Cynthia Strong

     Cynthia Strong was the daughter of Seth Strong III. Cynthia Strong married Caleb Hill, son of Jonathan Hill and Barbara Aylesworth, on 1 August 1790.1

Children of Cynthia Strong and Caleb Hill

Citations

  1. [S521] Ancestry.com, 1915.
  2. [S765] Lewis Cass Aldrich, Grand Isle Co. VT, page 806.

Seth Strong III

     Seth Strong III was the son of Seth Strong Jr.

Child of Seth Strong III

Seth Strong Jr.1

b. June 1743
     Seth Strong Jr. was born in June 1743. He was the son of Deacon Seth Strong and Lois Strong.

Child of Seth Strong Jr.

Citations

  1. [S84] Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight Elder John Strong, Volume II, Page 1276.

Deacon Seth Strong1,2

b. 4 April 1716
     Deacon Seth Strong was born on 4 April 1716. He was the son of Jerijah Strong and Thankful Stebbins. Deacon Seth Strong married Lois Strong, daughter of Jonathan Strong and Mehitable Stebbins, in 1740.

Child of Deacon Seth Strong and Lois Strong

Citations

  1. [S84] Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight Elder John Strong, Volume II, Page 1276.
  2. [S84] Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight Elder John Strong, Volume II, Page 1482.

Mercy Holcombe

b. 6 March 1778, d. 3 June 1850
     Mercy Holcombe was born on 6 March 1778 at Granby, Hartford Co., CT.1 She was the daughter of Caleb Holcombe and Mary (?) Mercy Holcombe married Amassa Moore, son of Job Moore and Mehitable Case, circa 1795.2 Mercy Holcombe married Timothy Alderman II, son of Timothy Alderman and Tabitha Phelps, on 25 September 1807.2,3,4 Mercy Holcombe died on 3 June 1850 at Windsor, Ashtabula Co., OH, at age 72.5

Without a complete study of the records one can only surmise what the circumstances are around the marriage of Mercy to Timothy Alderman before the death of Amassa Moore. It was noted of Amassa's death that he drank "cider brandy by the pint." So perhaps she divorced him.

Very shortly after Amassa died, Mercy and her infant daughter accompanied unspecified family members to Windsor Township, Ashtabula County, Ohio to be near family. Accounts exist of the hardshps endured during her journey westward, including events such as Mercy's driving away a bear from her pigs using a firebrand and once losing a family dinner to a notorious old Indian named "Oneek".2

Child of Mercy Holcombe and Amassa Moore

Children of Mercy Holcombe and Timothy Alderman II

Citations

  1. [S178] Christina Bailey and Lorraine Cook White, Barbour: Granby, Page 117.
  2. [S300] Michael C. Holcomb, "Caleb Holcomb."
  3. [S104] DAR DAR Lineage book, Vol 63, Page 188, #62560.
  4. [S359] William Alderman Parker, Alderman, Page 530.
  5. [S361] Michael C. Holcomb, Holcombes in Ashtabula.

Abigail Norris

     Abigail Norris married Caleb Holcombe, son of Caleb Holcombe and Mary (?), on 26 September 1813 at Hartsgrove, Ashtabula Co., OH. Abigail Norris died on 4 January 1886 at Hartsgrove, Ashtabula Co., OH.1

Children of Abigail Norris and Caleb Holcombe

Citations

  1. [S300] Michael C. Holcomb, "Caleb Holcomb."

Edson Greenlief Holcombe

b. 29 June 1832, d. 29 April 1906
     Edson Greenlief Holcombe was born on 29 June 1832 at Hartsgrove, Ashtabula Co., OH.1 He was the son of Caleb Holcombe and Abigail Norris. Edson Greenlief Holcombe married Mary Helen Bulfinch, daughter of Jonathan Bullfinch and Clarissa (?), on 25 April 1852 at Hartsgrove, Ashtabula Co., OH. Edson Greenlief Holcombe died on 29 April 1906 at Plymouth, Ashtabula Co., OH, at age 73.1

Some of the information on Edson and his descendants is from Richard W. Holcombe via an e-mail 8/20/99, Beatnik@netwalk.net

Edson served in the Civil War in 29th Regiment, Co. K, Ohio. Late in life Edson and Helen moved to Plymouth, Ashtabula Co., OH. In 1910 the widow Mary Helen was living with son William Sherman there.1

Edson and Helen were enumerated in the 1860 Hartsgrove, Ashtabula Co., OH, federal census, page 139, near his father. He was listed as "E. Hocum." He was a farmer, age 28; she was 28, born in NY. Children in the household, all born in Ohio, were Adelaide 7, Lillian 5, Jeanette 3, and unnamed 7/12.

Edson and Mary H. were enumerated in the 1870 Hartsgrove, Ashtabula Co., OH, federal census. He was a farmer age 37, she was 38. Children in the household were Adelade 16, Lillian 15, Jeanete 13, Eva M. 10, Victoria 8, Ally 6, and William 4.

Edson and Helen were enumerated in the 1880 Hartsgrove, Ashtabula Co., OH, federal census, ED 12, page 12. Children in the household were Allie 17, Sherman 14, Leonard 8 and apparently a grand-daughter, Dalia Biglow. Edison's mother Abigail, age 83 was also in the household.

Children of Edson Greenlief Holcombe and Mary Helen Bulfinch

Citations

  1. [S300] Michael C. Holcomb, "Caleb Holcomb."

Mary Helen Bulfinch

     Mary Helen Bulfinch was the daughter of Jonathan Bullfinch and Clarissa (?) Mary Helen Bulfinch married Edson Greenlief Holcombe, son of Caleb Holcombe and Abigail Norris, on 25 April 1852 at Hartsgrove, Ashtabula Co., OH.

Children of Mary Helen Bulfinch and Edson Greenlief Holcombe

Citations

  1. [S300] Michael C. Holcomb, "Caleb Holcomb."

William Sherman Holcombe

b. May 1867, d. 21 November 1945
     William Sherman Holcombe was born in May 1867 at Hartsgrove, Ashtabula Co., OH.1,2 He was the son of Edson Greenlief Holcombe and Mary Helen Bulfinch. William Sherman Holcombe married Lucy Mann on 25 December 1888. William Sherman Holcombe died on 21 November 1945 at age 78.3

W. Sherman and Lucy M. were enumerated in the 1900 Plymouth, Ashtabula Co., OH, federal census. He was a farmer, age 33, she was 31. They had been married 12 years and had three children, all still living. Children in the household were Harvey E. 8, William D. 7, and Walter E. 3, all born in OH.

In 1910 William and Lucy were farming in Plymouth Township with two of three children surviving. Mother, Mary Helen Bulfinch Holcombe, was living with them then.1

Children of William Sherman Holcombe and Lucy Mann

Citations

  1. [S300] Michael C. Holcomb, "Caleb Holcomb."
  2. [S35] 1900 Federal Census, unknown repository address.
  3. [S593] Sue Eden, "Edson Holcombe," e-mail to James H. Holcombe, 24 March 2006.

Lucy Mann

b. April 1869
     Lucy Mann was born in April 1869 at OH.1 She married William Sherman Holcombe, son of Edson Greenlief Holcombe and Mary Helen Bulfinch, on 25 December 1888.

Children of Lucy Mann and William Sherman Holcombe

Citations

  1. [S35] 1900 Federal Census, unknown repository address.
  2. [S300] Michael C. Holcomb, "Caleb Holcomb."

Walter Edward Holcombe

b. 3 January 1897, d. 21 January 1983
     Walter Edward Holcombe was born on 3 January 1897.1 He was the son of William Sherman Holcombe and Lucy Mann. Walter Edward Holcombe died on 21 January 1983 at age 86.1

Citations

  1. [S182] Social Security Death Index (on-line), Ancestry.com, SSDI, Ancestry.com.

Ensign Joseph Phelps1

b. 18 October 1716, d. 14 May 1775
     Ensign Joseph Phelps was born on 18 October 1716 at Turkey Hills, Hartford Co., CT. He was the son of Joseph Phelps and Rebecca North. Ensign Joseph Phelps married Deborah Holcombe, daughter of Lt. David Holcombe and Mehitable Buttolph, on 15 October 1740 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.2 Ensign Joseph Phelps died on 14 May 1775 at Turkey Hills, Hartford Co., CT, at age 58.

Children of Ensign Joseph Phelps and Deborah Holcombe

Citations

  1. [S135] Judge Oliver Seymour Phelps Phelps Family, Vol. I:Pg. 193/Item 369.
  2. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 117.

Deborah Holcombe1

b. 28 September 1726, d. 1772
     Deborah Holcombe was born on 28 September 1726 at Granby, Hartford Co., CT.2 She was the daughter of Lt. David Holcombe and Mehitable Buttolph. Deborah Holcombe married Ensign Joseph Phelps, son of Joseph Phelps and Rebecca North, on 15 October 1740 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.3 Deborah Holcombe died in 1772 at Turkey Hills, Hartford Co., CT.

Children of Deborah Holcombe and Ensign Joseph Phelps

Citations

  1. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 122.2/Item A-8-1-2-3.
  2. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 119.2.
  3. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 117.

James Williams Holcombe II

b. 1796, d. 22 February 1829
     James Williams Holcombe II was born in 1796.1 He was the son of James Holcombe and Irene Williams. James Williams Holcombe II died on 22 February 1829 at Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH.1

Citations

  1. [S385] Oliver Popenoe, "Williams, William."

Frank Holcombe

b. June 1797, d. 7 July 1883
     Frank Holcombe was also known as Franklin Holcombe.1 He was born in June 1797. He was the son of James Holcombe and Irene Williams. Frank Holcombe died on 7 July 1883 at CA at age 86.1

Citations

  1. [S385] Oliver Popenoe, "Williams, William."

Rosanna Adams

b. 1780, d. 26 March 1833
     Rosanna Adams was born in 1780.1 She married Abraham Holcombe, son of Hezekiah Holcombe II and Chloe Pinney, on 10 July 1798. Rosanna Adams died on 26 March 1833.1 She was buried at St. Andrews Cemetery, Bloomfield, Hartford Co., CT.1

Child of Rosanna Adams and Abraham Holcombe

Citations

  1. [S807] Find A Grave, online http://www.findagrave.com, memorial ID # 84263234.

Milo A. Holcombe1

b. 1 August 1799, d. 8 December 1867
     Milo A. Holcombe was born on 1 August 1799. He was the son of Abraham Holcombe and Rosanna Adams. Milo A. Holcombe married Susan Jane Case on 26 August 1827 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.2 Milo A. Holcombe married Catherine Duell.3 Milo A. Holcombe died on 8 December 1867 at Granby, Hartford Co., CT, at age 68; GS.

Milo A. and Catherine were enumerated in the 1850 Granby, Hartford Co., CT census with 11 year old Duel.

Milo A. and Catherine were enumerated in the 1860 Granby, Hartford Co., CT, census with 20 year old Deual.

Child of Milo A. Holcombe and Susan Jane Case

Citations

  1. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 50.2/Item A-4-5-2-3-1-7-1.
  2. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 292.
  3. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 50.2.
  4. [S67] 1850 Federal Census, unknown repository address, On-line.

Susan Jane Case

b. 22 August 1808, d. 4 November 1833
     Susan Jane Case was born on 22 August 1808. She married Milo A. Holcombe, son of Abraham Holcombe and Rosanna Adams, on 26 August 1827 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.1 Susan Jane Case died on 4 November 1833 at age 25.

Child of Susan Jane Case and Milo A. Holcombe

Citations

  1. [S45] Albert C. Bates, Simsbury, Page 292.
  2. [S67] 1850 Federal Census, unknown repository address, On-line.

Addison David Case1

b. 26 January 1855
     Addison David Case was born on 26 January 1855 at Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT. He was the son of Jason Edwin Case and Almira Dency Holcombe. Addison David Case married Katherine Lavinia Norris on 1 January 1880 at Glastonbury, Hartford Co., CT.

Children of Addison David Case and Katherine Lavinia Norris

Citations

  1. [S101] Ruth Cost Duncan, John Case, Page 173/Item 521.

Katherine Lavinia Norris

b. 20 July 1864
     Katherine is recorded in the 1900 Glastonbury census, film T623-136, page 25A, line 2. She is divorced and Alfred, Mabel, Addison, and Myrtle are living with her. Katherine Lavinia Norris was born on 20 July 1864 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT. She married Addison David Case, son of Jason Edwin Case and Almira Dency Holcombe, on 1 January 1880 at Glastonbury, Hartford Co., CT.

Children of Katherine Lavinia Norris and Addison David Case

Alfred Welles Case

b. 20 February 1882
     Alfred Welles Case was born on 20 February 1882 at Glastonbury, Hartford Co., CT. He was the son of Addison David Case and Katherine Lavinia Norris.

Mabel Viola Case

b. 25 April 1883
     Mabel Viola Case was born on 25 April 1883 at Glastonbury, Hartford Co., CT. She was the daughter of Addison David Case and Katherine Lavinia Norris.

Addison David Case

b. 13 September 1884
     Addison David Case was born on 13 September 1884 at Glastonbury, Hartford Co., CT. He was the son of Addison David Case and Katherine Lavinia Norris.

Myrtle Iona Case

b. 12 June 1890
     Myrtle Iona Case was born on 12 June 1890 at Glastonbury, Hartford Co., CT. She was the daughter of Addison David Case and Katherine Lavinia Norris.

John Barney

b. 1785, d. 1856
     John Barney was born in 1785. He was the son of Commodore Joshua Barney and Ann Bedford. John Barney married Elizabeth Hindman in 1810. John Barney died in 1856.

Child of John Barney and Elizabeth Hindman

Elizabeth Hindman

b. 1792, d. 1849
     Elizabeth Hindman was born in 1792. She married John Barney, son of Commodore Joshua Barney and Ann Bedford, in 1810. Elizabeth Hindman died in 1849.

Child of Elizabeth Hindman and John Barney

Commodore Joshua Barney

b. 1759, d. 1818
     Joshua was a lieutenant, captain and commodore and carried dispatches to Benjamin Franklin in France. Commodore Joshua Barney was born in 1759 at Baltimore, Baltimore Co., MD. He died in 1818 at Pittsburgh, Allegheny Co., PA.

Child of Commodore Joshua Barney and Ann Bedford

Nannie Dornin Barney

     Nannie Dornin Barney was born at Norfolk, Isle of Wight Co, VA. She was the daughter of Jospeh Nicholson Barney and Anne Seddon.

Harvey Holcombe1

b. 21 July 1787
     Harvey Holcombe was born on 21 July 1787 at Granby, Hartford Co., CT. He was the son of Joshua P. Holcombe and Sarah Smith. Harvey Holcombe married Catherine Case.

Harvey is recorded in the 1850 census of Hanover, Luzerne (now York) Co., PA. as a farmer, owning real estate $3,000.

Children of Harvey Holcombe and Catherine Case

Citations

  1. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 45.2/Item A-4-5-2-2-1-6.

Catherine Case

     Catherine Case married Harvey Holcombe, son of Joshua P. Holcombe and Sarah Smith.

Children of Catherine Case and Harvey Holcombe

Carlos Holcombe1

b. 18 November 1810, d. 2 January 1895
Carlos and Adah Lavinia (Bushnell) Holcombe
     Carlos Holcombe was born on 18 November 1810 at East Granby, Hartford Co., CT.2 He was the son of Harvey Holcombe and Catherine Case. Carlos Holcombe married Adah Lavinia Bushnell, daughter of Isaac Bushnell and Orpha (?), on 8 May 1838 at Hitchcoxville (now Riverton), Litchfield Co., CT.2 Carlos Holcombe died on 2 January 1895 at New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT, at age 84.2

Carlos and Adah were recorded in the 1850 New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT, federal census. He was a farmer age 39, she was 34. Children in the household were Hiram B. 8, Carlos O. 8, and Marcus 5.

Children of Carlos Holcombe and Adah Lavinia Bushnell

Citations

  1. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 45.2/Item A-4-5-2-2-1-6-1.
  2. [S340] Walter Holcomb, Walter Holcombe, Page 9.

Adah Lavinia Bushnell

b. 18 September 1815, d. 3 May 1904
     Adah Lavinia Bushnell was born on 18 September 1815 at Hartland, Hartford Co., CT.1 She was the daughter of Isaac Bushnell and Orpha (?) Adah Lavinia Bushnell married Carlos Holcombe, son of Harvey Holcombe and Catherine Case, on 8 May 1838 at Hitchcoxville (now Riverton), Litchfield Co., CT.1 Adah Lavinia Bushnell died on 3 May 1904 at New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT, at age 88.1 She was buried on 6 May 1904 at Southington, Hartford Co., CT.

From the Courant 5 May 1904:

Mrs. Ada L. Holcomb, widow of Carlos Holcomb, died yesterday at the home of her son, Hiram B. Holcomb in New Hartford, death being due to old age. Mrs. Holcomb, who was born September 18, 1815, is survived by four sons, Judge M.H. Holcomb of Southington, Hiram B. Holcomb of New Hartford, Walter Holcomb of Torrington and Carolos O. Holcomb of New Britain and one daughter, Mrs. Adelaide Weaver, widow of Sterrie A. Weaver of Westfield, Mass. The funeral will be held at 1 o'clock tomorrow afternoon in New Hartford. Rev. N. Wright, pastor of the Methodist Church in Pleasant Valley, officiating. The burial will be in Southington.

Children of Adah Lavinia Bushnell and Carlos Holcombe

Citations

  1. [S340] Walter Holcomb, Walter Holcombe, Page 9.

Isaac Bushnell

     Isaac Bushnell married Orpha (?) Isaac Bushnell was buried at Colebrook River Cemetery, New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT.

Child of Isaac Bushnell and Orpha (?)

Orpha (?)

     Orpha (?) married Isaac Bushnell. Orpha (?) was buried at Colebrook River Cemetery, New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT.

Child of Orpha (?) and Isaac Bushnell

Gov. Marcus Hensey Holcombe1

b. 28 November 1844, d. 5 March 1932
Gov. Marcus Hensey Holcombe
(1844 - 1932)
     Gov. Marcus Hensey Holcombe was born on 28 November 1844 at New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT.2 He was the son of Carlos Holcombe and Adah Lavinia Bushnell. Gov. Marcus Hensey Holcombe married Sarah Carpenter Bennett on 16 October 1872.2 Gov. Marcus Hensey Holcombe died on 5 March 1932 at Southington, Hartford Co., CT, at age 87.2 He was buried on 8 March 1932 at Oak Hill Cemetery, Southington, Hartford Co., CT.

from the Courant 6 March 1932:

HEADLINE: Gov. Holcomb 87, Dies in Southington
HEADLINE: Connecticut’s War Governor, Former Superior Court Judge, in Ill Health For Months
HEADLINE: Chief Executive For Three Terms
HEADLINE: Drafted for Republican Nomination Over Protest as He Neared Retirement Age of 70
Southington, March 5 – (Special)

Marcus Hensey Holcomb, Connecticut War Governor, and the “Uncle Marcus” of Connecticut Republicans, died at his home here this afternoon at 5:115, in his eighty-eighth year. He had been in feeble health for several months.

Mr. Holcomb, first nominated for Governor just before he was retired at the age of 70 from the Superior Court bench, was three times elected, serving as the State’s Chief Executive from 1915 to 1921. He had been State Senator, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Attorney General before his appointment as a judge.

An ‘Elder Statesman’


With the passing of Marcus H. Holcomb, Connecticut loses one of its veritable elder statesmen—a man upon whom the governorship was forced in spite of his verbal declination and a letter phrased to forestall his own nomination. Nominated while still a Superior Court judge, he made no speaking campaign, and even after his election maintained a silence upon political questions until after the age limit brought his retirement from the bench on his seventieth birthday, November 28, 1914.

Born on a farm in New Hartford in 1844, a son of Charles and Ada (Bushnell) Holcomb, the future War Governor took advantage of such educational opportunities as were offered by the common schools of a Litchfield County town of 1800 people. Some private tutoring followed and later still he attended Wesleyan Academy, now Wilbraham Academy, in Wilbraham, Mass. The college course which his parents planned for him was foregone when his health broke under too close application to his studies and a sunstroke which for a time completely prostrated him.

Taught School


Somewhat restored in health, young Holcomb, as have so many other notable men, secured employment as a school teacher while he studied law. Judge Jared B. Foster was preceptor in the law, and his first teaching experience was gained in the combined district of Barkhamsted and Hartland, followed by work in the New Hartford school where he himself had been taught and later in Pine Meadow and Plainville.

Admitted to the bar November 15, 1871, just before his twenty-seventh birthday, he removed to Hartford before the end of the year, but remained there but a brief time, coming to Southington where he established an office in 1872. He had made his home here ever since.

Governor Holcomb’s father was a staunch Democrat and had held office in New Hartford as a selectman, assessor, and member of the board of relief. His son accepted the political dogma of his father in the fashion of the times. Being one of two lawyers in Southing – the other was Judge Walter S. Merrill – it was inevitable that the young attorney become active in politics. In 1873, a year after he had settled in the town, he was elected judge of probate, an unusual honor for a man less than 30 years old. He held this office for three decades, usually being nominated by both major parties and running without opposition. He was appointed town counsel and drafted the first charter of the Borough of Southington. He also served as justice of the peace, and when the town court was chartered by the Legislature, he was named as its first judge.

Became Republican


In 1888, the future Governor changed his political faith and became a Republican. The tariff was given always by Governor Holcomb as the reason for his changing his party affiliation, as he felt his opposition to the free trade stand of the Democrats outweighed the traditional political sympathies of his youth.

Shortly after, in 1893, he with the late Noble E. Pierce of Bristol, formed the law firm of Holcomb and Pierce with offices in Hartford. This partnership endured until 1910.

Just before this Mr. Holcomb made his first venture into state politics, as the Republican candidate for state senator from the old Second District. He was elected, but the 1893 Senate, comprising 24 members was evenly divided between the parties, and a Democratic Lieutenant Governor, Ernest Cady, had the deciding vote, so the Senator from the Second had small opportunities to shine in committee work. In the year of his first legislative service, he was elected treasurer of Hartford County, and later was named a counsel for the county as well, holding both these positions until 1908.

When a new division of senatorial districts was made in 1901, Senator Holcomb was elected a member of the Republican State Central Committee form the Fifth Senatorial District.

Southington named him as a delegate to the Constitutional convention which met in 1902.

His home town sent Senator Holcomb to the House of Representatives as one of its two representatives in the 1905 session, and he was elected to the Speakership of that House. As a member of the Republican organization which won two memorable contests in this session, he had his part in sending Morgan G. Bulkeley to the United States Senate to succeed General Joseph R. Hawley and in nominating Frank B. Brandegee as the Republican candidate for United States Senator.

The Republican State Convention of the next year, 1906, selected Speaker Holcomb as its candidate for Attorney General in succession to William A. King of Windham, Frank E. Healy of Windsor Locks not then having established the precedent of an Attorney General succeeding himself in that office and General King’s term being held to preclude a re-nomination. Along with the rest of the ticket he was elected, receiving a plurality of 22,190, the second highest of any candidate, and running 80 votes ahead of his ticket in his hometown of Southington.

As Attorney General, Holcomb brought the celebrated toll bridge actions, under a mandate of the General Assembly, freeing the Suffield-Thompsonville, Middletown-Portland, and Niantic bridges.

Opinion on Succession


Shortly after the beginning of the second half of his term as Attorney General, came the death of Governor George L. Lilley, the first Chief Executive of the state to die in office since the present constitution had been adopted, and one of the major opinions of Attorney General Holcomb was that advising as to the succession. This situation has since been clarified by the adoption of an amendment to the constitution.

Frank B. Weeks, who succeeded to the Governorship, nominated Attorney General Holcomb to be a judge of the Superior Court and the 1909 General Assembly elected him to this post, whereupon he resigned as Attorney General to take his place, while in his sixty-fifth year, on the bench.

Simeon E. Baldwin, a former Chief Justice, had been the successful Democratic candidate for Governor in 1910 and two years later, with the Republican Party split by the Progressive movement to place Theodore Roosevelt in the White House again, and as the time for the 1914 nominations approached, the name of Judge Holcomb was mentioned frequently in connection with the gubernatorial nomination. At the same time, the knowledge that Judge Holcomb would reach the retirement age of 70 on November 28, 1914, when he appeared at the height of his usefulness, led to formation of a considerable sentiment for raising the retirement age for judges. This change, however, has never materialized.

Through that summer, there was increasing talk of Holcomb for Governor, but the judge declined to discuss politics while he was on the bench, although making it clear that he would not resign his judgeship to accept a nomination or to make a campaign. It is told that for some time prior to the convention, Judge Holcomb sought audience with State Chairman J. Henry Roraback to inform the state leader that he must not be nominated. In the forenoon of the opening day of the convention, Judge Holcomb finally secured the desired meeting, stated his position, and was told by Mr. Rornback that his stand was just what had been expected. Mr. Rorabgack suggested that Judge Holcomb wait the result of the convention.

Gave Robinson Letter


Judge Holcomb was not content with the situation as it stood and he gave to John T. Robinson, a delegate from Hartford, a letter stating his position. The letter, as Mr. Robinson recalls, was not an out and out declination of the nomination, but its tone was such that had it been read, the convention would not have nominated Judge Holcomb. It was the wish of Judge Holcomb that this letter be read before the convention voted on candidates.

The Republican convention that year was in New Haven, and hardly had the second day’s session settled down to the business of selecting a state ticket when General Keeney was on his feet with a motion that the convention proceed at once to an informal ballot, without speeches. This effectively shut out the reading of the Holcomb letter, although as a matter of fact Mr. Robinson had left the missive in his hotel room. The informal ballot showed a majority for Holcomb and the vote was at once made formal and unanimous. Mr. Robinson, who had secured the word of Judge Holcomb that he would accept the nomination if it came to him, never has revealed the text of the letter, but he served as chairman of the committee to notify the candidate and received his acceptance.

Then began a campaign which had features unlike those of any other, at least in the recent history of the state. Judge Holcomb accepted the nomination and there the campaign ended, as far as he was concerned. Governor Baldwin had been nominated by the Democrats as their candidate for United States Senator in opposition to Frank B. Brandegee in the first popular election of United States Senators, and Lieutenant Governor Lyman Tingler had been nominated by the Democrats for Governor. No one knew how many of the 1912 Progressives would return to the Republican ticket. Some of them had sworn they were through with the Grand Old Party forever.

Led His Ticket


Election Day came, and the returns showed that Judge Holcomb was the most popular candidate on either ticket. It was apparent that his candidacy had brought the hoped-for result of returning the bolters of 1012, in large numbers to the party ranks. Despite his endorsement by the majority, however, Judge Holcomb still declined to make statements, maintaining that until his retirement from the bench on November 28, it was incumbent upon him as a judge to keep out of politics.

The presidential year of 1916 arrived, with Woodrow Wilson a candidate on the slogan “He kept us out of War,” and considerable uncertainty regarding the result in Connecticut, Governor Holcomb desired to retire, but the insistence of his admirers resulted in his re-nomination after five hours of balloting in the convention and reelection. Again in 1918, Governor Holcomb wished to retire, but was persuaded to accept another nomination.

There ensued one of the most bitterly fought State campaigns the State has ever seen, climaxed by the call of Woodrow Wilson for a Democratic Congress. The vote was smaller than usual, and the majorities were reduced, but the Republican ticket was elected and Governor Holcomb was returned to the executive office for the third time in succession, breaking all records since the time of the Civil War Governor, William A. Buckingham, who served from 1858 to 1866.

Famous As War Governor


It was as War Governor that Marcus H. Holcomb attained his greatest fame, for the conflict brought forth a militant spirit of surprising vigor in the Governor who even then had passed the allotted three score and ten years. He foresaw clearly the entrance of the United States into the struggle and bent every effort to make Connecticut ready for its full share. So inevitable did it appear to him that America must join the conflict, and so often was his conversation on this subject that it became a common remark among his intimates that “If Wilson and Congress do not declare war pretty soon, Marcus Holcomb will anyway.”

Under his leadership, Connecticut fulfilled its important part in the conduct of the war, and again won for itself the sobriquet of the “Arsenal of the Nation.” The Home Guard was organized to replace the National Guard which had been federalized and made a part of the national forces; the State Council of Defense was organized and functioned effectively throughout the conflict.

Connecticut, at the instigation of Governor Holcomb, took a complete inventory of its war strength, the so-called military census, being the first, and, it is believed, the only State, where such a canvas was made.

Refused Prohibition Session


Two amendments to the Federal Constitution were submitted to the states during the third term of Governor Holcomb, the Eighteenth Amendment, for prohibition, and the Nineteenth, giving the suffrage to women. The Eighteenth Amendment was received just after the adjournment of the legislature, and every effort was made to have the Governor convene the Legislature in special session to have this State ratify it. The Governor, with the prestige of his legal service, declared the State Constitution provided for special sessions only in emergencies, and ratifying the prohibition amendment, in his opinion, was not in that category. Connecticut, incidentally, never has ratified this amendment.

In the next year, 1920, the woman suffrage amendment was pending and the country was going through the hectic fight on the League of Nations. Here in Connecticut, United States Senator Frank L. Brandegee, a leader of the anti-League group in the Senate, and an opponent of woman suffrage, was a candidate for re-election, and the campaign early reached a fever heat which was sustained through Election Day. Early in the summer the ratification of the suffrage amendment by the necessary 36 states seemed questionable, and this time it was the suffragist organization which pleaded with the Governor for a special session to bring ratification by Connecticut. Governor Holcomb again refused to see any emergency.

Then Tennessee ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, making a total of 36 States which had approved. Election officials in Connecticut were faced with the prospect of the greatest number of applicants to be made voters in the history of the State, and the ordinary machinery seemed certain to prove inadequate. This the Governor deemed to be an emergency, and he called upon the 1919 Legislature to meet in special session for changing the election laws as they pertained to making voters. Between the time the session was called and the date it convened, the Tennessee ratification was questioned, and the effectiveness of the suffrage amendment was in doubt.

Called Suffrage Session


Governor Holcomb took a firm stand that a special session of the Legislature was limited in its business to enactments concerning the emergency which called it into being, but the suffrage proponents determined to secure ratification of the amendment. The special session met, and Governor Holcomb surprised its members by making a part of his message a proclamation calling another special session for the specific purpose of ratifying the amendment.

Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment was voted, nevertheless, by the first special session, but the Governor refused to certify this vote to Washington, holding the Legislature had exceeded its power by going beyond the provisions of the call. With the ratification of the amendment again in the second special session, a foregone conclusion, the issue was not joined on this.

Proud of Judges


While public opinion has inclined to give first rank to the accomplishments of Governor Holcomb in so reforming the financial policy of the state that a steadily mounting deficit was changed into a growing sinking fund, and in his leadership of the state immediately before the World War, during that conflict, and in the firs two years of readjustment, the Governor himself attached the utmost importance to his appointments to the judiciary. He often made the assertion that he cared nothing for the popular reaction to a judgeship appointment as long as the bar was satisfied. Nearly a decade after his retirement from the governorship, intimates who visited the ex-Governor at his home in Southington found these appointments one of his favorite topics of conversation. Among those appointed to the Superior Court by Governor Holcomb was William M. Maltbie, who, at the time of his appointment, was executive secretary, and who is not Chief Justice.

After his retirement as Executive, Governor Holcomb took up the active work of a State referee which he had become automatically upon his retirement as a Superior Court judge more than six years before. But a short time after he left the Capitol, he was called upon to straighten the tangled affairs of the Shelton Trust Company, and the manner in which he did this, paying dollar for dollar, has become another outstanding achievement of a career which has had far more than the normal quota of striking accomplishments.

Although no longer to be considered for elective office, the ex-Governor by no means retired from political life. Southington made it a practice to name him as the first member of the town’s delegation to Republican State Conventions, and a statement he issued in the preconvention campaign of 1926, supporting the candidacy of John M. Wadhams for nomination as Lieutenant Governor received a degree of attention which indicated that the former Governor was still no inconsiderable figure in state politics.

“Uncle Marcus”


Ex-Governor Holcomb voted for Wadhams in the 1926 convention when the nomination went to J. Edwin Brainard, and in 1928, he voted for William H. Blodgett, unsuccessful candidate for the United States Senatorial nomination, and for Francis A. Pallotti who failed to win the nomination for Lieutenant Governor. There is perhaps no better index to the character of the man than the fact that despite his casting his lot n these occasions with the minority in the hard world of politics where only the winner gets attention, he was still the grand old man of the party – Uncle Marcus.

End Peaceful


Mr. Holcomb’s death came through the weight of years, following marked evidences of increasing weakness through the winter months. Doctors said there were no organic troubles, It was merely that age was exerting itself. With him at the end were his brother, State’s Attorney Walter Holcomb, of Litchfield, his sister, Mrs. Sterrie A. Weaver of Westfield, Mass., who had made her winter home here in recent years, the nurses and doctors.

Mr. Holcomb leaves beside his brother and sister three nieces, Bessie M. Weaver of Westfield, Mrs. Frederick H. Hill of New Britain, and Mrs. David S. Roberts of Cranford, N.J., and one nephew Attorney Carlos S., Holcomb of Manchester.

He also leaves three grand nieces, Adah Grace Roberts, and Marcia Holcomb Roberts of Cranford, and Lilla Mae Hill of New Britain, and a grand nephew, David Stewart Roberts, Jr., of Cranford.

Members of the family said funeral arrangements would be announced later.

The former Governor was a Baptist, a thirty-second degree Mason, member of Friendship Lodge, A.F. & A.M., of Southington and the Knights Templar Commandery of Meriden. He held memberships also in the Hartford Club, the Southington Club, Meriden Lodge of Elks and Union Grange of Southington.

He was married October 15, 1872, to Sarah c. Bennett of Providence, R.I. She died December 1, 1901.

In business life Mr. Holcomb was for 38 years president of the Southington Savings Bank, holding that office until his death. He was a director of the Southington Bank & Trust Company and the National Fire Insurance Company of Hartford. He recently had resigned as a director of the Peck, Stow & Wilcox Company of Southington after holding the office for many years. Mr. Holcomb attended a meeting of the Southington Bank directors two weeks ago.


Marcus was enumerated in the 1920 Southington, Hartford Co., CT, federal census. He was widowed, age 75; sister Adaline was living with him. Marcus was again enumerated in the 1930 Southington, federal census. He was widowed, age 86; sister Adaline was living with him.

Holcomb's former home at 76 Main St., on the Green in downtown Southington, still stands. It is at present the site of the Southington Masonic Temple. The Holcomb School on Main Street in Southington was named in his honor when it opened in 1926. At the time it was the town's largest grammar school. It closed to students in 1974 and was converted into the headquarters of the town's police department in 1981. The building was razed in 2004.

Child of Gov. Marcus Hensey Holcombe and Sarah Carpenter Bennett

Citations

  1. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 46.1/Item A-4-5-2-2-1-6-1-4.
  2. [S340] Walter Holcomb, Walter Holcombe, Page 10.

Sarah Carpenter Bennett

b. July 1840, d. 3 December 1901
     Sarah Carpenter Bennett also went by the name of Sade Bennett. She was born in July 1840 at Providence, Providence Co., RI. She married Gov. Marcus Hensey Holcombe, son of Carlos Holcombe and Adah Lavinia Bushnell, on 16 October 1872.1 Sarah Carpenter Bennett died on 3 December 1901 at Southington, Hartford Co., CT, at age 61.1

Child of Sarah Carpenter Bennett and Gov. Marcus Hensey Holcombe

Citations

  1. [S340] Walter Holcomb, Walter Holcombe, Page 10.

Marcus Hensey Holcombe Jr.

d. young
     Marcus Hensey Holcombe Jr. was the son of Gov. Marcus Hensey Holcombe and Sarah Carpenter Bennett. Marcus Hensey Holcombe Jr. died young.

Harvey Holcombe

b. 19 March 1839, d. 13 October 1839
     Harvey Holcombe was born on 19 March 1839 at New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT.1 He was the son of Carlos Holcombe and Adah Lavinia Bushnell. Harvey Holcombe died on 13 October 1839 at New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT.1 He was buried at Colebrook River Cemetery, New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT.

Citations

  1. [S340] Walter Holcomb, Walter Holcombe, Page 9.

Hiram Brazillia Holcombe1

b. 30 July 1840, d. 8 February 1920
     Hiram Brazillia Holcombe was born on 30 July 1840 at New Boston, Berkshire Co., MA.2 He was the son of Carlos Holcombe and Adah Lavinia Bushnell. Hiram Brazillia Holcombe married Louisa Fancher on 16 June 1860.3 Hiram Brazillia Holcombe died on 8 February 1920 at New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT, at age 79.3 He was buried at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Barkhamsted, Litchfield Co., CT.

A farmer, New Boston, Berkshire Co., MA, and New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT.

When Hiram contemplated marriage, he spoke to his father and said he thought he was going to marry Louisa shortly and wanted his "Hog Lot" to build on. That was the notice the family had of Hiram's contemplations of marriage.4

Hiram and Julia L. were enumerated in the 1900 New Hartford, Litchfield Co., CT, federal census. He was a house painter, age 59, she was 57. They had never had any children.

Citations

  1. [S25] Hannah McPherson, Holcombe Genealogy, Page 45.2/Item A-4-5-2-2-1-6-1-2.
  2. [S340] Walter Holcomb, Walter Holcombe, Page 9.
  3. [S340] Walter Holcomb, Walter Holcombe, Page 10.
  4. [S340] Walter Holcomb, Walter Holcombe, page 10.