Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 339] will be remembered among the people of Lawrence Co., Pa., for many years to come as a man who in his clerical labors and in his work as a citizen was all that a man should be. He is now advanced to that stage in life's journey where he can look back over the many changing years and out of their teachings can well instruct the rising generation. Mr. McComb has ever been a many-sided man. He has had intimate knowledge of so varied human interests that he could never be narrow in his ideas on the great subjects of life. He is a native of the State founded by William Penn, being born in Mahoning township, June 15, 1814. He was a son of John and Sarah (Hanna) McComb. The father was a native of Washington County, and was during his allotted time a worthy and thrifty farmer. He was one of the pioneer settlers of Mahoning township, Pa., but had formerly owned a fine tract of land near Parkstown. In his political views, he was originally a Democrat, but when the lines became closely drawn on the slavery question he cast in his lot with the then young Republican movement. John McComb, the father, was married to Sarah Hanna, whose parents were of Scotch nativity, she being born during their voyage to America. Mr. and Mrs. McComb were the parents of eleven children: George and Martha, twins; Samuel; Jane; Joseph; John; Sarah and Eleanor, twins; Andrew D.; Hugh D.; and one that died in infancy. The family were in religious belief Seceders, but later on became attendants of the U. P. Church.

Rev. John McComb, our subject, received the elements of his education in the common schools of Mahoning township. In those days the schoolhouses were log structures, into which the light of day was strained through windows of greased paper. Heated by means of immense stone fire-places, fitted with wooden chimneys, made tight with plastered clay, these old-fashioned temples of learning certainly filled their destiny, and turned out to the world men as well equipped, or better, for the struggle of life as do our modern palatial school edifices. Our subject took his high school course at an academy near Lowellville, Ohio. After its completion, he worked at farming for a while and then was licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This was in l847. In 1850 he joined the Erie M. E. Conference, and as a teacher and preacher of the precious truths of the Christian religion, as they are interpreted by this denomination, he has spent all the years of his manhood. Mr. McComb bought the farm he now owns and occupies in 1883. Farming has with him been rather a diversion and a rest from the active work in the Master's service. His best strength has always been given to doing his part to make the world better. A passage, which shows the impelling force of his very nature is this: "Christ so loved me, that he gave his body in ransom for me."

Our subject united his life with that of Miss Sarah Wallace, Feb. 2, 1837. She was a daughter of Robert Wallace of Plain Grove township, and was born April 23, 1816. To them have been given nine children, all but two of whom are now alive. The record is as follows: Robert W.; William R.; Elizabeth J.; Sarah H.; Mary A.; Lydia A. and John W. They are located as follows: Robert W. at home; William R. married Clara A. Hoy, and became the father of four children: Frank, Jessie L., George W., and Mary; Elizabeth J. is the wife of Samuel Holliday, and is the mother of two childrenóJohn and Martha; Sarah H. married Andrew K. Uber, and has one son, Daniel W.; Mary A. is the wife of William Kerr of Harlansburg, Pa., and is the mother of sevenóRobert W., William, Samuel G., Catherine, Mary, Charles, and Anna R.; Lydia A. married J. M. Dennison and has four childrenóSarah, Clark G., Martha E., and May Belle; and John W., who first married Margaret Johnson and then Clara Blair. John McComb, Jr., had one child, William P., by his first wife, who died in 1887, and a few years later he contracted his second marriage, from which union resulted one child, Arthur L.

As has been stated, Mr. McComb is very alert to all which has to do with the betterment of mankind. He believes that a minister of the Gospel should have a living interest in secular as well as spiritual things, and he is a warm adherent to the principles of the Republican party. Though now an aged man, he is full of the spirit and fervor of Christianity. Still a pleasing and forcible talker, he has a fund of information and pointed anecdote with which to show a moral and expound a well-presented truth. Of kindly disposition and upright life, he is looked up to and loved by all who know him. When sorrow comes he is a sympathetic comforter, whose hand ever points upward to that fair and happy land beyond the skies. It is the influence of such men as he that makes life worth living to very many, for through him they receive hopes for that better and more peaceful state on the other side of the river.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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