A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

History: Frederick Whitcomb of Freehold, 1873-1911

A hundred years ago this week, traveling salesman Frederick Whitcomb of Freehold shot himself in the head in his room at the Boston Tavern on Tuesday and died the next day in a local Boston hospital, according to the 23 Nov 1911 edition of The Matawan Journal, page 1, col 3. Mr Whitcomb, age 37, represented A P Smith & Co of East Orange.

The Federal Census for 1910 showed Frederick A Whitcomb, age 39 of New York, living in Freehold with his second wife Eliza F Whitcomb, age 28 of New Jersey, and their two sons McClean F and John F, ages 3 and 8, respectively, both of New Jersey. Frederick and Eliza had been married 3 years and only McClean was hers. This was Eliza's first marriage. Frederick was a "commercial master" whose business was "merchandise." They had a servant, Anna Pettis, age 23 of Virginia. Anna had been married 5 years and had one living child, but her husband and child did not appear in this listing.

The Federal Census for 1900 showed Frederick Whitcomb, born Nov 1873 in New York, living in East Orange with his first wife, Isabella, born May 1880 in New Jersey and her father, Gustav Kruell, born Oct 1849 in Germany. Frederick was a salesman and Gustav an engraver. Frederick's father had been born in Canada and spoke English; Frederick's mother had been born in New York. Isabella's father Gustav came to America in 1872 and was a naturalized US citizen.

The Federal Census for 1880 showed Frederick Whitcomb, age 6 of New York, living in Buffalo, New York with his parents, N. Whitcomb and wife Mary, two older siblings, a lumber dealer and his wife who were boarding with the family, and a 34 year old black servant from Virginia named Evelyn Logan. Frederick's father was a dentist born in Canada. A notation said that Frederick had scarlet fever on the date of the enumeration.

An Ancestry family tree showed Frederick's parents as Nathan/Nathaniel W. Whitcomb and Mary L Barnes. The same record showed Isabella Kruell's mother as Clara Cecilie Kuhns.

The A P Smith Manufacturing Company of East Orange made fire hydrants, according to FireHydrant.org. Their first hydrant was patented in 1896. The company was purchased by US Pipe in 1966.


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