Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
OSCAR R. HOLCOMB was born in
Gibson county, Indiana, December 31, 1867, and comes of one of the oldest
and most prominent families of that state. His father, Silas M. Holcomb,
is also a native of Gibson county, and his father of North Carolina.
The family settled in America about the year 1700, locating first in Virginia,
and later migrating, some to the northeastern states and others to North
Carolina. Some of the Holcombs have been in every war of this country,
and the family is a conspicuous one in the history of the bench and bar,
and in the commercial life of the northeast and south, as well as in the
western section of the United States. Silas M. Holcomb was first
lieutenant of Company C. Sixty-third Indiana Volunteers, during twenty
months of the Civil War, at the end of which time he was discharged on
account of being incapacitated for service by a wound received at the second
battle of Bull Run. He now lives at Fort Branch, Indiana, on a farm.
Our subject's mother is Mary A. (Hopkins) Holcomb, a native of Gibson county,
and now a resident of Fort Branch with her husband. Her parents came
to Indiana from Kentucky in an early day. Her grandfather was a native
of Pennsylvania, and her grandmother of Scotland. Mrs. Holcomb's
father's granduncle, Ezekial Hopkins, was a signer of the Declaration of
Mr. Holcomb was reared in Indiana, where he
lived until twenty-five, being graduated in the meantime from the graded
and high schools of Fort Branch. After leaving the latter institution
he entered the law office of his father and read law two years, then entered
the Chicago College of Law, from which school he was graduated with honors
in 1892. He began practice immediately at Evansville, Indiana, and
two years later came to his present location, and the following year was
appointed successor to L. Davies, resigned, in the office of prosecuting
attorney of Adams county. At the election of 1896 he was the Democratic
and Fusion candidate for the office he held, and was elected by a majority
far ahead of his ticket. In March, 1898, he resigned his office to
accept an appointment by Governor Rogers to the office of commissioner
of arid lands, which position he filled until the following year.
In 1900 he ran for the office of state land commissioner, and two years
later for congress, being the nominee of the Democratic party, but was
defeated at both elections. He has been a member of the Ritzville
city council for six consecutive years.
Mr. Holcomb has two brothers; Clarence L.,
now prosecuting attorney of Adams county, a sketch of whose life appears
elsewhere in this history; and Ralston C., stenographer in the office of
our subject; and one sister, Helen L., residing with her parents, and a
teacher in the school at Fort Branch.
On June 12, 1894, occurred the marriage of
Mr. Holcomb to Eva Staser, a native of Evansville, Indiana, daughter of
Clinton and Clarissa (Willey) Staser, both now living in Ritzville, where
the father is a practicing attorney, and superior court commissioner.
A full sketch of their lives appears elsewhere in this volume. Mrs.
Holcomb has three brothers and the same number of sisters; Walter, a Ritzville
attorney; John, civil engineer with the Northern Pacific railroad, residing
in Ritzville; Loy, of Ritzville; Edith, wife of O. L. Hanson, civil engineer
and superintendent of Kennewick Irrigation Company, of Kennewick, Washington;
Eleanor and Eloise, living with their parents.
The issue of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs.
Holcomb are six in number; Raymond, Mawrice, Marjorie, Leland, Gladys and
Mr. Holcomb is a member of the Ritzville lodge,
I. O. O. F., the K. O. T. M., and an aggressive member of the Democratic
Mr. and Mrs. Holcomb are esteemed members
of society and have very many admiring friends throughout the county.