The Whitcombe family's history in Davis began in 1934, when Harry J. Whitcombe moved to Davis to begin his career as a beekeeper. Harry's wife, Marie, also arrived in Davis in 1934 to attend UCD. When she met Harry, Marie was the gardens editor for Sunset Magazine, one of the first women in the United States to hold such a high-profile editorial position.
Harry, an outspoken person by nature, ran-for and was elected to the Davis City Council in 1954. He served on the City Council from 4/20/1954 to 4/20/1958. During World War II, Harry headed a successful program in conjunction with UCD to use active pollination to increase crop yields. Harry was later appointed to be the Davis Police Commissioner.
Harry and Marie married in 1935, and soon had three children, John, Nancy, and Kenny. In 1952, Harry and Marie built their home on Oak Avenue, then the "edge of town," and built the first privately-owned swimming pool in Davis.
The immigrant ancestor of the Whitcomb family was John Whitcomb, who married Frances Coggan, daughter of Henry Coggan of Taunton, Somersetshire, and settled in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Interestingly, the terminal "e" on the end of the family name seems to be a very recent addition. Harry J. Whitcome's father, Harry Lee C. Whitcomb of Wolsey, South Dakota (18861-1954), signed his name "Whitcomb" 2 and Harry J. Whitcombe was born "Harry J. Whitcomb" 3.
1. His WWI draft registration and California Death Index Summary give his date of birth as 13 July 1886; South Dakota Births, 1856-1903 gives it as 13 July 1887.
2. WWI draft registration card
3. California Birth Index Summary