Frank Coombs (politician)

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Frank Coombs
Frank Leslie Coombs.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1901 – March 3, 1903
Preceded byJohn All Barham
Succeeded byJames Gillett
United States Minister to Japan
In office
June 13, 1892 – July 14, 1893
PresidentBenjamin Harrison
Grover Cleveland
Preceded byJohn Franklin Swift
Succeeded byEdwin Dun
28th Speaker of the California State Assembly
In office
January 1897 - March 1897
Preceded byJohn C. Lynch
Succeeded byHoward E. Wright
In office
January 1891 - March 1891
Preceded byRobert Howe
Succeeded byFrank H. Gould
Member of the California State Assembly from the 22nd, 18th, and 11th districts
In office
In office
In office
In office
In office
Personal details
Frank Leslie Coombs

(1853-12-27)December 27, 1853
Napa, California, U.S.
DiedOctober 5, 1934(1934-10-05) (aged 80)
Napa, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican

Frank Leslie Coombs (December 27, 1853 – October 5, 1934) was an American lawyer and politician who served one term as a congressman from California from 1901 to 1903.


Frank Leslie Coombs was born in Napa, California, the son of Nathan Coombs and Maria Isabel Gordon. His maternal grandparents were William Gordon (who was a naturalized Mexican citizen originally from Ohio) and Juana Maria Lucero (who was Mexican).[1] Coombs attended the public schools in California and Dorchester High School in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from the law department of Columbian University (now George Washington University Law School), Washington, D.C., in 1875. Coombs was admitted to the bar in 1875 and commenced practice in Napa. He was the District Attorney of Napa County from 1880 to 1885.

Coombs was a member of the California State Assembly, serving from 1887 to 1893 and 1897 to 1899, each time representing Napa County, and served as Speaker in 1891 and again in 1897. On the death of John F. Swift, he was appointed United States Minister to Japan and served from June 1892 to August 1893. He was the State Librarian of California from April 1, 1898 to April 1, 1899. Coombs was the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California from April 1, 1899 to March 1, 1901.

Coombs was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1901 to March 3, 1903) from the 1st congressional district of California. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1902 in his redrawn district, which had been renumbered as the 2nd congressional district, losing by 49.2% to 48.3% to Democrat Theodore A. Bell. Coombs resumed the practice of law in Napa, and was again a member of the State Assembly from 1921 to 1931,[2] representing Napa and Lake counties. He died in Napa at age 80, and was buried in Tulocay Cemetery.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Genealogy of the Gordon Family. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  2. ^ Vassar & Meyers. "Frank L. Coombs". JoinCalifornia. JoinCalifornia. Retrieved 6 January 2023.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Henry A. Pellet
California State Assemblyman, 22nd District
Succeeded by
Eben B. Owen
Preceded by
Robert Howe
Speaker of the California State Assembly
January 1891 – March 1891
Succeeded by
Frank H. Gould
Preceded by California State Assemblyman, 18th District
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Bismarck Bruck
California State Assemblyman, 11th District
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by United States Representative for the 1st District of California
Succeeded by