Elisha McComas (1775 - 1849) MP

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Birthplace: Fincastle County, Province of Virginia, (Present USA)
Death: Died in Cabell County, Virginia (Present West Virginia), United States
Managed by: Dawn Corder
Last Updated:

About Elisha McComas

Elisha McComas moved with his wife, Annie, to Cabell Co. from Montgomery>Giles Co. Va. , in 1809, apparently among some of the first McComases to do so. Elisha led a life marked by service, both civil and military. He was one of first trustees of both Guyandotte and Barboursville when those towns were established in 1810 and 1813, respectively. He was a county sheriff in 1816 and 1841. He was school commissioner to oversee the education of the children of indigent parents in the county, and served 13 terms as a county delegate to the Virginia Assembly.

Elisha McComas rose in the military life of Virginia from Captain of the Militia to Brigadier-General of the 22nd Brigade. (Recorded in Minute Book 2, pg. 65, March 25, 1822.) During the War of 1812, Elisha served as Colonel of the 120th Regiment, Thirteenth Brigade, Third Division. While his regiment was not called into service under his command, recruits were drawn from it, both for infantry and cavalry service. Detachments from the 120th Regiment saw active service in the defense of Fort Meigs in Ohio, and along the Atlantic seaboard.

As an early county "Gentlemen Justice", Elisha served longer nearly 40 years) than any other member of the County Court. He was presiding justice of the court at the time of his death and in a special testimonial court order, other court members expressed their regret and condolences. "We, the members of this court take great pleasure in bearing testimony to the uniform, independent and gentlemanly deportment of the deceased and the kind, courteous and affable conduct in all the various relations of his life." He was a member of the first court of Cabell Co. He, also, was a teacher, lawyer and farmer.

Elisha was appointed Trustee in 1812 to the Greenbrier Military School by Act of the Legislator of the State of Virginia. West Virginia had not been formed at that time. Also, he was appointed as member of the committee to locate the Courthouse at Barboursville. Later, his son, William, was appointed to design and layout the Courthouse at Barboursville. (This information was taken from court records by Morris Purdy Shawkey, for publication in the History of West Virginia.)

The Barboursville Brick Yard, the Knob Hill Golf Course and the State Farm are all the original property owned by Brig. Gen. Elisha McComas. His son William's house still stands at the end of Peyton Street in Barboursville, near the golf course. (Note: this house was burned down in 1997.)

Elisha and Annie are buried in the Elisha McComas Family Cemetery, located on private property in the center of a field under a large elm tree on Midkiff Road, one mile south of State Hwy. 10 in Salt Rock, Cabell Co., W.Virginia.

NOTE: According to research material written by Mary McKendree Johnson (daughter of Irene Octavia McComas McKendree), the father of Elisha was John (the Elder) McComas. This information is found in an article entitled, "McComas Material" by James E. Phipps, D.D.S., which is at the University of Marshall in Huntington, W.Va. Basically, the information agrees with the information I read in the "Ward Book" by Norris Wayne Jackson. The major difference is the reference to Gen. Elisha McComas's parents. I have gone with the lineage in the Ward Book, naming David and Catherine Burk McComas as the parents of Elisha McComas. There is the possibility that John (the Elder) also carries the name of David (John David as indicated by some researchers). Until I have an opportunity to discover otherwise, I'll leave David and Catherine as the direct ancestors of Elisha McComas.

Reached the rank of Brigadier General in the War of 1812, having organized his own military unit. In the early 1800s he moved to what is now Cabell County (but was then Montgomery County, Virginia) and helped organize the new County of Cabell. He had two sons who voted during the Virginia secession vote; one voted for secession and one voted against. Another son who organized the Civil War unit called "McComas's Artillery" in Giles County, Virginia, was killed in battle. Another son served as a doctor in the same unit as his brother who was killed. Another son became the editor of a Chicago newspaper.

"Minutes of the Circuit Court of Cabell, Virginia from 1809 to 1863"

by R. S. Douthat, County Court Clerk of Cabell County, West Virginia

Vol. 3/page 88: February 25, 1828-John Plymale, Elisha McComas, Benjamin Drown, John Hannon, William Fullerton, Thomas Kilgore, Levi McCormaic, William Spurlock, Patric Keenen, Frederick Moore, Andrew Barrett, William Brumfield, William Buffington and Abia Rece, Justices held court.

Vol. 3/page 261: May 23, 1831-A court was held. Present was John Plymale, Benjamin Drown, Elisha McComas and John Everett, Jr., Justices.

-------------------- Notes:

   From rootsweb, Paul and Coleen Keenan Genealogy:
   "General Elisha McComas reached the rank of Brigadier General in the War of 1812, having organized his own military unit. In the early 1800s he moved to what is now Cabell County (but was then Montgomery County, Virginia) and helped organize the new County of Cabell. He had two sons who voted during the Virginia secession vote; one voted for secession and one voted against. Another son who organized the Civil War unit called "McComas's Artillery" in Giles County, Virginia, was killed in battle. Another son served as a doctor in the same unit as his brother who was killed. Another son became the editor of a Chicago newspaper."
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General Elisha McComas's Timeline

1775
March 26, 1775
Fincastle County, Province of Virginia, (Present USA)
1792
January 3, 1792
Age 16
Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
1795
1795
Age 19
Cabell Co., West Virginia
1796
1796
Age 20
Montgomery Co., Virginia
1796
Age 20
Montgomery, Virginia, United States
1799
July 5, 1799
Age 24
Montgomery Co., Virginia
1801
June 5, 1801
Age 26
Giles Co., Virginia
1805
January 26, 1805
Age 29
Cabell Co., West Virginia
1805
Age 29
1810
1810
Age 34