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Jesse Comer 1743 Germay ~ Hessian Soldier
Posted by: jc (ID *****5058) Date: March 11, 2009 at 23:10:28
  of 2362
ID: I82936
Name: Jesse1 COMER
Sex: M
Birth: 1743 in Germany
Death: AFT 1799 in NC, U.S.A.
Religion: member, Methodist Episcopal Church.
Military Service: "came to America w/ the Hessian troops during the Revolutionary war. He soon became convinced of the justice of the Colonists' cause, and like many of his fellow-soldiers, deserted from the army of King George and subsequently became a loyal American."
Census: 1790 U.S. Federal, NC, Randolph Co., Hillsborough District.
Census: 1800 U.S. Federal, NC, Randolph Co.

Marriage 1 Nancy ELLIS b: 1745 in NC
       Married: 1762
1.        Josephus James ("James")2 COMER b: 1763 in NC

ID: I82936
Name: Jesse1 COMER
Sex: M
Birth: 1743 in Germany
Death: AFT 1799 in NC, U.S.A.
Religion: member, Methodist Episcopal Church.
Military Service: "came to America w/ the Hessian troops during the Revolutionary war. He soon became convinced of the justice of the Colonists' cause, and like many of his fellow-soldiers, deserted from the army of King George and subsequently became a loyal American."
Census: 1790 U.S. Federal, NC, Randolph Co., Hillsborough District.
Census: 1800 U.S. Federal, NC, Randolph Co.

Marriage 1 Nancy ELLIS b: 1745 in NC
       Married: 1762
1.        Josephus James ("James")2 COMER b: 1763 in NC
Name: Nancy Comer
Sex: F

Marriage 1 Malachi Prevo
1.        Asa Cyrus Prevo b: 4 Sep 1830 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana

Stephen T. Comer. To the individual whose life began on the prairies of the Central West more than sixty-seven years ago there has been given a wealth and diversity of experience in comparison with which that of those active in the beginning of the present century pales into insignificance. Such a career has been vouchsafed
to Stephen T. Comer, one of the oldest living native sons of Jasper County, who has watched and participated in the wonderful advancement of this part of the state, and who is now one of the leading and highly respected citizens of Union Township.

The progenitor of the Comer family in America was Jesse
Comer, a Hessian German, who came to America with the Hessian troops during the Revolutionary war. He soon became convinced of the justice of the Colonists' cause, and. like many of his fellow- soldiers, deserted from the army of King George and subsequently became a loyal American citizen. The particular manner in which
he accomplished his desertion is interesting. He had long had in mind the idea of the step he was to take, and in order to carry out his plan practiced imitating the grunt of a hog, in the meantime stirring the leaves and grass with a stick to represent the noise made by that animal in going about. When he felt that he had his imitation to perfection, and at a time when the troops were encamped upon the bank of a river, probably the Brandywine, he put
his plan into execution. At the challenge of the sentinel: "Who goes there?" his answer was a grunt, accompanied by the stirring of the leaves and grass, which completely deceived the sentinel, who


ejaculated: "It's only a hos." When Mr. Comer rolled over into the river, the sentinel realized another soldier was endeavoring to desert, and he and his comrades all along the bank began firing at every suspicious sound, but by diving and swimming Mr. Comer eventually succeeded in reaching the opposite bank where he found friends and safety.

Mr. Comer subsequently located in North Carolina, where he
married Nancy Ellis, and in that state his death occurred. He was the great grandfather of William Ellis Comer and the great-great-grandfather of Stephen T. Comer, of this review. Among the sons of Jesse Comer was Josephus Comer, whose son, Jesse Comer, like his grandfather, married a lady named Ellis. This second Jesse Comer moved from North Carolina to near Zanesville, Ohio, then to Wayne County, Indiana, later to Carroll County, Indiana, and finally
to Jasper County, Indiana, at a lime when the county was still a wilderness practically undisturbed by the hand of man. Here he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives and passed away, being buried in Jasper County. Mrs. Comer was a member of a rich North Carolina family. When the war between the states broke out her people wrote her, in effect, that she could return and live with her people or remain with her married relations, "the Yankees," but that in the latter event she would never again be
recognized as a member of the rich, slave-holding, aristocratic Ellis family of North Carolina. Mrs.. Ellis, notwithstanding her grief at the separation, decided to remain with her husband. Among their children are mentioned John ; W'illiam ; Nancy, who married Malachi
P. Prevo; Rachel, who married Greenberry Hobbs; Josiali and Thomas. Mr. and Mrs. Comer were devout members of the
Methodist Episcopal Church.

William Comer was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, and was
about twelve years of age when brought to Wayne County, Indiana. With his parents he came to Carroll County, where he was married to Phoebe Dewitt, a descendant of General Dewitt of Revolutionary war fame, and as a young married couple they came to Jasper County at the time of the advent of Jesse Comer. Locating in Gillam Township, they became widely known for their many acts of kindness. Mrs. Comer was a devout Christian and an able assistant to her husband, whose life work was as a minister of the
Methodist Episcopal faith. She devoted her life to deeds of Christian kindness, and no one ever came to her for spiritual or material comfort without being benefited. In her later years she was almost universally known as "Grandmother" Comer. William and Phoebe Comer were the parents of ten children : Elizabeth M., who married
Elijah Nelson; John E., deceased, Malachi P., who is a farmer of Earkley Township, Jasper County ; William P., who is deceased; Martin, deceased, who served in the Civil war as a member of the Eighty-seventh Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry ; Stephen T. ;


James II.; Silas F., who died in infancy ; llarncy D., and Jennie, who married Andrew Boston.

Stephen T. Comer was born February 14, 1848, in Gillam
Township, Jasper County, and his boyhood was passed much in the same manner as other youths of his day. He received a limited education in the district schools which he attended during; the short winter terms, and during the rest of the year helped in the work of the home farm, his training being such that at the age of fourteen years he capably handled a herd of 300 head of cattle, lie hunted
and trapped extensively and his first forty acres of land were purchased from the proceeds of furs which he sold. In the meantime he endeavored to better his education, assisted by his loving mother, and learned fractions at a night school which he organized after becoming a man. Mr. Comer recalls many interesting experiences of the early days. He remembers seeing seventy-three deer in one
drove passing his home, and he has seen his dog drag down one of these noble animals, the Comer table frequently including venison as a part of the Christmas dinner, wild geese and duck were so numerous that they were a nuisance to the early settlers, while muskrats were found in great abundance, Mr. Comer and his brother Barney catching as many as seventy-five in one day. Mr. Comer
on one occasion sold twenty mink skins for $7.75 each, and with the proceeds of this sale purchased an ox-team. His entire life has been passed in Jasper County, where at one time he owned vast tracts of land, but in his later life has sold off the greater part of this property to engage in the cattle business, and now has but 220 acres. In his long extended career in Jasper County, Mr. Comer has discharged his duties as an individual and as a citizen
with unvarying fidelity. He has been identified with all movements tending to promote the best interests of his locality, and has made an irreproachable record as a man of strict probity and pure motives.
A republican in his political views, he has served two terms as trustee of Union Township, and at the present time is a member of the county council of Jasper County. His fraternal connection is with Parr Lodge No. 789, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has numerous friends. By his old neighbors and his
fellow-townsmen in Union Township, he is held in the utmost respect and esteem.

On November 23, 1871, Mr. Comer was married to Miss Mary
E. Daniels, whose death occurred after three years of married life.
They became the parents of one son: Shelby, who married Miss Maude Lakin and has four children, Mary Ellen, Mildred Pauline, Ruth lone and Max Edison.

Barney D. Comer was born in Jasper County, on the old Comer homestead, July 12, 1860, and he passed away on the 23d of May, 1916. He was a son of William and Phoebe (Dewitt) Comer.



Extended mention of the Comer family will be found in the sketch of Stephen Comer, in this volume. During boyhood, up to the age of thirteen years, Barney D. Comer found life very satisfactory, fishing and hunting assisting him to pass the time pleasantly, no compulsion being exercised to make him attend school, and, in fact, until he was twenty-four years old, he had never passed a single day in school. He knew quite a good deal about farming, however, and concerning cattle and was associated with his brother Stephen in the cattle business and proved industrious and judicious. As Mr. Comer told the story himself, the commentator, may assert that about this time a young lady's refining influence had the effect of arousing his ambition and he resolved to go to school, which resolve he carried out, entering the third grade in the neighboring
public school. That he was in earnest about repairing past
negligence was proved before the winter was over by his becoming proficient enough to enter the seventh grade. Mr. Comerwas always noted for resolution when convinced he was moving in the right direction, and he kept diligently at his books and subsequently attended two terms at the Normal School at Valparaiso, and not only that but secured a license to teach school. Following this he taught seven terms in Union Township and one in Barkley Township, proving thoroughly efficient and enjoying the experience.

On July 13, 1890, 'Mr. Comer was united in marriage with Miss Addie C. Bruce, the estimable young lady above referred to, and they had three children : Ernest L., who married Pearl Lilves and they have two children, Vivian and Geneve; Georgia, who died young; and Marie Annette, who was educated at Valparaiso and resides with her parents. Mrs. Comer is a daughter of Henry C. and Harriet (Babcock) Bruce and her ancestry can be traced
definitely to the immortal Robert Bruce of Scotland.

In 1894 Mr. Comer embarked in farming on his home place of
100 acres and made all the substantial improvements now in
evidence. From time to time as circumstances adjusted themselves and made action possible and desirable, he added to his original farm and owned about 400 acres which he devoted to diversified farming according to modern methods, raised good stock and the registered stock of the Valley L. Farms is widely and favorably known.

Mr. Comer was a member of the Methodist Protestant Church,
as is also his family, although Mrs. Comer was reared a Baptist, that being the. religious faith of her people. Her father was born in Vermont and her mother in New York. They were married in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and came to Jasper County seventy years ago. Both parents of Mrs. Comer are deceased, their burial being in the Crockett Cemetery. The father was a farmer and stock raiser and at one time was a man of prominence and of large estate in Jasper County. He was a republican in politics as was
Mr. Comer. The latter was always busy with his own affairs and


not. anxious to accept public office, but lie twice served as township trustee, once by appointment and once by election. For many years he was a member of the lodge of Odd Fellows at Rensselaer.

Mr. Comer was a very entertaining talker and would relate many interesting stories of early days here, not of his own experience but as he heard them told by his father and other old settlers. Listening to some of them and comparing old stories with those of the present day, one is impressed with the fact that rough, irresponsible
disturbers of the peace live and exercise their cruel natures in every age when opportunity arises. He related one occasion when but for the influence of his father and five sons, the village of Rensselaer would probably have been destroyed by fire and the home guard, as it was during the Civil war, been killed. The occasion was when an intemperate speech was made by a sympathizer with secession, resulting in the loyal men of the town putting
him into prison. His friends determined to rescue him, kill the guard and burn the town but the plot was discovered by William Comer who hastened to inform his father and the five sons were sent out to warn the people. Two small armies gathered at Rensselaer and for a time things looked very serious but before any real damage was done, the prisoner was freed to never return and the
malcontents were subdued by the authorities. Illustrative of the wild, rough element that had to be contended with in early days, Mr. Comer told of cruelties wrought on young people by horse thieves in the Kankakee River region. Those days have long since passed but the Comer and Bruce families, as pioneers, lived through deeply
exciting times.

In conclusion excerpts from a local publication are here given in commemoration of the life work and death of Barney D. Comer.

"The funeral of Barney D. Comer was held Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Rose Bud church near his home. It was one of the largest funerals ever held in the county, and only a small part of those present were able to get into the church. Mr. Comer was a widely known man and his friends came not only from all over the
county but from many other places to pay tribute to his active fruitful life. Almost a hundred automobiles and many horse- drawn vehicles gathered at the church and followed the cortege to Weston cemetery in Rensselaer where the burial took place. The service at the church was conducted by Revs. R.. Conn and Forest Crider, the former from Hatfield and the latter from
Mooresville. Both have performed spiritual labors in this county and were close friends of the deceased. The I. O. O. F., of which he had long been a member, performed its ritualistic service at the grave.

"Mr. Comer was the typical self-made man. Born at a time
when the northern part of Jasper county was little better than a swamp, it seemed to offer little encouragement in the way of financial success. Yet, when a mere boy, Barney determined to overcome obstacles and to become a man of means and of influence in his


community. That !k- succeeded we all know. His parents were poor in worldly goods, but rich in the things that are worth while. Honest, industrious and Clod- fearing, they instilled in their son these qualities.

"He was a member of the Odd Fellows lodge of Rensselaer and a disciple of Friendship, Love and Truth as laid down in that order. A year before his marriage he was converted and joined the Rose Bud church and for many years had remained a loyal and active nKtrilicr. He was a great believer in Sunday school work and was always in his place. For many years he was chairman of the local
Sunday school convention work.

"Activity was the keynote of his life. Whatever he did, he
did with a purpose and an intensity that carried the work to completion and success. He was one of the men who do things. Whether as trustee of his township, advocate of good roads, teacher in the public schools, at the head of the anti-saloon movement, chairman of the Sunday school organization, he was a persistent and tireless worker.

"Although he spent most of his life within sight of his birthplace, he had the vision and broad mindedness of a man who has traveled much. He was interested in the affairs of his country, was an ardent reader and a lover of good books. He was public-spirited, broadminded, generous-hearted, a true friend, a loving husband and kind father. No worthy person ever appealed
to Mr. Comer in vain. His name was on the list for every good movement and at the head of every subscription for help to those needing it. His strong personality was felt in every public gathering. In the future where men meet at public sales, political meetings, conventions and church gatherings this helpful man's presence will be greatly missed. His place will not soon be filled and his memory will not be forgotten.

"The last few weeks of his life he had been crippled by an
accident and, although he had to go on crutches, he was working hard for the proposed new stone road system through Union township. For the past two weeks his life had been filled with pain and suffering. His desire to get well was great, as he felt he had much to accomplish and many things that had been pushed aside in the stress of business, he felt he wanted time to do. However, he expressed himself many times as to his faith in Christ as his Saviour, and his readiness to go. Throughout his life he had a great reverence for the memory of his sainted mother. His friends have often heard him express his belief that he would see her as he passed to the Great Beyond. Less than an hour before he passed away he looked upward and said: 'Mother, Mother.' These were
his last audible words.

"Thus has passed away one of Jasper county's good men and
'After life's fitful fever he sleeps well.'"

ID: I1230
Name: Dora Bell COMER
Sex: F
Birth: ABT 1876
Change Date: 22 SEP 1997

Father: Stephen T. COMER
Mother: Sarah V. NELSON

Marriage 1 Orley Gordon REEDY b: 31 AUG 1883 in Ashe Co., North Carolina
       Married: 4 MAY 1906 in Grayson Co., VA
1.        Carl V. REEDY b: ABT 1907 in Virginia
2.        James Lester "Lester" REEDY Sr. b: 10 JAN 1910 in Virginia
3.        Edith REEDY b: ABT 1911 in Virginia
4.        Clara E. REEDY b: ABT 1913 in Virginia
5.        Gordon REEDY b: ABT 1916 in Virginia
ID: I02028
Name: Stephen T. COMER
Sex: M
Birth: 14 FEB 1848 in Jasper County, Indiana
Death: 20 SEP 1917 in Jasper County, Indiana
Reference Number: 2028

Marriage 1 Mary Ellen DANIEL b: 15 JAN 1847 in Champaign County, Ohio
       Married: 9 NOV 1871 in Jasper County, Indiana
1.        William Shelby COMER b: 15 JAN 1873 in Jasper Co., Indiana

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