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Edward Combs
and Jane Williams

Edward Combs b 25 Mar 1855 Letcher Co KY d by lynching 28 Mar 1883 Letcher Co KY; s/o Russell Hacker Combs and Leodicia Dicy Polly. Edward Combs m. Jane Williams. Children of Edward Combs and Jane Williams;

1. Billy Combs (m) b 11 Jun 1877 Letcher Co KY d 5 Sept 1944

2. Lettie Combs b 1879 Letcher Co KY; m. Alex Venters. Lettie Combs m. Sam Williams.

Edward Combs and
Mary Jane Bates

Edward Combs b 25 Mar 1855 Letcher Co KY d by lynching 28 Mar 1883 Letcher Co KY s/o Russell Hacker Combs and Leodicia Dicy Polly.  Edward Combs m. Mary Jane Bates. (Source). Child of Edward Combs and Mary Jane Bates;

3. Washington Russell (Wash) Bates b 8 Jun 1883 d 7 Dec 1973.

The Lynching of Edward Combs

The Lynching of Edward Combs: Edward Combs was involved in a shooting incident that took the life of a cousin, William Polly. Edward Combs was charged with the murder of William Polly. (Source). Edward was arrested and held in jail in Whitesburg, KY. A mob of masked men took him by force from the Whitesburg jail on the night of 28 May 1883 and hung him.

Mae Frazier ("A Combs Family") identifies the location of the hanging as on College Hill behind Lewis Wholesale; however, family members have long identified the site as near the stone bridge across the Kentucky River into the Upper Bottom section of Whitesburg.

Edward Combs was hanged on May 28, 1883. He was taken from Whitesburg jail to the location you described and hanged from a tree. The man he killed was William Polly. He and William Polly were cousins and they were drinking. They began to argue and this escalated into an altercation during which guns were drawn and fired. This altercation resulted in the death of William Polly. From what I understand it was not so much a murder as a killing that resulted from a fight that got out of hand.

Another Version of Edward's lynching (source):
According to tradition, Edward was involved in some type of feud. He was shooting from an upstairs window and one of his own group of men, (his cousin William Polly) who had been with him, went downstairs without Edward knowing it. Edward shot and killed him. He hid out for a few days because his men were so mad at him, but was arrested and taken to jail in Whitesburg, (Letcher Co KY). A short time later a group of his own comrades went to the jail, shot off the jail door, went in, got Edward, and hanged him on College Hill in Whitesburg, (Letcher Co KY) just back of the Lewis Wholesale Building.

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