Albert B Osborne.

Makers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) online

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Carmichael April 7, 1875. There were six children: Thomas
Edgar; Charles Sinclair; Martha Brown; Virginia; Annie; and
John L., Jr. Thomas Dick married, second, Miss Mary Gillard.
Two children were born of this marriage, viz., Katherine Gillard
and Thomas Dick, Jr., both of whom died in infancy.


3. Pocahontas McCall who married Mr. L. B. Koper Febru-
ary 2, 1880. Their children are Mary McCall Koper and Marga-
ret Bethea Koper.

4. Katherine John McCall ; died in infancy.

5. James Gordon McCall; died unmarried.

6. Annie Jane McCall ; married Mr. John A. Pate February

3, 1870. Their children are McCall; Ida Lee; Alice; Daniel Chis-
holm; Mary, Thomas Dick; and Travis.

7. Archie Malcolm; died unmarried.

8. John Milton McCall; is blind; unmarried.

9. Mary Katherine McCall ; married, first, Mr. Walter Mon-
roe, November 6, 1885, and, second, Mr. H. H. Newton, February

4, 1889. Their children are Katie Monroe; Martha Brooks and
Julia Baldwin, twins; Cornelia Newton; Charles McCall and
Walter Monroe, twins.

10. Sallie McCall who married Mr. J. P. Edens, October 22,
1884. Their children are Sue Hamer, died in infancy; Nancy;
Martha Louise; Katie Sinclair; Sallie Marion; twin sons John
and Wade, died in infancy; Charles McCall and Mary Grace,
twins; Margaret Evans; Pocahontas; Joseph Pierce, Jr., and
James Gordon.

With regard to the armorial bearings, there are two distinct
coats of arms borne at the present time by different branches of
the McCall family. The more ancient bearing, which appears on
an old silver seal w r hich belonged to Mr. Samuel McCall of Glas-
gow (1681-1759) has ever since been borne by some of his de-
scendants. This is described as "Azure, a pheon argent; on a
chief of the last two spur-rowels and part of the spur gules."
The pheon (which is the emblem of human life) and the stars,
or spur-rowels, were the ancient bearings of the McAulays of
Ardincaple, upon which the above coat has doubtless been
founded. The first record extant of the arms for the name of
McCaull is in the Workman's MSS, (anno domini 1623) as fol-
lows : "Argent, a pheon poynt upwards, azure, betwixt two stars
(or mullets) in chief gules" which is very similar to the coat
above set clown except that the tinctures are counterchanged for
difference, and the position of the pheon which is now borne
with the point in base is reversed. The crest which accompanies
this shield on the old seal referred to is : "A griffin's head between
wings," and this has been used by some of the family until com-
paratively recent times, but has now given place entirely to "a
leg in armour," as explained below.

The more modern arms of McCall, which are now used by
many of the family, were assumed by the sons of Mr. James
McCall, of Braehead, at some time previous to 1805, but no steps
were taken to register them until 1865, in which year there was a
Patent of the Lord Lyon, Kiug-at-Arms, granted to the late Mr.


James McCall, of Daldowie, dated September 1, and setting
forth the blazon as follows: "Gules, two arrows saltirewise be-
tween three buckles, argent, surmounted by a fesse checquy of the
second, and sable, within a bordure engrailed or." This coat also
is founded upon the bearings of the Clan Macaulay. The crest
granted with this shield is : "A leg in armour couped at the calf
proper, and spurred on," with the motto DULCE PERICULUM,
which is also a Macaulay bearing; and it has been said that this
crest and motto are now universally borne by the family although
some use the older shield and some the more modern. Both these,
as has been seen, point to the same origin, and there is nothing
incongruous or inconsistent in the using of either, although the
former may possess the more fitting heraldic significance as the
McCalls were a separate family in Dumfriesshire before the
change referred to took place in the arms of the parent Clan.



EVERY State in the Union has given its quota of desirable
citizens and noted men to the country, but Virginia has
always been pre-eminent in this regard. James Bell Mc-
Conib, of Richmond, Vice-President and Treasurer of the
Suburban Development Corporation, deserves, indeed, to be listed
among the men whose role it is to develop the resources of and
so become the Makers of the Nation.

He comes of a long line of men, efficient in their varied call-
ings, who can trace their ancestry back for many centuries. The
McComb family originally came from Scotland, where it was a
branch of the Mclutosh clan.

James McComb, a descendant of John McConiie Mor, mar-
ried Bridget Mott, January 5, 1763, and later came to America
with their seven children : James, Mary, Eleazar, John, William,
Henrv and Elizabeth. James McComb and his wife were living


in Princeton, New Jersey, during the Revolutionary War. He had
personal relations with General Washington, and dined with him
on several occasions. John McComb, one of his sons, rose to emi-
nence as an architect ; it was he who drew the plans for the old
City Hall in New York.

A story is told of him as a child, when, during the Revolu-
tionary War he was living at Princeton with his parents. The
dav before the battle of Princeton, while his father was awav

. ^

with the army, some British officers came to the house where
John and his little sister were alone. John was about seven
years old and his sister three. John feigned deafness so well that
the officers really believed that he could not hear and talked un-


reservedly of their plans. Eliza was a very lovely little girl, and
one of the officers proposed taking the pretty child of the Rebel
with them. This troubled John. He managed to take some
money and papers from his father's desk and asked permission
to go out with his sister. He had learned the countersign and
after passing the guard ran with his sister on his back until he
\vas tired out. He put her dow r n and they walked as fast as
they could, John walking backward to see if they were followed.
As he did so he ran into his father's arms.

James McComb, a cousin of John McComb, the architect,
was the direct ancestor of James Bell McComb, the subject of
this sketch. His parents were Andrew McComb and his wife
Christiana Bell, whose other children were: William, who was a



merchant in Dublin ; Martha and Dorcas, who married two Hen-
derson brothers ; James, who was the second son, born in 1765 at
the village of St. Field, in the County of Down, nine miles from
Belfast. He emigrated, when only eighteen years of age, to
America, landing in Philadelphia in July, 1783. He shortly after
journeyed to Richmond, thence to Albeinarle County, where he
obtained employment and remained for some time, subsequently
settling in Augusta County.

He purchased a farm on Christian's Creek, Augusta County,
from the Misses Nancy and Mattie Black, where he made his
home until his death in 1846. This farm and the one adjoining,
which belonged to his eldest son, William, now belongs to Wil-
liam's second son, William Rives McComb, the only living grand-
son of the first settler. James McComb married in 1793, Susan-
nah Henderson, daughter of John Henderson, a Captain in
Colonel Richardson's regiment during the Revolutionary War.
Their children were Christiana, James, William, Luther and
Joseph Bell McComb. Joseph Bell McComb (born in 1808, died
1901) married in 1829 Frances Hughes and had a family of five
sons and three daughters: Martha Janet, Moses Hughes, James,
William Alexander Brown, Henderson, Frances, Marion and
Eveline. The four older sons served in the Confederate Cavalry.
Henderson was killed at Spotsylvania Court House.

William Alexander Brown McComb was born October 19,
1838, and died July 3, 1906. He was a member of the class of
1859 of the University of Virginia. He served as aide to General
J. E. B. Stuart until the latter's death, and then under General
Fitzhugh Lee until the close of the war. He married Louisa S.
Paul, May 15, 1872, and of this marriage were born James Bell,
John W., Mary Susannah, Martha Virginia and Francis Marion.
The two last-named children died young.

James Bell McComb, the eldest child of William A. B. and
Louisa S. (Paul) McComb, was born in Waynesboro, Augusta
County, Virginia, May 22, 1873. His childhood and youth were
spent in the healthful environment of the farm, where he lived
with his parents from 1880 to 1897, in Louisa, Virginia. He re-
ceived a high school education supplemented by a business college
course. In 1897 he went to Richmond and engaged in clerical
work for one year.

In 1898 he purchased "Glen Cove," a stock farm in Orange
County, Virginia, and engaged with his brother, John W. Mc-
Comb, in the breeding of saddle horses and hunters. James pur-
chased his brother's interest in "Glen Cove" in 1903, and con-
tinued the breeding of high-class horses until 1909, when he dis-
posed of the property. During this period the "Glen Cove" farm
bred and sold many prize winners. His horses took many prizes
at the horse shows in Virginia, Chicago and at New York's noted
exhibitions in Madison Square Garden.


When Mr. McComb sold "Gleii Cove" it was with the inten-
tion of buying a country place near the sea, and during his search
for a suitable location, his attention was called to a suburban
property situated between Richmond and Ginter Park, the Capi-
tal's most fashionable suburb. He concluded to purchase and
develop this tract together with other properties, on the plan of
a greater Richmond, which venture has proven remarkably suc-

Mr. McComb was married at Philadelphia, October 15, 1903,
to Miss Regina Courtney Smith, who was born in Baltimore, in
1880, a daughter of Carroll Hubert and Lillian Allers Smith.

Mr. McComb is a member of the First Presbyterian Church
of Richmond ; Mrs. McComb is an Episcopalian. He has always
been allied with the Democratic party, but will not bind himself
to blind partisanship, reserving the right to vote for other meas-
ures than those advocated by the party, should the interests of
the people, in his judgment, seem to demand it. If he once de-
cides that he is right, he has the courage of his convictions, and
may always be relied upon to do his duty. It is such men as Mr.
McComb that the country needs.


He is an original member, and for two years was President
of the Orange Horseman's Association, chartered in 1899. He
was the organizer, and for two years master of hounds, of the
Orange County Hunt Club, which now is known as the Toma-
hawk Hunt Club.

In the Henderson line Mr. McComb is a descendant of Wil-
liam Henderson, who died November 1, 1770, at the age of seventy-
one years. In his will, recorded at Staunton, Virginia, he names
his children John, James, David and Joseph Bell. His son
James and brother Samuel he appointed executors. His estate
comprised over three thousand acres of land in Augusta County.
The Henderson family, also, is of Scotch ancestry.

The McComb family in this country has been devoted to
agriculture to a great extent, and the men have proven them-
selves capable, combining the shrewdness of the Scotch and the
wit of the Irish. For two hundred years and more, the Scotch-
Irish race has been a potential and beneficent factor in the devel-
opment of the American Republic. All things considered, it
seems probable that the people of this race have given color, to a
great extent, to the history of the United States.

James Bell McComb may well be proud of his name, for the
McCombs have stood for much that is commendable through many
centuries, and their courage, thrift and ambition may well be
emulated. The McCombs w r ere a stalwart race. A historian of
the family says : "A most interesting fact in connection with the
history of the M'Cornbies has been the hereditary transmission
uninterrupted for over five hundred years, of great personal
stature and strength." The Reverend Samuel McComb, D.D., of


New York, J. J. McCornb, an author, and General McConib, of
the Kevolutionary War, are men of note representing the family
of McComb in America.

The founder of the Mclntosh family was Shaw McDuff, who
distinguished himself in quelling a rebellion among the Moray
tribes against Malcolm IV in 1161-3. His descendants then took
the name of Mclntosh, meaning "son of the chief, or foremost
man. 77 "From Adam McWilliams, son of William Mclntosh, de-
scends the McComie, McCombie, sometimes Macomb or McConib
families of America. The letter "b" was added in the eighteenth

The name "McThomas," son of Thomas Mclntosh, changed
gradually from M'Honiie to McComie and M'Combie. Sir Aeneas
in his manuscript history makes mention of "John M'Intosh of
Forter, commonly called "McComie," as among the "oldest and
wisest, not only of my own but of all our neighbor families. 77

The family of McComb took its rise as a separate and dis-
tinct branch of the Mclntosh Clan in the latter half of the four-
teenth century. In the original Fen charter, dated September 7,
1568, the McCombs are described as being "Ab antique 77 tenants
and possessors of Finnegand in Glanshee. John McComie Mor,
younger of Finnegand, was married to Janet Farquarson, daugh-
ter of William Farquarson and Beatrix Gordon, daughter of Lord

Alexander, son of John McComie and Janet Farquarson, was
the father of John McCombie Mor, ("Mor 77 meaning "the great 77 ),
the most noted member of the clan. During his life the family
was at its highest point of influence in Perthshire and Forfar-
shire. He entered into possession of the barony of Foster during
the time of the Commonwealth. History and tradition alike bear
testimony to the remarkable character of this Highland chief.
The sagacity and indomitable spirit that characterized his mental
qualities were not more conspicuous among his contemporaries
than his extraordinary bodily strength. After a long and event-
ful life John McComie Mor died at Crandart, January 12, 1676.
He was buried in Glenisla Churchyard. In few districts in Scot-
land has the memory of a man who died over two hundred years
ago been kept so vividly in memory by tradition as has that of
McCombie Mor in Glenisla.

After his death, January 12, 1676, some of his descendants
joined the great army of Scotchmen who emigrated to the north
of Ireland, and from them descended the McCornbs of America.
The township in Scotland is spelled "Macomb. 77 Ireland was in
a very turbulent and unsettled condition at that time and people
from other countries were constantly coming and going, which
adds to the difficulty of the searcher, in tracing their lineage.
The McCombs in Ireland engaged in agriculture or mercantile
pursuits and took no part in politics so far as is known.


THE name Otts is a familiar one to the student of the
records of the early settlers in Pennsylvania and the
Carolinas. It is spelled variously, Outz, Otz, Otte, Ott
and Otts. The original form of the patronymic was Ott,
the "s" having been added at some later time. The name appears
frequently in the lists of emigrants to Pennsylvania between
1732 and 1776 and, in the first census of South Carolina taken
in 1700, there are recorded nine Otts, heads of families. The
American ancestor of James Cornelius Otts was the earliest of
the Ott emigrants to America.

In 1732, "the goode ship Pink Plaisance, John Paret, Master,
from Rotterdam, last from Cowes," dropped anchor in the .Dela-
ware River at Philadelphia. It carried one hundred and eighty-
eight passengers. Among the number was a clear-eyed German
boy whose name was Philip Ott, from whom James Cornelius
Otts is in a direct line descended.

This lad came of sturdy stock and traveled in "goodly com-
pany," for most of his fellow passengers were seekers after
religious freedom. Others from the Palatinate founded the
picturesque town of Orangeburgh, in 1735, on the northeast side
of the Edisto River, about seventy-nine miles from Charleston,
South Carolina. It was here that Reverend John Gissendanner,
pastor of the first Oraugeburgh church, kept for twenty-two
years the parish records that were to prove so valuable in later


One branch of the Ott family is descended from Nicholas


Ott, Avho came to Pennsylvania before the Revolution "and during
the struggle for independence was in active service." Frederick
M. Ott, a lawyer of Dauphin County bar, is the representative
of this family at the present time.

Doctor Isaac Ott was a prominent physician in Northampton
County, Pennsylvania. He was born in 1847, and after graduat-
ing with honors at college, studied medicine at the University
of Pennsylvania, later going to Germany and London to make
further research. In 1878 he organized a physiological labora-
tory in the University of Pennsylvania, and lectured for years on
experimental physiology. He was made a Fellow in Biology at
Johns Hopkins University in 1878. He has published a number
of medical works and made important discoveries in connection
with nervous diseases and fevers.



Philip Ott, the ancestor of James C. Otts, landed in Philadel-
phia in 1732, and after a few years residence in Pennsylvania,
moved to South Carolina, where he married a Miss Caldwell, the
aunt of John C. Calhoun, the famous South Carolina statesman.
A staunch Presbyterian was Philip Ott, as were all the older
generations of the Otts family. In 1765 he was a ruling elder in
Old Nazareth Church, then newly built and located in what was
later the Keidsville section of Spartansburg District in South
Carolina. Philip had three sons, Martin, Philip, and Kobert.
Martin wedded a Miss Goodgion (also spelled Guion), a member
of a pioneer French family (whose father was a tailor and made
uniforms for the continental army). They named their son
Kobert Goodgion Otts and he was the grandfather of James C.
Otts. He was a school teacher in Union District, South Carolina,
as well as a County surveyor and magistrate. His wife was
Nancy Becknell, a granddaughter of Major Brandon of the
Spartan Regiment of the Revolutionary forces and an elder in
the Presbyterian Church. Robert and Nancy had two sons, John
Martin Philip, and James Dabney. Both sons attended Davidson
College but James left the classroom to join the Army of Vir-
ginia. John, after graduating from college in 1860, entered the
ministry of the Presbyterian Church, and became well known as
a clergyman and an author of books of travel, gleanings from his
own extensive journeyings. He was for many years pastor of the
Wanamaker (Bethany) Church in Philadelphia and his death
occurred in Greensboro, Alabama, in 1901. A brief account of his
life is to be found in "The Cyclopedia of American Biography."

The James Dabnev Otts who left his studies to serve his


State in the Confederate Army was the father of James Cornelius
Otts. He married Ellen Gault, daughter of Reverend James
Gault, a local Methodist minister in Union District, South Caro-
lina, and granddaughter of Robert Gault who came from Ireland
in his boyhood, served as a drummer boy in the Revolutionary
War, and was captured by the British at Camden. The name
Gault, Gait or Galte, is one also frequently found in the records,
both in America and in the old country. Among the landed
gentry in Ireland is found the name "Gait of Ballysally." This
family lived for many generations in the County of Londonderry,
and one member of it, John Gait, born in 1621, was Mayor of
Colevaine. His two great grandsons were Robert and Charles.
John Gait (1779-1839) was a famous writer, living in Irwine in
Ayrshire. His father commanded a West-Indiaman, and his
mother was a woman of great beauty and strength of character.

William Gault sailed on the Mary Ann from Yarmouth, in
1637. He was recorded as "desirous to passe to New England
and there to remain." His daughter Mehitable married John
Easton, one of the early governors of Rhode Island.


lu early 2sew Hampshire records, is found the name of John
Gault of Bedford, who served in the Revolutionary War, and of
Samuel Gault, a prominent citizen of Pembroke. The latter had
nine children, one of whom, A. J. Gault, became an author and

Joseph Gault, who was a brother of Reverend James Gault,
was born in Union District, South Carolina, in 1794. He served
in the War of 1812 and removed to Georgia in 1820. There he
became a lawyer and is best known as the author of "Gault's
Justice's Reports," claimed by himself to be authentic records,
but classed by some of his contemporaries as "burlesques on Jus-
tices of the Peace."

In later years the name of Gault has become prominent in
educational circles in the United States, through the achieve-
ments of Franklin Benjamin Gault, a well-known Western school
Superintendent and college President, and a member of the lead-
ing learned societies of the country.

The Reverend James Gault, the youngest of eleven sons of
Robert Gault and Mary McWhirter of Virginia, was born in 1810.
He married Miss Susan Hames, the daughter of Mark Hames,
who was connected by marriage with the Pages of Tidewater,

The Methodist ministers in South Carolina in the middle of
the nineteenth century were men of piety and courage, and Mr.
Ott's grandfather was notable among these. His daughter, Mr.
Ott's mother, inherited his sterling qualities to a marked degree.
She had need of them, for her husband, James Dabney Otts,
suffered continual ill-health, due to the consumptive tendencies
that were the aftermath of the hardships he had undergone dur-
ing the Civil War. He taught school, however, for several years
but finally succumbed to the ravages of his long illness, dying in
Florida in 1875, and leaving an impoverished widow and three
young sons. One of these was James Cornelius Otts born in
Union County, June 27, 1869.

At the time of his death, the South had just passed through
its darkest tragedy. Depleted by war, and with the hordes of an
uncivilized, unrestrained negro population roaming the land and
devouring its substance like a swarm of locusts, it was with diffi-
culty that the Southern States furnished livelihood to the white
man and his family. With undaunted courage and firmness this
sorely-stricken widow went about her task, determined to wrest
from life the best for herself and her little ones. Truly she was
"The valiant woman" of the Scriptures.

Upheld by the blood of undaunted pioneers and revolution-
ary heroes flowing in her veins, Ellen Gault Otts moved to a small
farm owned by her father and situated in Union County, South
Carolina. Here she and her sister, by frugality and industry,


gained a living for the family. On their small farm of less than
one hundred acres, the ambitious boy, James Cornelius Otts,
spent his childhood, youth and early manhood. At first a com-
mon school education was all that was within his reach, and this
was attained with much difficulty, as he was compelled to labor
on the farm a considerable part of the time, in order to help in
the support of himself, his mother and younger brothers. His
mother's never-failing courage, however, coupled with stories of
heroic ancestors who had fought the savage beasts of the forest,
the Indians and the British soldiers, to make a home for liberty
in a new world, was his inspiration. This small boy of eight is
found pluckily making his first money picking cotton, two hun-
dred pounds, for a neighbor and, when only eleven years of age,
taking the place of a man at the plough. These were years of hard
work and diligent study, for like many famous men of history,
he "burned the midnight oil/ 7 and stored his brain with useful
knowledge. He early learned that "knowledge is power," and a
stepping-stone to high position. It was his dream to study law
and enter the bar at twenty-one, but his plans were pursued with
great difficulty, owing to his necessary labor on the farm. Until
young James, who was the eldest of the three Otts boys, was
eleven, the farm work was done by hired help, under the super-
intendence of Mrs. Otts and her sister, but after that time, he did
all the ploughing himself, never missing or neglecting his duty.
When in his eighteenth year, he worked one summer making a
kiln of brick, hoping to use the money thus acquired, for a year's
tuition at college. Family necessities, however, made the expen-
diture of the money in this way impracticable. This dream of a

Online LibraryAlbert B OsborneMakers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) → online text (page 8 of 48)