Partner Joel A. Cumback, buried together
Columbia State Historic Park, 11255 Jackson St, Columbia, CA 95310, Stati Uniti
Joel A. Cumback (1827 - June 5, 1857) and Jacob R. Giddis (1833 - June 28, 1861) are buried in the public cemetery of the historical town of Columbia, California, with matching headstones. Cumback died before Giddis, and Giddis erected the first headstone for his friend; when Giddis was murdered four years later, he was laid to rest near Cumback. Due to the historical importance of the headstones, they were included in the Historic American Buildings Survey in the 1930s.
Joel A. Cumback was born on 1827 in Chester Township, New Jersey, the son of Abraham Cumback (d. 1832) and Phebe Horton (d. 1844). Before moving to California with Giddis, Cumback was a dairyman and lived with his sister, Lydia Ann Cumback (1822-1852) married to Nathaniel C. Horton.
Jacob R. Giddis was born on 1833 in Randolph, New Jersey, the son of Azariah Giddis (d. 1861), a farmer, and Sarah Giddis (d. 1853). He attended school in Randolph in the 1850s.
Cumback and Giddis were mining partners in Columbia, California. Considering that Chester and Randolph are less than 20 miles apart, it's likely that Cumback and Giddis moved together to California. Cumback died on June 5, 1857, and his tombostone reads: "Joel A. Cumback, formerly of Chester, Morris County, New Jersey, Died June 5, 1857, Aged 30 years. Erected by his friend Jacob R. Giddis." After the death of Cumback, Giddis abandoned the mining business and went to work for the Tuolumne County Water Company. On June 28, 1861, he was murdered and his body was found at the reservoir near Strawberry. His tombstone, next to Cumback, reads: "Jacob R. Giddis, Aged 28 Y’s, Murdered on or about the 28 th day of June, 1861."