From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 566-567


Benjamin B. Holcomb, harness-maker and saddler, Fremont, Ind., was born in Marcellus, Onondaga Co., N. Y., March 24, 1819.  His parents, James and Hannah (Bentley) Holcomb, were married in Oneida County, N. Y., and settled in Onondaga County.  In 1825 they moved to Monroe County, near Rochester, and in 1836 started for the West via the lakes, on the steamer Dewitt Clinton.  They landed at Toledo, at that time only a landing, the only house there being used as a hotel.  With teams they proceeded to Jackson County, Mich., and a short time after to Camden, Hillsdale County, where they entered land and made a permanent home.  The father died April 9, 1863, and the mother Aug. 7, 1871.  They had a family of eight children all of whom lived to have families of their own -- Harriet is the wife of A. Purdy, of Branch County, Mich.; Mary Ann, wife of Jesse Doyle, of Buchanan County, Iowa; Benjamin B.; Charlotte A., wife of Dr. L. M. Jones, died Feb. 4, 1883; Myron C., of Johnson County, Kas., married Susan Phenecie; Susan, wife of William Worden, of Coldwater, Mich.; George W., of Hillsdale County, Mich., married Permelia Hughs; Roxy C., widow of Charles Travis.  The mother was a member in early life of the Close Communion Baptist church but later joined the Free-Will Baptist.  The father was a member of the Universalist church.  Benjamin B. Holcomb was reared on a farm.  When a boy he learned the shoemaker's trade of his father and afterward learned the harness-maker's trade.  He came to Steuben County and worked with J. H. Hall, his brother-in-law, who opened the first shop in Fremont, helping to make the first harness in the town.  He also made the first Sweeney horse collar and the first pair of square lines in Fremont.  Nov. 17, 1860, he moved his family to Fremont and formed a partnership with Mr. Hall which continued a few years, when he engaged in farming.  In 1873 he returned to Fremont and again opened a harness shop, and has continued the business to the present time.  He has been a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows orders several years and has held many responsible positions in both orders.  In politics he is a stanch Democrat, the only time he ever voted against the party being at the second election of President Lincoln.  Mr. Holcomb was married in a log cabin in Branch County, Mich., to Sarah L. Beech, a native of Genesee County, N. Y., born May 1, 1819, a daughter of Samuel and Irena (Lawrence) Beech, who settled in Saline, Mich., in 1831.  Of their three children but one is living -- Jerome B., who married Hattie N. Phelps.



Submitted by Kim Davoli