biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
ANDREW J. COMSTOCK is a farmer and stock-raiser on section 32, Adams Township, now attached to Spring Creek Township. He was born in Butler County, Ohio, Oct. 30, 1828, and is a son of James T. and Sarah (Wilkins) Comstock. James T. Comstock was a native of Connecticut. His father came to Ohio among the first settlers of that State, and located at the city of Cincinnati; while it was yet a small trading-post on the frontier. He engaged in flat-boating, and generally made two trips each year to New Orleans, where, disposing of the produce with which his boats were laden, he brought back such commodities as were needed by the settlers in those days, his boats being brought up the stream again by keel tow-boats. James T. Comstock, the father of the subject of this sketch, in the year 1833, emigrated to Kosciusko County, Ind., and there built the first courthouse and jail, and the first mill ever erected in that county. He remained there nine years, and in the year 1842 came to Mahaska County, Iowa, and erected upon Skunk River what was afterward known as the Comstock Mill, which has since been torn down and removed to Oskaloosa, Iowa, and its timbers used in the construction of the building now owned and operated by the Oskaloosa Oat Mill Company. He was a member of the Legislature of Ohio, when the subject of this sketch was born, in 1828, in which office he served two terms, and after removiag to the State of Indiana, was elected one of the three Judges of the Supreme Court of that State, holding the office one term. As a public speaker, he was a man of fine ability and of established reputation in Ohio and Indiana. He was at one time Commander of the Ohio State Militia, and as a man enjoyed the respect and esteem of all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. He died in this township in the year 1846, his wife surviving him and residing with her son until her decease in 1882. The subject of this sketch, Andrew J. Comstock, was a soldier in the Mexican War, enlisting Oct. 15, 1846, in the 14th Kentucky Infantry, serving in that war until its close in 1849, returning after his discharge to his home and farm, where he remained until September, 1862. He organized a company of volunteers in Oskaloosa, which was accepted by the Government, and known as Co. C, 33d Iowa Vol. Inf. He was commissioned Captain of the company, and was its commander in all the battles of the regiment up to and including the battle at Jenkins' Ferry, where he received a severe gunshot wound, and was taken a prisoner by the enemy. The Captain was taken to Camdon, Ark., and held as a prisoner for six months, and was then sent under a flag of truce, to the Union lines, to be exchanged for an officer of equal rank. The exchange proving a failure he was paroled and sent to Gen. Steele's headquarters, where he was released and resigned his commission, and returned to his home. With the exception of two years, from 1874 to 1876, which the Captain spent at San Buenaventura, Cal., he has lived on his old homestead in this county. It was originally a squatter's claim, staked out by him in April, 1844, and when the land came into market, was entered by him on a land warrant calling for 160 acres, which warrant he received for his service in the Mexican War. He now owns altogether 300 acres of splendid land, all under fence, in an excellent state of cultivation and with first'class improvements. Upon the farm are two commodious and well arranged residences, three ample barns, and all the necessary out buildings and appurtenances, and a fine bearing orchard of 300 apple-trees. Capt. Comstock is one of the earliest settlers in this section of the State, and is a veteran of two wars, in both of which he was distinguished for coolness and courage under any and all circumstances. There is perhaps no man in Mahaska County more extensively known than Capt. Jack Comstock, and certainly none stand higher in the esteem of their fellow-citizens. In his political affiliations he is and always has been a Democrat. His distinguished military service is the amplest proof of his loyalty to the Government under which he lives; and the further fact that he is not an office-seeker, is evidence that he desires to avoid the turmoil and strife of political life, and enjoy his well-earned competence in the peaceful avocation of farming, in which he has been eminently successful.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy