Biography of John Symons Honeycomb
St Lawrence County, NY Biographies

Honeycomb, John Symons. The town of Gouverneur is widely known because of its talc and marble. One of the best known and most enterprising men of the mineral regions is John S. Honeycomb, who has been identified with talc mining since its incipiency and was one of the first to discover the great marble beds which abound in this locality. Besides this he has built a great part of the village and has identified himself with the best interests and development of the town. Mr. Honeycomb was born in St. Cleer, Cornwall, England, Jannary 8, 1833, and learned the trade of mason in that country. In 1855 he left England and came to the United States; but not realizing his expectations in Gouverneur, he left St. Lawrence county and went to Canada, where he remained Lur years, serving in that time as captain of a company of militia. In 1800 he returned to Gouverneur, where he married Pidelia Washburn, and they have four children: Virgil F., Emma E., Ida L, and John W. John W. married Nellie Enos and they have one son, John Howard. During the war period our subject was identified with the lead mining interests of the county and built most of the mine buildings. He also built the blast furnaces and steel works at Clifton. He has also been prominently identified with railroad building, having superintended the widening of the New York Central railroad from Schenectady to Fort Plain, the first four track road in the world. He was also the contractor for building the Montreal, Portland and Boston railroad, and was associated with the construction of the Quebec and Gosford railway, also the Levis and Kennebec railway. In building the fine bridge over the Oswegatchie in 1876, Mr. Honeycomb discovered the marble beds of Gouverneur, while seeking stone for abutments and piers. In 1818 Mr. Honey comb was mainly instrumental in forming the Gouverneur Pulp Company with Col. Henry Palmer and S. B. Van Duzee, Mr. Honeycomb being secretary of the company, and he is now joint owner with Col. Henry Palmer, of the talc property in the town of Edwards, whence they drew their supplies of talc, under lease. Mr. Honeycomb was also mainly instrumental in forming the first organised marble company in Gouverneur -- the Whitney, now the Gouverneur Marble Company - and was its first secretary. Mr. Honeycomb's father and mother are both dead and he in the cemetery at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, while his father's parents both lie in Riverside cemetery, Gouverneur, Mr. Honeycomb's grandmother referred to and Sir Humphrey Davy were brothers' children (first cousins), and through marriage she was aunt to George Borrow, the eminent philologist, traveler and author. The history of the Honeycomb family runs back to Norman times and the family were always Royalists. Members of the family fought for Charles I., suffering under the Protectorate of Cromwell, and joined in the fetes in honor of the restoration. The old ancestral mansion of the family still stands near "Tamar's banks," amid "the stately homes of England."

Our County and it's people
A memorial record of St. Lawrence County, New York
Edited by: Gates Curtis
The Boston History Co., Publishers 1894

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