Notes indicate this is Thomas Whitcomb, though I'm not positive which Thomas Whitcomb. Thomas M. Whitcomb was born in 1826 and journeyed to Oregon on the Oregon Trail in 1864 with his wife and 6 children, including Thomas J. In 1872 or 1873 they settled in Hood River on what is now Belmont Street, but in 1875 they sold the parcel to Miles Potter and left Hood River. They moved to Rowland, WA (near Lyle), and then to Pine Hill WA in 1879 where Thomas M. died in 1901. Based on the age of the man and the style of the photo my suspicion is it is an image circa 1900 of Thomas J. Whitcomb.
The photo indicates it was taken near Lyle.
We've seen the Miles Potter house on Belmont Street in this image.
There is a photo of Thomas Martin Whitcomb, when he is older in the History of Yakima, Kittitas and Klickitat County. He is not nearly as handsome in that photo.
Beautiful horse. Thomas and his family spent some time in the Vancouver, WA area before moving to HR and then across the river to the Lyle area. He kept weather reports and raised fruit trees.
Stephen Whitcomb was an early settler in the Glenwood/Camas Prairie area which is now part of the Conboy Lake Refuge. I don't know if the two were related.
L.E. on 2nd December 2015 @ 9:47am
That photo makes me more confident this is Thomas J. Thomas M. looked much older by 1900. The style in the photo is very Teddy Roosevelt-- I could not imagine someone dressing like that closer to the Civil War era.
Arthur on 2nd December 2015 @ 10:26am
I came back here to ask you if this could possibly be a son of Thomas M.
You beat me to it.
Stephen Whitcomb and Levi Whitcomb were brothers. Levi was involved in the fisheries at The Dalles, which the Seufert Brothers bought. They were distant cousins of Lot Whitcomb, the founder of Milwaukie, OR and owner of the steamboat by the same name.
I still don't know if Thomas M was part of that family, but the name is definitely connected to the Columbia River area.
Thomas J and his early memories of Lyle:
L.E. on 2nd December 2015 @ 11:28am
Since it is December, and I wouldn't want to be camping in the weather we are having right now, I thought this might be worth posting.
This was written by Mrs. D.M. Coon from data furnished by Thomas J. Whitcomb.
The Whitcomb family left Indiana in April 1864. Their wagon train was attacked by Indians. They made an attempt to steal baby Thomas J. The family reached Boise in late summer, where wages were high and so was the price of food. Eggs were 50 cents a piece and flour was $75 a barrel.
They left for Vancouver, around December 1, traveling through Baker and camping in 5 feet of snow in the Blue Mtns. At The Dalles they boarded the steamer "Idaho", portaged at the Cascades, then took the Wilson G. Hunt on to Vancouver, arriving December 31.
They were in the Vancouver area around eight years then moved to HR in the summer of 1872. They landed at Stanley Rock with twenty to thirty head of cattle. It was high water and the cattle had to swim to mainland. They bought their farm near Belmont from "Long Ward."
They planted an orchard, had a few more children, then in 1875 sold the farm to Miles B Potter and moved to Rowland, west of Lyle. In 1879 they moved to Pine Hill.
L.E. on 2nd December 2015 @ 9:15pm