|Birth: ||Dec. 25, 1798|
|Death: ||Jan. 21, 1876|
"Probably no man was better known in North Indiana, because of his religious and charitable character…and no man more esteemed. He was born in that grand old mother of States, Virginia, on December 25, 1798." —Pictorial and Biographical Record of La Porte. Porter, Lake and Starke Counties, Indiana (1894), p. 369.
When Lewis was two or three years old, his parents, Samuel and Elizabeth (Pence) Comer, were part of a group of pre-destinarian Baptists who moved from their home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to Fairfield County, Ohio. There they founded the Pleasant Run Church for which his father served as clerk. By 1820, most of the family had moved on to Union County, Ohio, where Lewis, at the age of twenty-one, bought an eighty acre tract which he held for ten years. He apparently did not spend the ten years there. Lewis joined the movement, started around 1800, to re-establish the simplicity of the original church of Christ. He was in eastern Ohio in Columbiana County when he was ordained in 1823. For most of the 1820s, he traveled with others over Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, preaching the gospel, speaking out against slavery.
Lewis Comer may have met his life companion in Stark County, Ohio. The John Baum family had been living in the vicinity of Paris Township of Stark County since before 1820. Circa 1829 John Baum and his family moved to St. Joseph County in the Territory of Michigan, and it is said that it was there, at White Pigeon Creek, on May 3, 1830, that Lewis Comer, 31, and John Baum's daughter, Catharine, 23, were married. Lewis and Catharine were back in Stark County, Ohio when the 1830 federal census was taken. Their first child, Rebecca, was born in Ohio on March 11, 1831, and seven months later, they returned through the forests on horseback to Michigan. Catharine's and Lewis's next two children were born in Michigan, Samuel on October 20, 1832 and Josephus on August 26, 1834.
In October of 1835, Lewis Comer acquired a land patent for 160 acres on Morgan Prairie in Porter County, Indiana. He was the first minister to come to northern Indiana. As the pioneers began setting up the governmental structures in 1836, Lewis Comer, by unanimous vote, became one of the first justices of the peace, and was drawn to serve as one of the first petit jurymen. Lewis farmed to support his family as ministers received no pay in those days. Lewis Comer's granddaughter wrote that her grandmother said that in those early days, he would lie on the floor at noontide, read his Bible and prepare his sermons while his oxen ate and rested from the morning's work in the field. On May 10, 1842, Catharine gave birth to twins, Henrietta and William Henry Comer. The Comers sixth and last child, Cytheria G., was born July 8, 1848.
While continuing to farm and preach in Porter County, Lewis was frequently away organizing and giving support to churches. Even after he was 70 years old, he still traveled very far on horseback. Father Comer, as he came to be called, passed away on January 21, 1876, at the age of 77. Part of his obituary says, "His memory will not soon fade from the minds of those in Northern Indiana who knew him, and the church in Morgan Prairie will long remember his faithful ministrations and tender exhortations, while innumerable communities will not soon forget how they were in the early days wont to gather in the cabins and hear the words of wisdom that fell from his lips."
Catharine Baum Comer (1807 - 1894)*
Samuel Comer (1832 - 1863)*
Josephus Comer (1834 - 1903)*
William H. Comer (1841 - 1872)*
Henrietta Comer Fisher (1842 - 1914)*
Cytheria Comer Stoddard (1848 - 1895)*
Will E. Comer (1868 - 1951)*
Note: His gravestone inscription includes the title, Elder, the term used in the Christian Church for the person chosen by the congregation to perform ministerial functions and pastoral duties.
Maintained by: jcrow
Originally Created by: Larry Benner
Record added: Jul 11, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14893795