Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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HOLCOMBE, Amasa, manufacturer, born in that part of Granby, Connecticut, that now belongs to South-wick, Massachusetts, 18 June, 1787; died there, 27 February, 1875. He was a farmer's son, and received a district school education. In 1806 he made surveyors' compasses for his own use, and two years afterward began the compilation of almanacs, which he published for several years. Subsequently he taught surveying, civil engineering, and astronomy, and in 1826 adopted the profession of civil engineering. In 1828 he began to make telescopes, and until 1842 had no competitor in the United States. For his skill he received in 1835 the " Scott Legacy" from the city of Philadelphia, a silver medal from the Franklin institute in 1838, a gold medal from the American institute, New York, in 1839, and a diploma in 1840 from the same institute. He represented Southwick in the Massachusetts legislature for three years, and in 1852 was a member of the state senate. In 1837 he received the degree of A.M. from Williams. For over thirty years he was a licensed preacher in the Methodist church, and served the church in his town without salary.
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