Biography of John F. Newcomb
North Central Ohio Biographies

John F. Newcomb, one of Ashland's adopted citizens, was born at Kenton, Hardin County, Ohio, Aug. 22, 1871, a son of Arthur D. and Emmar (Fletcher) Newcomb.

Arthur D. Newcomb served in the Civil War, in the 4th and 82nd O. V. I. regiments, until disabled by sunstroke. He was born in Knox County, spent a good part of his young manhood in Hardin; then removing early in the 70's to Jersey City, Wood County, to take advantage of the advent of the "Coldwater" Railroad, by engaging in sawmill business. He later filled the village offices of clerk and trustee; carried the mail between the local postoffices and that of Mungen; and was a noble grand in the Vitus Lodge, No. 602, of the I. O. O. F., in 1878. He died as a result of his war disabilities, in 1881, and is buried in Fostoria, Seneca County. His wife, born in Wood County, died at Fostoria in 1889. She was a school teacher in early life; held memberships in the Presbyterian Church, and the Women's Relief Corps, of Fostoria. To this couple were born four children: John F., the subject of this sketch; Violet E., married Frank Martinez, of New Orleans; David A. and Clark N., both residents of Los Angeles.

John F. obtained his education in the public schools of Perry Township, Wood County, and Fostoria, and at the Fostoria Academy. He then interested himself in the hardware business until in 1891, after which he engaged in the Salvation Army work for 20 years, attaining the rank of adjutant as used by the Army. After serving in various posts in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York, he retired from that work because of a breakdown in health, in 1911. The succeeding nearly five years were passed in helping to establish in South Florida the beautiful little city of Sebring, and its thousands of acres of citrus groves. Removing to Ashland in 1916, he was engaged chiefly in construction work with W. C. Forbes for many years, until his association with the Rybolt Heater Company, with which he is now identified.

On Oct. 15, 1900, Mr. Newcomb was united in marriage at Philadelphia with Captain Hannah M. Hayes, of Ashland, the daughter of Fred and Ella (Burton) Hayes; the former coming from London, England, in 1873; the latter a native of Fremont, but whose parents had moved to Ashland early in the 60's. Mrs. Newcomb attended the Ashland Schools, and is a graduate of the Salvation Army Training College of New York City; she had engaged in this work from her childhood, her parents being officers for some years; and she continued it faithfully following her marriage. Her grandfather, Z. G. Burton, is another who occupies an honored grave as a Civil War veteran. His family originally came from Virginia to Tuscarawas County. Mr. Hayes, after many years with the F. E. Myers and Bro. Company, became a member of the local police force. Retiring because of failing health in 1926, he passed away on January 21, 1931, highly honored as a Christian and citizen.

Of Mr. and Mrs. Newcomb's five children, Maude H., Fred H., and Harold F. are graduates of the Ashland High School. Maude was for some years with the Farmers' Bank, and an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, but is now located at Palo Alto, California, as secretary to John C. McDowell, of the Alumni Association of Leland Stanford University. Fred, born June 15, 1904, entered Stanford in 1924; is now engaged in business in San Francisco. He married Miss Vera Weeks, of Palo Alto, and they have a daughter, Vera Jean, born in 1930. Harold, born July 22, 1906, married Miss Lucile Fendrick, a graduate of Ashland High School, and business woman. Both are identified with the Ashland Times Gazette. Arthur M., born in Sebring, Fla., April 10, 1914, and Robert B., born in Ashland, Oct. 6, 1916, attend the local high school.

Mr. and Mrs. Newcomb attend the Park Street Brethren Church, where he is an assistant superintendent of the school. Both are independent in politics.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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