to the entertainment than he himself. After eating his full share of the sumptuous feast, he danced his famous clog dance, with which he had delighted his grandchildren for years. He now can boast of entertaining great grandchildren and also a great great grandchild, little Rowinna Mae Preston, of Lenox, Iowa. His brother Sidney of South Dakota was greatly surprised and remarked that he was his junior by twenty six years but would not venture such a feat. After enjoying the ice cream and cakes served in the afternoon they all departed wishing him many more such wonderful days and assuring him that nothing was to hinder his celebrating his one hundreth birthday. Many were the exciting stories told that day about experiences in transit. Mr and Mrs Sidney Combs and daughter of South Dakota started in their auto but when about a half day drive, did not see a corner in time to turn and ran off a steep incline into high bank, badly wrecking the car and injuring Mrs Combs so seriously that she and her daughter were compelled to return. Mr Combs sustained three broken ribs and several ugly face wounds, but boarded a train and came on. Mrs Combs is improving at this writing. Mrs Sarah Barman, two daughters and their husbands traveled through mud from near Sioux City, reaching Gravity Sunday morning. Miss Sadie Combs instructor of English in the State Normal, Cedar Falls, had to leave early to get a train out of Diagonal, thus making her lose three nights of sleep in succession.
It was greatly regreted that an only daughter of Westlaco, Texas, could not be there, but Grandpa announced that his intention of leaving the last of October or the first of November for that place to spend the winter with her. Those present from New Market: Charley Combs and family, Chas. Thompson and family, Ned Combs and family, Harry Combs and family, Mr and Mrs Johnnie Combs, Earl McAlpin and family, Will Hutchinson and family, Mrs Arnold Bashor and family, Mr and Mrs All Pullen, and Mrs Frank Combs.
~obituary of Joe Tom Combs:
Joseph Thomas Combs, son of Nancy J. and J.N. Combs, was born in Loudoun County, Virginia, Sept 7, 1835. When six years old, his parents moved to Morgan County, Ohio, where he grew to manhood on a farm. He was married to Miss Keziah McDonald, Jan 22, 1858. To this union were born six children: Mrs Sarah Jane Davis, Joseph E. Combs, Mrs John Lower, a daughter who died in infancy, Francis Marion Combs, and Edward Melvin Combs.
In 1863, he moved to Henry County, Illinois, and in 1876 he came to Iowa, settling near Guss in Taylor County. Here he made his home until his family grew to manhood and womanhood, enduring the joys and privations of pioneer life, and suffering the loss of three of his children: Joseph, Ellen and Edward, but gaining the care and love of two of his grandchildren, Thomas Lower and Sadie K. Combs, who lived with him during their childhood as his own children, and contributed to his car when he most needed it.
In 1900, he disposed of his holdings and moved to Humeston that he might more easily care for his invalid wife to whose individual care he spent his life until her death at Beaconsfield in Sept 1910. Since then he lived with his children and grandchildren ever being privileged to spend last winter with his daughter, Mrs A.C. Davis at Westlaco, Texas, and also enjoying a visit with his son Frank at Fleming, Colorado, only a short time before his death.
He was well fitted by nature for the pioneer life. He enjoyed very robust health and liked to boast that during eight-six years of his life he had never been under the care of a physician. This he inherited from ancestors who were all long lived. His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and was at the surrender of Yorktown. At the age of ninety years his grandfather applied for a pension. One of his uncles lived to be ninety-nine years old. The good health of the deceased was all the more remarkable when we think of the hardships he must have endured as a soldier of the Civil War and as a pioneer.
Brother Combs was a very active Christian. Just when he was converted and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church we do not know, but when the Guss Church was built he was one of the leaders. He was enthusiastic in religion, and whenever he had a chance he was always ready to serve.
While he lived at Gravity, he was a member of the gospel team and although growing old he was always ready to go with the team and was generally the first to speak for his Christ.
When he went to live in Texas he felt that he could best serve his Lord if he united with the church there, and instead of leaving his membership behind and being lost to the church, he transferred to the Methodist Episcopal Church South, since the church of his choice was not represented there.
The deceased was a man of great industry and owned more than two hundred acres of land and improved it well. When he was seventy-five years old he made cement blocks and built a house in Gravity doing all the work himself. He felt that it was better to wear out than to rust out.
He was generaous and kind hearted. His grandchildren loved to gather at his home and a week of a month was to them and to him too short for the revels he made for them. Unlike many old people he never complained of the noise youngsters would make but seemed to enjoy seeing them have a good time.
In the early days when most of the travel was by covered wagon, it is said that travelers would hunt for the Combs homestead for they were told that at this home they would always find a welcome. In those early days when money was scarce, many a young man received aid from Mr Combs whether they gave him security or not, or whether they were able to pay when the note came due. Many owe their start in life to him and when money was needed for the church he was always ready with his share.
He departed this life after a brief illness of intense suffering at the home of his grandson, Thomas Lower in Gravity, at the ripe old age of 88 years, 1 month and 25 days. He leaves to mourn their loss two children, Mrs A.C. Davis, of Westlaco, Texas, and Frank Combs of Fleming, Colorado. He also leaves an aged sister, Mrs Barman, of Battle Creek, Iowa, 11 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild, besides many nieces and nephews and friends.
He was a member of the I.O.O.F. lodge for more than 60 years and always enjoyed the fellowship of his brothers. He was also a member of the Rebekah Lodge at Gravity.
The funeral service was held in the Christian Church as the Methodist Church is being repaired, and the service was conducted by Rev McNickols of the Methodist Church here. The funeral was very largely attended, the building being much too small to accommodate all who wished to hear it.
Interment was made in the Guss Cemetery in the family lot there beside his companion and other members of the family. The I.O.O.F. had charge of the services at the cemetery where the ritualistic order was carried out. Many members of the lodge at New Market were present as life long friends of the deceased. The three songs used at the funeral service were selected by the relatives as special favorites of the deceased. The floral offerings were abundant and very beautiful, the casket being literally buried under a bank of cut flowers and ferns.
His passing from earth brings sadness to many hearts who loved him. A good man has gone to his reward, and while Heaven is made richer by his going, earth is made more desolute, the influence of a useful, active life, tempered with a true brand of christianity will live after him and bear fruits for the final harvest of good deeds.

In the death of Burr Combs this community loses one of its pioneer citizens, one who did much to develop this section from a raw and bleak prairie to its present productive and beautiful condition. He was a man of solid worth, upright and just in all his dealings, and enjoyed the confidence and respect of all who knew him. He has left to his children a pricelss heritage - an honored man. Deceased has been in failing health for a long time and his death had been momentarily expected for several weeks.
Burr Harrison Combs was born in Louden County, Virginia, December 27, 1839, and died at his home near New Market, Iowa, February 25, 1918, aged 78 years, 1 month and 29 days.
When two years of age his parents moved to Morgan County, Ohio, living there until 1863, when they moved to Henry county, Illinois, where he was married to Lucretia Pointer (sic) in 1870 and came westward to make his home. They located on a farm that has been his home for 48 years. To them were born 8 children, 4 sons and 4 daughters, who grew to maturity and who have since married and settled in homes of their own. The children who survive to mourn his death are Charles, George and Ned Combs also Nellie Pullen, Lizzie Thompson and Osie McAlpin all of New Market, Loyd Combs of Mitchell, S.D., one daughter Cora Darnold having died June 19, 1908, also one step son Lee Quimby of New Market.
Death claimed his first wife, the mother of his children, January 3, 1892. He was married to his second wife, Elizabeth Quimby who survives him, January 7, 1904.
He also leaves to mourn his death 3 brothers and 1 sister. They are J.T. Combs of Gravity, Ia, Frank Combs of Spencer, S.D., C.L. Combs of Hymore, S.D., and Mrs Sam Barman of S.D., besides 30 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren and a host of friends. He was esteemd by all who knew him. Mr Combs was considered up right in his dealings with his fellowmen. His death was like the passing of a land mark, which has stood the test of years of development of the country. During his last days he prayed and gave evidence of conversion and was ready for death and was anxious to depart and be at rest. The funeral was preached at Maple Grove M.E. church by Rev. Mrs. W.C. Kelley, F.M. pastor of Clarinda. The text Eclesiastes 9:5 first clause. Interment at Guss cemetery.
The pall bearers were the four sons and two grandsons, Harry and Dewey Combs.
Card of Thanks - For the many favors and kindnesses extended by neighbors and friends during the illness and death of our beloved husband and father we desire to return our sincere thanks. Mrs Elizabeth Combs and children.

~ death record from the family bible of Thomas Brabham and Mary "Polly" Powers.

~ obituary of "Frank" Combs was in the New Market Herald, May 12, 1921, reprinted from the original obituary in the Spencer, SDak News.
Frank M. Combs was born in Morgan County, Ohio on May 8, 1848, and died Thursday April 28, 1921, aged 70 years, 11 months, and 20 days. In 1863, he, with his parents, moved to Illinois where they resided ten years and in 1873 moved onto a farm in Taylor County, Iowa. On Nov 14, 1875 Mr Combs was united in marriage to Miss Flory Rbelle Hixon. To this union six daughters were born: Nettie May Rogers who died at the age of 39 years, Alta Alvena Combs, who died when 7 years old. Ida Viola Young, Bessie M. Cozine, Blanche Ellen Young, and Beulah Olive Fast.
Flory Rbelle Combs passed away on Feb 6, 1910, and on the 5th day of December, 1912, Mr Combs and Mrs Marie Eighmy, of New Market, Iowa, were united in marriage. The latter survives her husband and has done much in making the last years of a useful life comfortable and pleasant.
In the fall of 1906 the family purchased and moved upon a farm three miles north of Farmer, S.D., where they resided until in 1916, when Mr Combs, having sold the farm, bought a residence in Spencer and he and wife came to this city where he spent the remainder of his days.
He was one of a family of thirteen children of whom but two brothers and one sister remain livings.