COMBS FAMILY

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Families

COMBS FAMILY, 1921 – 1959


TAGS: Combs Family; Pine Mountain Settlement School; Pine Mountain community; PMSS workers; PMSS Boarding School students; PMSS Community School students; Alice Cobb; The Lexington Herald; Hindman Settlement School summer camps; textiles; weaving; Katherine Pettit; Glyn Morris; Tomfoolery plays; preachers; Mountain Magazine/Hazard Herald; Evelyn K. Wells; Journal of American Folklore; students; military service; The Pine Cone; French-Eversole Feuds; Dorothy H. Stiles; Berea College Appalachian Museum Oral History Collection; newspaper clippings;


Members of the Combs Family lived in the community of Pine Mountain since very early years. As stated on the page for KATHERINE PETTIT – WEAVING…,

When Pettit arrived in the valley she met families with names like Creech, Boggs, Turner, Couch, Combs, Coots, Day, Hall, and more, suggesting that the population was heavily indebted to England, Ireland and France in its origins.

Several Combs individuals were among the student body and workers at Pine Mountain Settlement School.

For a detailed history of the Combs family, see images and transcription of the newspaper article “History of the Combs Family” by S.S. Combs here.

For additional assistance in locating histories of families in Eastern Kentucky see:

Harlan County, Kentucky Genealogy – FamilySearch Wiki


Combs Family: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PMSS COLLECTIONS

Chester Combs and his father were two of the community members that Alice Cobb and a co-worker met while on a 20-mile hike to Napier and Gabes Branch Falls. ALICE COBB STORIES Hike to Napier….

Elijah Combs, Captain Hanan Fields Combs and Monroe Combs are among the names in Samuel Morse Chenault’s 1919 article in The Lexington Herald. See image of clipping and transcription at LOCAL HISTORY SCRAPBOOK Hazard, Heart of the Coal Fields 1919.

Enoch Combs and his wife Mary “were a childless couple living in Sassafras, near Hindman (Knott County), Kentucky, Pettit’s first school (Hindman Settlement School) location. (In 1901) the Combs were the hosts for a group of young women who came to the third and final summer camp in Southeast Kentucky, which was held at Sassafras in Knott County….the last of a series of summer camps established to serve the literacy-poor hollows in Knott County.” See KATHERINE PETTIT Social Settlement in Kentucky Mountains Sassafras Album 1901 for photographs of members of the Combs family, and a young lady who was living with them, engaged in the complex tasks associated with the manufacture of textiles in the Southern Appalachians.

Among Katherine Pettit’s collection of coverlets and textile fragments was a very worn and modified blanket/shawl and a badly damaged note that reads:

This shawl was willed to … Uncle Enoch Combs, when he was a young man, not quite 20. [When he was] starting [for war] his sweetheart Nancy St … him and gave him this shawl [to ….] him. She told him to f… [when the] war was over. This he [did ?] … Uncle Enoch wore the shawl [until he was] an old man with long white [hair]. KATHERINE PETTIT – WEAVING AT PMSS – BEGINNINGS.

In a 1920 letter to “Melissa” (Mrs. Chester Combs), Katherine Pettit mentioned Walter Combs, a furniture-maker. KATHERINE PETTIT CORRESPONDENCE 1920, letter #100.

Chris Anderson and Josiah Combs Accounts of Their Own ‘Death” was a 1934 story collected by Alice Cobb, PMSS worker from 1930s to 1950s. ALICE COBB STORIES: Chris Anderson and Josiah Combs….

Frances Combs was mentioned in PINE CONE 1936.

Grazia Combs, a school administrator from Perry County, Kentucky, accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Glyn Morris, Georgia Ayers, Fern Hall and others from PMSS on a road trip to Mexico. GEORGIA AYERS DODD Biography.

Hermann Combs is listed among the individuals depicted in the Friends & Neighbors photographs dated late 1940s -1950s. VI 51 FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS People.

Homer Combs was cast as “Bo,” a hobo “in an act of funnybone ticklers” in the 1935 TOMFOOLERY play.

Uncle Ira Combs is named as one of the many “home-grown” itinerant preachers in the Baptist tradition in the biography for Rev. LEWIS LYTTLE. See Gallery [VI_35_1138 and 1139].

Rev. Ira Combs of Jeff, Kentucky, W. J. Combs and Anderson Combs contributed articles to the Mountain Magazine (Hazard Herald, no date). Images and transcriptions of the articles can be seen at LOCAL HISTORY SCRAPBOOK The Mountain Magazine….  Names mentioned in the magazine: Ira Combs, Mason Combs and children, Elijah Combs, Ira Combs, Pearl Combs, “Old Danger” Combs, Jesse Combs, Jeremiah Combs, Anderson Combs, Jerry Combs and children, Willie Combs, “Blinky” Shade Combs, Jack Combs, Andy Combs, Lydia and Matilda Combs, Felix and Sam Combs, Alvin Combs, and Cornie Combs.

Irene Combs was among the seniors graduating in May 1935. 1935 GRADUATING CLASS. See gallery, photo #2447 – Seniors 1935) When sent a questionnaire after graduation, she responded with a lengthy narrative on her PMSS education. See images here: BOARDING SCHOOL Alumni Reflections on Their Education 1936.

Josiah Combs (1910-1960) was mentioned by Evelyn K. Wells in her address at Harvard University on Appalachian Folksongs. Katherine Pettit sent Josiah’s songs to Professor Kittredge for the Journal of American Folklore. She also lists two of his publications. EVELYN K. WELLS, TALKS 1955 Harvard Talk.

In 1920, Katherine Pettit sent a letter to Josiah N. Combs, Prague, Czechoslovakia, inviting him back to PMSS. KATHERINE PETTIT CORRESPONDENCE 1920.

A 1922 letter (#023) to Katherine Pettit referred to Newel Combs as a newly arrived PMSS student. KATHERINE PETTIT CORRESPONDENCE 1922.

Rufus Combs served in the U.S. Navy, according to a list compiled by a 1947 issue of The Pine Cone. WWII MILITARY SERVICE (draft)

An article about Chris Anderson in NOTES 1940 (page 2) includes Anderson’s story about Sary Combs, a man who “died one evening and came back to life the next morning.”

Newspaper clippings (dated March 24, 1912), included in the PMSS SCRAPBOOK BEFORE 1929, show two letters to the editor from Manon Cornett in which he questions vigilante actions used to quell mob violence by officials of Woodford County, KY. His biography states that “Manon Cornett was married to Clara Belle ‘Pet’ Eversole, a daughter of Joseph Castle Eversole and Susan Combs Eversole. Her father, a prominent attorney, was one of the victims of the infamous French-Eversole Feuds in Hazard in 1909.”

Eli Hall and Susan (Combs) Hall were the grandparents of first cousins Fern Hall and Susie Hall, PMSS students and workers beginning in the 1930s. SUSIE HALL ANGEL.

Dorothy H. Stiles, an employee at Hindman (KY) Settlement School, wrote in her “Kentucky 1915” journal about a horseback ride to Pine Mountain. During the trip, they stayed overnight with the Spencer Combs’ family. The narrative describes their home and hospitality and mentions Spencer Combs’ son as a “tooth dentist.” DOROTHY H. STILES – “KENTUCKY 1915.”

Susanna Combs is among the “authors” listed in the Berea College Appalachian Museum Oral History Collection. BIBLIOGRAPHY PINE MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL.

S.S. Combs wrote a newspaper article “History of the Combs Family” c. 1922. Images are displayed in the Gallery below and at LOCAL HISTORY SCRAPBOOK: HiSTORY OF THE COMBS FAMILY…. Combs family members named in the narrative include Harrison, Matthew, Isaac, Henry, Hugh, George, Steve, Alfred, William, Nathan, Rachael, James, Dulcina, Stephen, Sewell, Larkin, Davis, Winnie, Evaline, Angelina, Ben, Mat, Edward, Asbury, Henry, Benjamin, Ike, and Sheriff A.T. Combs.

“Most everyone in the Viper (KY) community was either related or could trace to some common pioneer history in the region. Common names in the area are Combs, Brashear, Whitaker, Woods, and more. Most families in the area were either subsistence farmers or worked at logging or mining or had small mercantile stores.” FERN HALL HAYES Biography.

The Combs family from Knott County was cited as one of two “great ballad-singing families” of Kentucky among folk song scholars. (The other family was the Ritchies.) Their repertoire was documented by Hindman Settlement School‘s first graduate, Dr. Josiah Combs. (Wikipedia.org.) MAY RITCHIE Biography.

Combs Family: IN PINE MOUNTAIN VALLEY COMMUNITY, 1934

LAST NAME FIRST NAME DATE OF INFO SOURCE OF INFORMATION NOTES
Combs Josiah 1934 COBB STORIES “Chris…”
Combs Chester 1934  COBB STORIES “HIke to Napier…” “…and his father…”

Combs Family: PMSS WORKER, 1930

LAST NAME FIRST NAME JOB CATEGORY JOB TITLE PINE MT YEAR(S)
Combs Bertha Staff Housekeeper at Medical Settlement, Big Laurel June – Oct 1930

Combs Family: PMSS BOARDING STUDENTS, 1931-1944

Combs Family: PMSS COMMUNITY SCHOOL STUDENTS, 1958-1959

LAST NAME FIRST NAME/MI DATE OF BIRTH DATE OF RECORD
Combs Earnest 1946-02-27 1958
Combs Georgia Ann 1948-12-08 1958
Combs Herman 1952-08-04 1958
Combs Jessie 1947-08-20 1959

See Also:

ALICE COBB GUIDE TO WRITING, STORIES & LETTER COPIES

LOCAL HISTORY SCRAPBOOK “History of the Combs Family” by S.S. Combs

LOCAL HISTORY SCRAPBOOK The Mountain Magazine (Hazard Herald)

MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942

Return to GUIDE TO FAMILIES IN THE PINE MOUNTAIN VALLEY COMMUNITY


Combs Family: GALLERY

Title

Combs Family

Identifier

COMBS FAMILY

Creator

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Combs Family; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Pine Mountain community ; PMSS workers ; PMSS Boarding School students ; PMSS Community School students ; Alice Cobb ; The Lexington Herald ; Hindman Settlement School summer camps ; textiles ; weaving ; Katherine Pettit ; Glyn Morris ; Tomfoolery plays ; preachers ; Mountain Magazine/Hazard Herald ; Evelyn K. Wells ; Journal of American Folklore ; students ; military service ; The Pine Cone ; French-Eversole Feuds ; Dorothy H. Stiles ; Berea College Appalachian Museum Oral History Collection ; newspaper clippings ;

Subject LCSH

Combs Family.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Families — Kentucky.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.

Date

2018-07-27

Publisher

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Contributor

n/a

Type

Collections ; text ; image ;

Format

Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet.

Source

Series 09: Biography – Families

Language

English

Relation

Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Families

Coverage Temporal

1921 – 1959

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; England, Ireland and France; Eastern Kentucky ; Napier and Gabes Branch Falls ; Sassafras, KY ; Hindman, KY ; Knott County, KY ; Southern Appalachians ; Mexico ; Prague, Czechoslovakia ; Woodford County, KY ; Viper, KY ;

Rights

Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Donor

n/a

Description

Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of the Combs Family ; clippings, photographs, books by or about the Combs Family ;

Acquisition

n/d

Citation

“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

Bibliography

Sources

”Combs.” GUIDE TO PMSS WORKERS 1913-2000s ; PINE MOUNTAIN VALLEY COMMUNITY RESIDENTS LIST 1910s-1940s ; GUIDE TO BOARDING SCHOOL STUDENTS, 1929-1949 ; COMMUNITY SCHOOL STUDENTS LIST A-Ga. Series 09: Biography – Families. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Combs, Josiah. “Guide to Josiah Henry Comb Papers.” Includes biography of Josiah Combs. Berea College, KY. Hutchins Library. [Accessed  2018-07-29.  http://community.berea.edu/hutchinslibrary/specialcollections/saa71.asp]

Combs, Josiah H, and D K. Wilgus. Folk-songs of the Southern United States. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014. Internet resource/ebook.

Combs, Josiah H. Kentucky Highlanders from a Native Mountaineer’s Viewpoint. Place of publication not identified: Nabu Press, 2010. Print.

Combs, Norris K. Josiah, the Story of Dr. Josiah H. Combs from the Mountains of Kentucky. Pensacola, Fl.?: N.K. Combs, 1994. Print.

Combs, S.S. “History of the Combs Family.” [unknown newspaper, n.d., c. 1922], page 22. LOCAL HISTORY SCRAPBOOK: HiSTORY OF THE COMBS FAMILY…. Series 09: Biography – Families. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

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