Jefferson County Historical Society

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Hon. Carman Adams Newcomb, a substantial and respected citizen of this
vicinity, and a man who, by reason of true personal worth and deserved
recognition, has occupied a prominent place in the affairs of Jefferson
County, was born near the town of Mercer, Mercer Co., Penn., July 1,
1830.  Theodore Newcomb, his father, was a native of Greenfield, Mass.,
in which locality he remained until a young man, afterward going to
Michigan in the employ of the American Fur Company.  Subsequently he
removed to Mercer County, Penn., and while living there was married to
Miss Mary Carman.  She was a Marylander by birth, but accompanied her
parents to Mercer County, Penn., when a child.  Mr. Newcomb died at 
West Union, Iowa, at the advanced age of eighty-one.  His widow still
survives, and is eighty-seven years old, having been born in October,
1800.  She is well preserved in mind and body, and makes her home at
West Union, Iowa, where one of her daughters, Mrs. Mary Hoyt (a widow),
also resides.  Mr. and Mrs. Newcomb were faithful members of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church during life.  Carman A., the subject of this
sketch, was reared in his native county, attending the common schools,
and subsequently had the advantages of the Mercer Academy; having secured 
a good education he then commenced reading law.  Soon after, with
perhaps a natural desire, he came West, locating for a short time at
Freeport, Ill., where he taught school, resumed his law studies and was
admitted to the bar; and was married, while here, to Sarah K. Fisher,
daughter of P. D. and Lovina Fisher, who were also born in Pennsylvania.
Some eighteen months later he removed to West Union, Iowa, and was 
occupied in the practice of his profession until the outbreak of the
Civil War, when he raised Company F, Third Regiment Iowa Infantry 
Volunteers, and was commissioned its captain by Gov. Kirkwood, of Iowa,
but subsequently resigned on account of ill health.  He located at St.
Louis in 1863, when, his attention having been directed to fruit 
culture, he opened a fruit farm at Vineland, Jefferson County, where
his health was much improved.  Mr. Newcomb now returned to St. Louis,
but in about two years located at Kimmswick, Mo.  Mr. Newcomb has just 
cause to feel a sense of pride at the official prominence to which he
has attained.  He was first elected prosecuting attorney of Fayette
County, Iowa, and then judge.  After locating in Missouri he was chosen
as representative in the Legislature from Jefferson County, in 1865; 
and was also appointed by Gov. Fletcher judge of the circuit court,
though he never acted in this latter capacity.  March 4, 1867 he took
his seat as a member of the Fortieth Congress from Missouri; at the 
expiration of his term in Congress he received the first appointment made
by Grant, in 1869, after his cabinet was formed, that of United States
Marshal, and held that office for over seven years, and in other ways
has faithfully served the interests of those by whose suffrages he has
so often been called to public position.  Since his retirement from the
marshal's office he has been interested in several incorporated business 
concerns, meeting with success.  Politically, he has ever been a
stanch Republican, warmly aiding that party in its many movements.  
Personally, Mr. Newcomb is highly esteemed.  Reserved and unostentatious 
in manner, he impresses those with whom he comes in contact as a man of 
true instincts of character; a friend to all.  Realizing his distaste of 
anything savoring of notoriety, it is but proper to say in this connection 
that the above sketch, imperfect though it may be has been included within 
the present work only through the solicitations of many friends, 
notwithstanding his decided preference to have it omitted. Mrs. Newcomb is 
a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Mr. Newcomb is, if anything a 
Unitarian in belief, but believes with Pope: For forms of faith let 
graceless zealots fight, His can't be wrong, whose life is in the right.