Reverend W. B. COOMBE, pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, was born in 1858 in Cornwall, England. His parents, John and Elizabeth (Barlase) Coombe, were natives of the same section, and they now reside in Ontonagon County, Michigan, where they settled after coming to America, about the time of the Civil War. The father gained his mining experience in the tin mines of Cornwall, and came to America in order to find similar employment, under more favorable conditions, in the rich mineral country of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan. His family followed him at a later date. Although he has not been actively engaged for some 15 years, for a like period he served at Rockland and Greenland, as captain in various mines. Our subject has one sister, Ada L., who conducts a dry goods business at Ontonagon. Rev. Mr. Coombe was reared to manhood in Cornwall, England. He was educated at one of the best private schools in his native county, but of his theological training, excepting a few months in college, it may be said that this well read, intelligent and useful man, has practically educated himself, snatching rare vacations from work, and hours from needed sleep, in order to improve his mind. He learned the trade of blacksmith in early manhood, serving a full apprenticeship. In 1882 he came to the United States and worked for three years at his trade in Ontonagon, during this time, from the age of i6 years, holding religious services. In 1884 he entered the ministry, in answer to a call for missionaries in the home field, accepting work in the Territory of Montana. There he most acceptably filled charges at Glendive, for more than two years; three years at Livingston; four years at Great Falls; two years at Missoula; and one year at Phillipsburg. In 1896,  on account of ill health, he was transferred to the Detroit Conference and was stationed at Munising, Michigan, then a new town. There he was very actively engaged, securing lots, building a church and parsonage, and so encouraging religious effort, that he was retained by the good people of the place for three years, and was desired for another, but the conference then sent him to Calumet, Houghton County. Rev. Mr. Coombe has been equally successful in Calumet, has built up the church, pushed forward temperance work and has been a true leader and example for his people. One result of his efforts in this field has been the payment of the church debt. Rev. Mr. Coombe was married in England to Elizabeth J. Gay, who was born in Cornwall, and they have a family of four children: William J., a stenographer and bookkeeper; George Lloyd, Jesse and Phillip. As a Mason, Rev. Mr. Coombe has advanced to be a Knight Templar and a Shriner, being a member of Ahmed Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Marquette, Michigan.

Source: Biographical Record, Houghton, Baraga and Marquette Counties.  Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company, 1903.