Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of
Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


WILLIAM COMEGYS, who has been the servant of "Uncle Sam" in the post-office at Ash Grove, Mo., has been a resident of the place since 1869, coming thither from Vermillion County, Ind. He was born in Delaware County, Ohio, March 4, 1837, a son of Cornelius M. and Anna Bell (Dunlap) Comegys, the former of whom was a descendant of a family that came to America from Holland in 1670 and settled in Kent County, .Md. The man who established the family tree on American soil was Cornelius Comegys, and for many years thereafter the home of the family in this county was Kent County. The name Cornelius was a favorite one in the family, and one who bore it took an active part in the War of the Revolution and was a member of Gen. Washington's staff. The family was a very prominent one during the early history of this county, and were noted for their patriotism and love of their country. One branch finally moved to West Virginia, where they lived until the War of 1812, when the grandfather of the subject of this sketch entered the service, and after the termination of hostilities, removed to Delaware County, Ohio, in 1816, where he and his wife eventually died. Their son, the father of William Comegys, spent the first sixteen years of his life in West Virginia, after which he was taken to Ohio, where he lived until 1841, when he removed with his family to Indiana where the remainder of his life was spent, his death occurring in 1865. His life was devoted to the calling of the agriculturist, and politically he was first a Whig and later a Republican. Although by no means an active politician, he held the office of Commissioner of Vermillion County, Ind., for some years, during which time he proved himself an able official. He -was a member of the A. F. & A. M., and for many years was connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church. His wife was a native of Maryland and was a member of one of the finest families of that State. She died in Ash Grove in 1872 at the age of seventy years, having borne her husband eight children, four of whom survive her: Martha, who is the deceased wife of Thomas Moore; Jemima, who died young,; James, who is living in Ash Grove and is assistant postmaster. He is a Democrat in politics and is a man of family; William; Sarah J., who is deceased; Mary, who is married and living in St. Louis; Ellen, who is a resident of Crawfordsville, Ind., and one that died in infancy. The mother was connected with the old school Presbyterian Church and was of Scotch descent. The early part of William Comegys' life was spent in Indiana, where he obtained a fair education in the district schools in the neighborhood of his home. He was married there in 1860 to Miss Elizabeth Triece of Vermillion County, Ind., a daughter of Samuel Triece, her native State being Ohio, where she was born in 1832. In 1862 the patriotic spirit in Mr. Comegys being fully aroused, he enlisted in company K, Seventy-first Indiana Infantry, with which he served until the close of hostilities in 1865, taking part in the battles of Richmond, Ky., Knoxville, Tenn., and the principal battles of the Georgia campaign. He was with Sherman at Atlanta and fought his last battle at Nashville. He was captured twice, once at Richmond, Ky., and again at Muldraugh Hill, Ky., but was paroled both times. He was not sick a day during his entire service and was never away from his company. Although he participated in many hard fought battles, he at all times displayed true courage and was a faithful and useful soldier. After returning home he remained in Vermillion County, Ind., until October, 1869, when be came to Ash Grove, Mo., and began following the trade of a carpenter, which he continued successfully until 1877, when he was appointed to the position of postmaster under President Hayes, and has held it to the satisfaction of all concerned ever since, with the exception of from June, 1886, to June, 1889, holding it one year under Cleveland during the latter's first term, and so far during his present term, in all, thirteen years. He has always been a stanch Republican and takes an active part in all matters of a public nature. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge of Ash Grove, No. 436, the A. O. U. W. and the G. A. R., Ash Grove Lodge, No. 234. He has held all the offices in these orders and has been an active and useful worker in them all. He has a pleasant home, on Main, Street, and there he and his estimable wife reared their four children: Roxie J., wife of Mr. Chandler; Carrie, wife of E. A. Hurt, of Ash Grove; John N., and Courtney B. John N. has a book store in the postoffice building, where be is doing a prosperous business. He is married to Anna Murray, by whom he has two children, Stella and Helen. Courtney B. is the proprietor of a grocery store, where he is doing a prosperous and continually growing business. He married Monlie Smith, of Morrisville, Mo., she having been a teacher in the schools of Ash Grove. Mr. and Mrs. Comegys are attendants of the Presbyterian Church, and in all respects are classed among the most estimable citizens of the county. As a business man Mr. Comegys; has been very successful and has at all times manifested the utmost public spirit. He is the owner of the postoffice building and his residence, besides other valuable property.

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