The subject of this review is one of the well known and leading citizens of Nez Perces County, having been one of the active participants in improvement and advancement in its limits for a number of years. He is at the present time owner of a fine farm of one-half section in Tammy hollow where he also rents twelve hundred acres of grain land and operates with his own, being thus one of the largest farmers of the entire County. He has his estate improved in an up to date manner, and has the best of all kinds of machinery for its cultivation. Good buildings of all kinds needed are in evidence and in addition, Mr. Whitcomb has a fine eight room house and a large barn in Lewiston, corner of Eighth street and Eighth Avenue, where he resides during the school season.
James W. Whitcomb was born in Adams County, Illinois, on March 28, 1859, being the son of Emory Stratton and Rhoda (Beatty) Whitcomb. The father was born in 1819, at West Swanzy, Maine, and came as an early pioneer to Illinois, where he was married, his wife being a native of Illinois. He was a wool carder and a miller and wrought at his trades in Illinois.
In the spring of 1880, Mr. Whitcomb came to Walla Walla, leaving the parental roof and the old homestead of Illinois. One year later he was in Nez Perces County and there took government land which he still owns. Steadily and constantly has Mr. Whitcomb wrought in the goodly enterprise of producing the fruits of the field and building up the County and is deserving of great credit for his worthy labors.
On November 12, 1885, Mr. Whitcomb married Miss Sallie, daughter of James R. and Mary C. (Ruddell) Nelson, early pioneers of Nez Perces County. Six children have been born to this happy union, as follows, Marvin R., Mamie A., Homer E., Delia M., Lee V., Joseph M. Mr. Whitcomb is a member of the M. W. A., of Lewiston. Several years since, his parents came from Illinois and the father died here in September, 1899, but the mother died in August, 1889. Mrs. Whitcomb’s father is living in this County but her mother died on November 17, 1898.
Mr. Whitcomb is one of the substantial and reliable men of the County and has been very zealous and active in the cause of education and general progress. He and his estimable wife are worthy members of society and stand in high regard in the community.
Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903