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Biography - John Breckinridge Combs


Submitted by Debi Kendrick

John C. B. COMBS has profited substantially through the leasing of his farm in Lee County where successful oil production is now in process on the property, and in 1919 he purchased his present valuable and well improved residence farm, the old Fishback place of 144 acres on the Richmond Turnpike, eleven miles south of the city of Lexington.  He has been fortunate in thus acquiring one of the fine farms of the famed Blue Grass District of Fayette County, and here he is giving his attention to vigorous and progressive enterprise as an agriculturist and stock-grower.

John C. Breckinridge COMBS was born in Breathitt County, Kentucky, on the 20th of January, 1870, and is a of Claiborne and Grace (MAYZE) COMBS.  Claiborne COMBS was born in Perry County, this state, a son of Preston COMBS, he removed thence to Breathitt County, where he passed the remainder of his life and where he died at a venerable age.  Clairborne COMBS was reared and educated in Breathitt County, and there continued his residence until 1871, when he purchased and removed to a farm in Estill County, where he passed the remainder of his life on the old homestead, he having been in his seventy-sixth year at the time of his death and his widow having passed away at the venerable age of eighty-one years.  Mr. COMBS had the unique distinction of having served both as a Confederate and as a Union soldier in the Civil war, his initial service having been in the Confederate army.

John C.B. COMBS was an infant at the time of the family removal to Estill County, where he received in his youth the advantages of the public schools and where he remained on the home farm until he had attained the age of twenty-two years, when he was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. CRABTREE, daughter of Simpson CRABTREE, a substantial farmer of Lee County.  After his marriage, Mr. COMBS and his wife established their home upon the farm given to the latter by her father, in Lee County, the same comprising 102 acres.  Much of this land was covered with timber and underbrush, and Mr. COMBS set himself vigorously to the task of reclaiming the tract to cultivation.  He thus cleared forty acres and brought the same into effective productiveness, besides making other substantial improvements on the place.  For a number of years he gave much of his time during the winter seasons to working as a sawyer in lumber mills, his services in this capacity having covered a period of about twelve years, and the salary which he received having aided materially in his constructive work in the improving of his farm.  This farm lies in a territory in which oil production has become an industry of major importance, and in 1918 Mr. and Mrs. COMBS leased this tract, together with an additional seventy-five acres which Mrs. COMBS purchased from her father, to oil companies operating in that field.  Upon the farm at the time of this writing, in 1920, are twenty-four producing oil wells, which yield an average output.  From this source Mr. and Mrs. COMBS receive a substantial income.

In 1919, as previously stated, Mr. COMBS purchased the Fishback farm in Fayette County, and here hs is sucessfully engaged in diversified agricultural enterprise and the raising of good grades of live stock.  He is found aligned in the ranks of the Democratic party, and supports the Christian Church, of which his wife is an active member.  It is worthy of special note that the substantial brick residence owned and occupied by Mr. COMBS and his family was erected in 1873 by Daniel BOONE, in whose honor he was named.  Mr. and Mrs. COMBS have seven children, of whom the four youngest remain at the parental home - Minta, Eller, Darwin and Ada.  Ruth, the eldest of the children, is the wife of Thomas SLOAN, and with her four children resides in the home of her parents;  Floyd is a salesman in a mercantile establishment;  and Mamie, the wife of Floyd SLOAN, likewise remains at the parental home.

Extracted from "History of Kentucky Vol IV" by William Elsey Connelley & E.M. Coulter, copyright 1922.

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