D C NEWCOMB
Among the prominent merchants of Atchison none hold a higher place in the esteem of its citizens than Mr. Newcomb. He is the proprietor of one of the largest and best stocked stores in the state, and carries on an importing, jobbing and retail business in dry goods, carpets. furnishings, boots and shoes.
He occupies a fine brick building which he erected in 1888. It is 45 x 135 feet, three stories and basement, and is fitted with passenger elevators, electric light, steam heat and every other modern convenience. The trade of this house is very extensive, and its patrons always feel assured that they are being fairly dealt with and getting the best goods for the least money.
Mr. Newcomb was born on a farm in Fayston, Washington county, Vermont, July 13, 1836. Hosea Newcomb, his father, was born in Swansea, New Hampshire, in 1803, and was a farmer by occupation, as was his father, William Newcomb. The mother, whose maiden name was Harriet Bixby, was of German descent, born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1805. The Newcombs are descendants of Francis Newcomb and his two brothers, who emigrated from England to America in 1635, at the age of thirty, with wife Rachel, in ship Planter. He was one of three brothers who came over together and of whom Francis Newcomb settled in Massachusetts.
Hosea Newcomb located in Sumner, Kansas, in 1859, and was postmaster there twelve or fourteen years. The town is out of existence now. He returned to Vermont in 1873 and died there in 1889, in his eighty-seventh year. His widow still lives in that state and is now in her ninety-fifth year, and is in full possession of all her faculties. She is the mother of five children, three of whom are living: Dan, who is a physician and resides in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, on the Gulf of Mexico. He came to Atchison some time before his brother, D. C., and was the first free-state registrar of deeds of Atchison county. Lydia is the wife of Nathaniel Shephard and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. D. C., the subject of this sketch. The first eighteen years of his life D. C. Newcomb spent in his native place, where he attended the public schools. Later he was a student in Newbury Seminary, and when eighteen years of age began clerking in Johnson, Vermont, afterward in Montpelier. In the winter of 1857 he came West spending some months in Wisconsin, and on March 8, 1858, came to Sumner, Kansas, and from there to Atchison. The latter place was in its infancy at that time and gave no promise of becoming the prosperous and important city that it now is. Sumner seemed to be the better place of the two, but Mr. Newcomb decided that the location of Atchison as a business point was far superior and concluded to try his fortune here. The following year he became deputy for his brother Dan in the register-of-deeds office, where he remained for some three years. He then took a clerkship in one of the stores in Atchison. One of his fellow clerks was Samuel Gard, and in 1864 these two formed a partnership under the firm name of Gard & Newcomb, which continued until 1869, when Mr. Gard died. Since that time Mr. Newcomb has carried on merchandising alone, enlarging his quarters as his business has increased, and now being finely established as has been mentioned.
In 1866 Mr. Newcomb was married to Anna E. Bowman, a daughter of Captain George W. Bowman, at one time a steamboat captain and afterward a merchant of Atchison. He was formerly from Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Newcomb have two children: Hattie May, who married Lieutenant Harry A. Smith, U. S. A., a graduate of West Point, and a son of Henry T. Smith, one of the early merchants of Atchison. At the present time Lieutenant Smith is at Santiago, Cuba; he held the rank of major of the Twenty-first Kansas Volunteers in the Spanish war; George Edgar, the only son of Mr. Newcomb, is in business with his father. He was born at Atchison, March 19, 1869, and was educated in the Northwestern University, at Evanston, Illinois. He is progressive in his ideas and, like his father, full of enterprise and awake to every opportunity for increasing their business. He was married in October, 1895, to Miss Dorothy Jones, of Waupun, Wisconsin.
Mr. Newcomb is a stanch Republican and is always ready to use his influence in forwarding the interests of his party, but has never been a politician in the ordinary acceptation of the term. Both he and his wife are consistent and useful members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he has filled the offices of trustee, steward and class-leader, in which work he has ever taken a deep interest. He was a delegate to the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal church which met in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1892, and at Chicago in 1900, and was president of the Young Men's Christian Association of Atchison for three years.
For the past fifteen years Mr. Newcomb has been vice-president of the First National Bank of Atchison, of which he was one of the founders, and ever since a director. He occupies a large and very handsome residence at 704 North Fourth street, and his home is a most delightful one, where hospitality and good will abound. His success in life has been won by hard work and strict business integrity, and is well deserved.