CAROLINE E. “CARRIE” (SEEBER) COMBS

Caroline E. “Carrie” (Seeber) Combs gravestone
(Photo by Vernon B. Paddock)

B. October 1, 1843 in Wauconda, Lake County, IL
D. July 10, 1929 in Sandwich, DeKalb County, IL
Find A Grave memorial (click here)

According to the 1850 U.S. Census in the Town of Wauconda, Lake County, IL the household members were: Abram Seaver (sic Seeber), age 36, occupation: farmer, born in New York; Delila Seaver (sic), age 28, born in Ohio; Sarah A. Seaver (sic), age 9, born in Illinois; Caroline E. Seaver (sic), age 7, born in Illinois; Levi Wait, age 16, occupation: farmer, born in Ohio

A letter dated November 19, 1856 written to Caroline “Carrie” Seeber from Mrs. Elizabeth E. (Marble) Botsford, her aunt:

“Sodus, Nov. 19th, 1856.
Friday evening.

Dear Carrie (her niece, Miss Carrie Seeber):

   Have you thought that I had forgotten the promise I made you about writing?  You will see by this, that I believe in all promises being faithfully kept

   Well girls I have done nothing but visit since I came here.  Last week I made Cousin Dorethea a three day visit.  Spent Sunday at Uncle E (Morse), Monday afternoon, we visited at Uncle Milton’s.  I stayed there until yesterday.  While there I visited to Mr. Cases’, also attended a school exhibition at Sodus village.  Yesterday Aunt Sally & Lucy came here with me.  I am now visiting at Uncle Nobles’ (Granger).  I am having fine times.  The family is composed of Uncle, an old, but a good man, he will go ahead of your Grandpa (Levi Marble) for jokes and yarns, he is over seventy but about as gay as some of our western chaps of seventeen.  Next comes Milton a genuine bachelor full of fun; then Cousin Norman, and a little daughter of seven years; John and Jane, and Cousin Minerva complete the family.  Plenty of apples and cider and wine.  I will tell you girls – people here are not half so temperate as we at home, but I help them in disposing of all but the wine.  Today we, that is Cousin Jane, Milton and myself, were intending to go to Marion, to visit Cousin Betsy Smith, to stay until Monday – we anticipated great times, but alas, it must up and rain for two hours, then snow like fun the rest of the day – but we think of starting bright and early in the morning.  Cousin John and I took a ride over to Uncle Enoch’s (Morse) this afternoon in spite of rain, found them all well.  Selden has the ague occasionally.  I like all the relations first rate; they are ready to go with me any where.  I rather guess folks here like to visit pretty well.  They all have plenty of horses and carriages, and the women are good drivers, consequently I occasionally get a ride independent of the masculine gender, dont you think it very nice, as well as gratifying to be so independent?

   Next week Wednesday – Uncle E — & Aunt Mary and your Aung Lib (herself) are going off on a visiting tour, firstly we design to visit a very aged Aunt of Mother’s, she never had but one son and he died quite recently – it has been almost a death stroke to her.  Then we visit quite a number of cousins – or rather second cousins to me, and are going to the place your Grandpa (Levi Marble) once owned in Marbletown.  I can scarcely believe that I am where my parents spent their youth, and that many of the people I see were their playmates, and neighbors.

   Sarah (Seeber, sister of Carrie) you need not be riffed because I direct this letter to Carrie, for dont you remember, you would not promise to write to me, so I thought I would punish you a little, & I expect you will feel awfully – now don’t you Sally.  I want to know how you all do – and what you are doing, and news in general, and don’t do as our folks have, — not write at all.  I have written Otis (Marble, her brother) twice.  I ‘kinder dunned’ him a little for I wanted a little change.  I now think that is why he has not answered my letter.  Well I hope he will get a good ready.  I dont care a fig for his neglect, if everybody would not ask me when I heard from home.

   I wish you both were here, so we could laugh a little, about the York State hills.  I really like this country, for you can see such a variety to a time count a dozen hills — so high – you you must double and thrible your sight to see the tops – and all under cultivation.  The timber constitutes a large portion of ebery man’s farm, and so tall you would fancy it was in the habit of kissing the moon.  Stone fences in abundance, stones every where thicker than hair on a dog – yet it is a pleasant country.  Well Carrie dear I must draw my lengthy scroll to a close.  I have nothing of interest to write you this time, but if you are a punctual, I will do better next time.  Please ask Sarah to write to me, “Say Please do” to her.  My love to your Father and Mother — & Sarah, and a thimbleful boiled down for yourself.

  You will get this Thursday – must write to send out the next day giving me the details in full, &c – I shall have lots to tell you when I get home.  I ‘haint’ seen any little feller yet – but if I do I will say a good word for you.  So good night to you all.

Lib, E. Marble.”

According to the 1860 U. S. Census in the Town of Wauconda, Lake County, IL the household members were: A. Sebar (sic Seeber), age 46, occupation: farmer, born in New York; Delally Sebar (sic Delilah Seeber), age 38, born in Ohio; Sarah Sebar (sic), age 19, occupation: D. S. Teacher, born in Illinois; Caroline Sebar (sic), age 17, born in Illinois; Barney McCarth, age 12, born in Illinois; G. Smith, age 26, occupation: Farm Laborer, born in New York.

According to the 1870 U. S. Census in Town of Wauconda, Lake County, IL with a Wauconda post office the household members were: Abram I. Seber, age 55, occupation: farmer; born in New York; Delila Seber, age 49, wife: born in Ohio; William T. Comes (sic Combs) age 34, occupation: works on farm; born in New York; Caroline Combs (Combs), age 26; wife, born in New York; Alonso Fox, age 20, occupation: works on farm; born in Ohio

A letter dated March 4, 1878 written to Ephraim Westbrook from Elizabeth E. Botsford (her cousin):

“Waukegan, Ill.
March 4th, ‘78

Mr. Ephraim Westbrook,

Dear Cousin:

   We were all much pleased to hear from you after so many years of inquiry.  The last we heard was the sad tidings of your mother’s death written by a lady friend of your family, then you were living in Allegan County.  About eight years ago we wrote to the Postmaster of Allegan, also Express agent, requesting information, they searched the records and replied, “no one of that name in the County.”  Since then I have never failed to make inquiries of everyone I met hailing from Michigan, but without success until I saw Mr. Morse.

   Now Cousin, we will talk about the money matters first, I have talked with my mother (Elizabeth (Granger) Marble, wife of Levi Marble) aged 87, her memory is excellent, though very feeble in health, she could probably tell you more about your grand parents and friends than any other person living.  She says I must tell you from the beginning.  You will probably remember too.  About thirty years ago or more your Grandfather Westbrook died (his name was Benjamin).  Several hundred dollars was to go to your father.  A friend or one calling himself as such heard of it, represented himself as an authorized agent, drew that money and went to California with a woman not his wife, and never made any restitution to your father.  A few years after your grandmother died and a few hundred was then left to your family, but all trace had been lost.  They – your father’s friends – wrote to us, soon after we accidently heard you were living in Allegan County and sent the new to Sodus.  Your mother wrote that they received that money, also that she was sick.  My father was all ready to go and see her when we got the letter of her death.  About eight or ten years ago your Uncle Daniel Westbrook of Sodus, New York, sent word by my uncle Enoch Granger that there was still more money to be claimed by your family, coming from your grandmother’s side.  We have often heard, in these years, that it was till there in proper hands, it was several hundred but I do not remember just how much, but if on interest all these years will be a fair sum.  My Uncle Enoch Granger was born and has always lived in Sodus, knows your Uncle Dan, and knew your parents and grandparents and has told us when he visits us that the money was waiting for you.  Now, for the ‘bit sum,’ about eight years ago your uncle Daniel and his lawyer wrote to my father to learn your whereabouts, sent papers in blank for your signatures as heirs of Peter Westbrook.  They stated an immense estate valued as ‘several millions’ had just fallen to the descendants of a sister of your grandmother Westbrook and that you were in the right line to receive a large portion. We then tried to find you, we heard after, several times that they were working to get it.  Mother says a sister of your grandmother married a very wealthy Scotch gentleman and went to Scotland to live, dies soon leaving an infant daughter who inherited all of her father’s vast property.  It seems she died intestate and it was become very valuable and only in the last few years has it ben traced to its proper owners.  The lawyer writes that it was used by those having no claim and that there might be some litigation, but was very anxious to hear from your family.  I trust there may be a large sum for you and your family.  These hard times we should know how to appreciate it.  Father always had a great desire to hear from you and often said he could die contented if you only knew of this. We do not know your Uncle Dan’s address but we think you had better write my Uncle Enoch Granger, Joy, Wayne Co., N. Y., asking information.  You might say, your Waukegan friends referred you to him.  I assure you, Uncle will promptly notify your uncle or respond.

   Mother wishes me to tell you, your Grandmother Westbrook was an Ennis or Annis and from a wealthy family, were from Jersey, of Holland descent.  She also wished me to inquire if you know anything about your Father’s sister Sally who married a man by the name of Moses Dewitt and moved to Michigan, near Hillsdale.

   You wish to hear from the family.  There are so many of us, I will only mention a few, for you must come and see for yourself.  My Father was the oldest of his family, today, March 4th, is the fourth anniversary of his death, a sad day to us, for I scarcely believe it possible that a better father ever lived, and I am sure children never loved a father better than mine was loved, not only by his children but by all that knew him.  He lived and died a pure Christian, eh would have been 89, the tenth of next May.  Mother still is with us, but so feeble, we fear every day will be the last.  Of seven children (Marble) that came to Illinois, 37 years ago, but four of us are living, Amy Morse the oldest, and Delilah Seeber and myself (the baby) live here, my sister Hannah (King) lives at Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, but is now here visiting.  Uncle Solomon (Marble, brother of Levi) is living fourteen miles west of here on a farm, he is quite an invalid, has been lame form a child, has a bad cough, seldom goes from home, his P. O address is Fort Hill, Lake Co., Ill., shall send him your letter.  He is living with his fourth wife, he has but one child living, who came with him from Ohio, that is Sabina Brown, she lives near her father.  Uncle has one son and two daughters by his present wife, Aunt Kate.  Our Aunt Amanda Wait (Nee Marble) lives two miles from Uncle Solomon in good health, keeps house for her son Levi – a bachelor and all the unmarried child she has.  She has eleven living children, all respectable and well to do and Aunt seems to enjoy life, her old age is full of happiness.  Aunt Ann (Ann (Marble) Loziers) died eight or ten years ago, she lived near Aunt Wait, left seven or eight children.  They are all married and most of them with Uncle Loziers live at or near New London Wisconsin.  Uncle in his old age is industrious and has considerable property.  Of the twelve children of Grandpa Marble’s (Ephraim Marble) family but two are living.  Uncle Solomon and Aunt Wait, but their children are scattered far and wide, if you should wish it, I will give you all their names and the names of their children as far as we know.

   We are all anxious to hear from you all.  Mother and my sisters remember you and your sister and are anxious to hear from her, we have always made inquiries for her.  I have not written half Mother told me, for she told me so much about your relatives, that were strangers, that I could not remember.  The friends here all send love and best wishes and say you must visit us, so we can be better acquainted, and that you must write soon.  Please pardon my tardiness in writing.  Mother was very sick when I received your letter, so that I was away from home so much – that it seemed impossible to get the necessary quiet and time.  I have searched Father’s papers and cannot find those letter from your Uncle or his lawyer.  Mother cannot think what has been done with them but you can learn all you wish to by writing to Uncle Granger.

   I have written in great haste and fear I have not been explicit as I should but, will try to do better in future.

   With kind regards to all

Yours truly,
Elizabeth E. Botsford.”

According to the 1880 U.S. Census in the Town of Avon, Lake County, IL the household members were: William Combs, age 42, married, occupation: farmer, born in New York, parents born in New York; Carlen E. Combs (sic), age 36, wife, married, born in Illinois, father born in New York, mother born in Ohio; Abrham Combs, age 7, son, single, at school, born in Illinois, father born in New York, mother born in Ohio; Willie Combs, age 4, son, single, born in Illinois, father born in New York, mother born in Ohio; Clinton B. Combs, age 2, son, single, born in Illinois, father born in New York, mother born in Ohio; Frank Scott, age 25, single, occupation: laborer, born in New York.

According to the History of Lake County, Illinois, page 593:

“FORT HILL. – The postoffice at Fort Hill was established on July 29, 1840.  This office was originally in McHenry Countyd, and when changed to Lake County, was located in the Town of Fremont, but later removed to Avon Township, where it remained until discontinued on June 14, 1904, at which time the mail was ordered sent to Round Lake. The following named person were appointed and served as postmaster at this office while in existence:

         Levi Marble, appointed July 29, 1840.
         Samuel L. Wood, appointed March 31, 1841.
         Timothy B. Titcomb, appointed February 5, 1844.
         Levi Marble, appointed November 27, 1844.
         Deveraux Goodale, appointed October 2, 1849.
         Alfred Wood, appointed May 1, 1850.
         Orrin Marble, appointed April 12, 1852.
         Geo. Thompson (sic Thomson) appointed February 23, 1853.
         Elijah Stanford, appointed July 8, 1884.
         Caroline E. Coombs (sic Combs), appointed February 3, 1886.”

According to An American Family – Botsford-Marble Ancestral Lines.:

   “The post office at Fort Hill (Avon township) was established 6 Mar. 1838, the first postmaster being Joseph Wood.  Levi Marble succeeded him as postmaster, 20 July 1840, serving to 31 Mar. 1841, when Samuel L. Wood became the encumbent.  Mr. Marble served a second and longer term from 27 Nov. 1844 to 2 Oct. 1849.  Orrin Marble, whose relationship to Levi Marble is not known,* was the encumbent from 12 Apr. 1852 to 23 Feb. 1853; and Mrs. Caroline E. (Seeber) Combs, granddaughter of Levi, held the position from 3 Feb. 1886 to 14 June 1904, when the office was discontinued and the mail sent to Round Lake.   (*Orrin Marble was not a brother of Levi, but may perhaps have been a cousin.  He was Collector and one of the Constables of Grant township in 1850, and is said to have been a blacksmith.  He removed later to Paw-Paw, Ill., where he was living in 1891.  He was born in New York State, 16 July 1813, and married Louise Green, born 1810, died 1885.)”

According to the 1900 U. S. Census in Avon Township, Lake County, IL the household members were William Combs, head of household, born April 1837, age 63, married 30 years, born in New York, father born in Scotland, mother born in New York, occupation: farmer; Carrie E. Combs, wife, born October 1843, age 56, married 30 years, 3 children born, 3 children living, born in Illinois, father born in New York, mother born in Ohio; Sylvester Ezart, servant, born October 1876, age 23, single, born in Germany, parents born in Germany, immigrated in 1897, 3 years in U.S., occupation: farm laborer

According to the Lake County Independent, August 8, 1902:

“Fort Hill

   The Fort Hill Cemetery Society met with Mrs. C.E. Coombs (sic Combs), July 31, and a very pleasant afternoon was enjoyed by all.  The proceeds of the supper was three dollars.  Our thanks to Mrs. Nina Rote, nee McMillan, of Winona, Minn., for one dollar, making a total four dollars, to be placed in the treasury.  Visitors present were: Mrs. Parker, Mrs. Alma Walton, Mrs. E.L. Huson, Mrs. C. Raught, Mrs. J. Converse, of Volo; Mrs. C. Morrill and daughter, Mrs. Sadie Mead, Mrs. J. Vogt, Mrs. A. Hanson, Mrs. J. Graves, Frrieda Riner, Amanda Wait.  Our next meeting will be with Mrs. R. Paddock, August 21st.  We want to see more of the members out.  Visitors welcome.”

According to the 1910 U. S. Census in Avon Township, Lake County, IL the household members were: Abram B. Combs, head of household, age 37, single, born in Illinois, father born in New York, mother born in Illinois, occupation: farmer – general farm; Caroline E. Combs, mother, age 66, widowed, 4 children born, 3 children living, born in Illinois, father born in New York, mother born in Ohio; John P. Rockal, boarder, age 38, single, born in Michigan, parents born in Michigan, occupation: laborer – on farm.

According to the 1920 U. S. Census in Avon Township, Lake County, IL the household members were: Caroline Combs, head of household, age 76, widowed, born in Illinois, father born in New York, mother born in Ohio; William Combs, son, single, born in Illinois, father born in New York, mother born in Illinois, occupation: accountant – own business.

According to the Independent Register (Libertyville IL) July 19, 1929:

“Mrs. C. E. Combs Laid at Rest Sunday

   Under the auspices of an ideal day old neighbors and friends from a distance gathered at Fort Hill Sunday to pay respects to the memory of one who had lived a long and honorable life in their midst.

   Carrie Seeber was born Oct. 1st, 1843, in a log cabin on the homestead of her pioneer parents, A. I. and Delia Marble Seeber.  She attended the district school and the old Waukegan Academy.  She studied music under Mrs. Drueth, and took part in the social life of that period.

   She was a student and lover of nature and of the beautiful.  Her art work was often displayed at the fairs, and her interest in floral life and good literature never ceased.

   Of colonial ancestry and a descendant of Col. Wm. Seeber and olutionary patriots, she honored her forbears by exemplifying, in thought and deed, their ridig principles of purity in morals, honesty, industry and economy.  She maintained their belief in liberty of the spirit and culture of the mind.

   Of high edeals and public-spirited she frowned on those who “attack others secretly” or fail “to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”

   Adhering to the truth of the universality of the spirit of man, she respected the piety of others.  Not given to display, she prayed in secret and strived to exemplify His righteousness and fulfill the laws of the nation under Divine Providence, even unto death.

   It was fitting that the last ries were observed at her old homestead.  A homestead transformed from the wilderness by her grandfather, Levi Marble, and where her mother grew to womanhood, loved and married.  Within its portals, part of her childhood and youth were spent.  It was there she came, as the wife of Wm. T. Combs, son of James and Ann McKinney Combs, of Avon, springs, New York, to rear her family.  There she knew the joys of life and the sorrows of death.  (“Abe”, “Willie” and “Bond” were present but “Allie” had passed on.)

   There at the old homestead, she was active in the civic life of the Fort Hill community.  She took an earnest part in the work of the Patrons of Industry in an effort to better the wefare of the countryside.  She aided the community’s pioneer Christian church and sent her children to Sunday school.  She belived in education and advocated good schools.  She remembered and revered the dead.  Was one of the organizers of the Fort Hill cemetery association and its first president.  She was a newspaper correspondent and postmistress of Fort Hill for upwards of twenty years.  She did her part to suffice the welfare needs, large or small of, of the community.

   She strove to build, not to destroy.  Caroline E. Combs justified liberty, glorified the republic and her Creator”

According to The Daily Chronicle (De Kalb, IL) Tuesday, July 30, 1929, page 2:

“COMBS WILL PROVES ODD
Strange Circumstances Surround Will Filed For Probate In County Court

   One of the oddest will cases ever to be brought into the DeKalb county probate court was entered yesterday morning when Deputy Sheriffs Fritz Dolder and Ross Millet returned from Chicago with William Combs, a former abraich resident, and the will which his mother left when she died on July 10, 1929.

   Caroline E. Combs, of Sandwich, passed away on July 10 of this year leaving three sons.  They are William of Chicago, Abraham B. of Round Lake, and C. B. Combs of Sandwich.

   It seems from all evidence at hand, that after the death of their mother the three sons were looking through a number of drawers in the house when they came upon the will.  William, it is reported, took the will and refused to give it up or enter it for probation.

   The other two sons, it is understood, objected but could do nothing with their brother, and were forced to call upon the sheriff’s forces to go to Chicago and get him. Among his belongings the will was found, he being brought to Sycamore on a writ of attachment.

   Returning to Sycamore, William Combs was brought before Judge McEwen for contempt of court, but upon hearing the story of the young man no action was taken.  It was the contention of William Combs that before his mother died she revoked the will and stated that she wished to divide the property equally, without probation, and that she instructed him to destroy it.

   Under the terms of the will, which was drawn up in 1922, William Combs is to received $2,500, Abraham B. Combs nothing but the honor of being executor, and C. B. Combs an unknown amount.

   The will has been admitted for probation and will probably be heard within about three weeks.  L. F. Moudry is the legal representative of the two sons Abraham and C. B. Combs.”

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