HARRY E. COOMBS
HARRY E. COOMBS, one of Bethel Townships representative citizens and for thirteen years a member of the School Board, carries on general farming on his two tracts of land, both lying in Section 16, one of thirty acres and the other of 174 1/2 acres. He was born. September 20, 1863, near Morgantown, in Monongalia County, West Virginia. His father was George Valentine Coombs and his grandfather was Elisha Coombs.
Elisha Coombs was born in Maryland, where he married Elizabeth Wright, and they had five children: George V., E. H., Frank, Emma W. and Harriet. About 1870 they came to Miami County and resided in the home of a daughter, at Troy, during the remainder of their lives. Elisha Coombs was a very earnest and active worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church, a leader in prayer meetings and experience meetings and served for years as a class leader. In politics he was a Whig and was opposed to slavery and on many occasions he assisted Negroes to reach freedom.
George Valentine Coombs was born in Allegheny County, Maryland, where he lived until he was forty years of age, except for the time he spent in West Virginia. When he came to Ohio during the childhood of his son, Harry E., he settled on the farm of 174, acres in Bethel Township, Miami County, which is now the property of his son. All the land had been cleared except ten acres and all the buildings with the exception of the barn were in good condition, but he found it necessary to drain eighteen acres . During the Civil War he was captain of a company in the 100-day service in West Virginia. In Bethel Township he took an active part in public matters, voted with the Republican party and served acceptably in a number of township offices. Late in life he retired to Troy, Miami County, Ohio, where be died in April, 1892. He belonged to an Odd Fellow lodge at Morgantown, West Virginia, and when he left West Virginia transferred to New Carlisle Lodge and was in good standing at his death. He was a carter member of Hickory Grove Grange, Bethel Township. Both he and wife were members of Pisgah Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was a trustee for years. He married Sarah Anderson and the had seven children-Scott, Flora two that died young, Frank, Harry E. and Emma. the survivors being Flora and Harry E. Harry E. Coombs enjoyed excellent school advantages, attending the New Carlisle High School and Springfield after which he returned to receive practical farm training from his father, and this he has put to excellent use. When the homestead became his own property he added thirty acres to it, which he purchased from Frank Judd. He carries on extensive farming and fattens for market about two carloads of cattle every year.
Mr. Coombs was married October 1, 1889, to Miss Mary S. Johnston, a daughter of David and Abarilla E. (Stafford) Johnston, and they have three children: Howard J., Emma L. and Lois Elizabeth. The eldest was a member of the graduating class of the Bethel High School of 1909, the second, of the class of 1911, and only her tender years has kept the youngest yet in the Glenwood School in District No. 9. In their intellectual attainments and social qualities, they are credits to their parents and the community.
Mr. Coombs completed a very fine residence in 1896 and has improved all his buildings with paint, making the whole place exceedingly attractive. He is a member of Hickory Grove Grange, of Bethel Township. With his family he attends the Presbyterian Church at New Carlisle.
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