Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
Of the several distinct families of New England origin bearing this surname, none is larger in point of numbers or more productive of distinguished men that that which claims as its progenitor Elder Henry Cobb, of Barnstable, Mass. He is believed to have come from the county of Kent, in England; and it has been claimed by one genealogist, apparently without documentary evidence, that he was connected with the landed family of the same surname which then had its seat at Cobbe Court in that county. There does seem reason, however, to assert that he became a Separatist in early youth, and was a member of the much persecuted congregation to which Rev. John Lothrop ministered in London before crossing the Atlantic.
(I) Henry Cobb was living at Plymouth, Mass. in 1632, at Scituate in 1633, and settled finally in Barnstable in 1639, where he died in 1679. In 1634 he and his wife were dismissed from the Plymouth church, and became, with others, original members of the church at Scituate. Here he was chosen a deacon in 1635, and town historian records that "he was a useful and valuable man." At Barnstable, whither he removed with his pastor, Rev. John Lothrop, he was senior deacon or ruling elder for forty-four years. He built two houses on his home lot of seven acres, the first apparently for temporary occupancy, the second of stone, as a place of refuge from the Indians, should they prove hostile. His "great lot" of sixty acres was especially adapted for grazing, and was simply sufficient for the "one cowe and two goates to him in hand payd by manasseth Kempton" in partial return for his lands at Scituate. He also had two lots in the "common field" occupied for planting lands. He was a town officer, and a member of its most important committees, and a deputy to the colony court in 1645-47-52-59-60-61.
He married (first) Patience Hurst, who died in May, 1648; and (second) Sarah, daughter of Samuel Hinckley, whose death occurred shortly after his own.
Children by 1st wife:
John, James, Mary, Hannah, Patience, Gershom and Eliezer.
Children by 2d wife:
Samuel, Jonathan, Sarah, Henry, Mehitable, Experience besides two that died in infancy.
(II) Jonathan, son of Elder Henry and Sarah (Hinckley) Cobb, was born April 10, 1660, at Barnstable, Mass. He married March 1, 1682-83, Hope, widow of John Huckings, and daughter of Elder John Chipman. In 1703 he removed to Middleborough, Mass., and thence to Falmouth Neck, now Portland, Maine.
Samuel, Jonathan, Ebenezer, Joseph, Lydia and Gershom.
(III) Samuel, son of Jonathan and Hope (Chipman) Cobb, was born April 6, 1686, at Barnstable, Mass. He married Abigail Stuart, at Middleborough, Mass., and removed to Maine in 1717, and built the second house at Purpooduck, opposite Falmouth Neck. The following year, however, he removed and made his home on what is now Congress street, near the head of India street. He was a ship carpenter, and was for many years an active and influential man in the affairs of the town, having sustained the offices of clerk, treasurer and selectman. He died in 1766.
Chipman, Ebenezer, Samuel, Peter, Hope and Hannah.
(IV) Samuel (2), son of Samuel (1) and Abigail (Stuart) Cobb, was born about 1720, and is referred to in Smith's Journal as Captain Cobb, evidently to distinguish him from his father, who was generally known as Deacon Cobb. Like him he was largely engaged in shipbuilding both at Portland and at what is now Falmouth. He and his wife, whose maiden name is believed to be Ingersoll, had two children:
Samuel and William.
(V) Samuel (3), son of Captain Samuel (2) Cobb, is the father of the Edward, Samuel and Francis Cobb who in February, 1806, conveyed to Jonathan Moody "part of our honored Grandfather, Samuel Cobb, late of Falmouth, home estate except one-half of the ship-yard given to our uncle William Cobb." They were joiners or housewrights, and united in other deeds of real estate in Portland.
(VI) Francis Cobb, believed to be the Francis mentioned above (the unfortunate destruction of the probate records of Cumberland county prevents a more definite assetion), married Jane, daughter of Captain Ambrose and Fanny (Campbell) Snow, of Thomaston. He was a ship joiner, and one of the first settlers at Cherryfield, Maine. He himself died at Boston in 1817.
Among his children were:
Mary and Francis.
(VII) Francis (2), son of Francis (1) and Jane (Snow) Cobb, was born Feb. 23, 1818, at Cherryfield, Maine. His father died a few weeks previous, leaving the family in narrow circumstances. The mother succeeded, however, in bringing up the children with the ordinary comforts and advantages of the time and place. After obtaining a common school education the youngest son was for two years in the family and store of Mr. Hawley, a merchant at Cherryfield, and then for a year with Mr. Morse, of Machias. The latter's kindness he never forgot, and would often recall the suit of broadcloth and fur hat which he received from him, despite his youth. In August, 1834, he became a clerk in the store of his uncle, Thomas A. Snow, at Thomaston, Maine, where he remained nearly four years. At this period Rockland was a small village known as East Thomaston. Here, a youth of only twenty, Mr. Cobb began business for himself in March, 1838, in a small store on the corner of Maine and Limerick streets. He soon sold out, and, entering into copartnership with I. K. Kimball, conducted for five years a general merchandise store, carrying the largest stock of goods in the place. He continued in the same line of business for twenty years, sometimes in partnership with others, sometimes alone. Meanwhile Rockland had been growing rapidly. It was set off from Thomaston in 1848, and became a city in 1850. Mr. Cobb was not only enterprising in business, but displayed wonderfully accurate judgments in investments. His ventures generally proved profitable and he accumulated property rapidly. His firm began to engage in the manufacture of lime and in shipbuilding. In 1859 the cutting of granite was added to its enterprises, and quarries were opened at Spruce Head. In 1871 the Bodwell Granite Company was formed, and Mr. Cobb became its treasurer. This company obtained valuable government contracts and also did a lucrative general business. In 1870 the Cobb Lime Company was formed, composed of the largest firms then engaged in the lime business. Mr. Cobb was the first president and held this office till his death. As early as 1845 he built his first vessel, the "Mary Langdon," which was still afloat and owned by him at the time of his decease. Under the firm name of Cobb, Butler & Company he was largely interested in the building, repairing and sailing of vessels. He was also president of the Rockland Savings Bank, a director in the Rockland National Bank and the Knox and Lincoln railroad.
In politics he was a Republican, and naturally exercised great influence. He was not, however, active in practical politics, and rarely would accept office for himself. He represented Rockland in the state legislature of 1860 and 1861, served as city councilman in 1865, as alderman in 1866-67-68, and 1870. He was a delegate to the Republican national conventions in 1876, 1880 and 1884, and a presidential elector in 1876. As a leader in great corporations and a potential factor in the political party dominant in the state, he was often the target for spirited if not bitter attacks, but no man ever breathed an aspersion or a suspicion against his personal character for integrity and honor. All accorded him the noble qualities, the intellectual force, and the sturdy manhood for which his long life in the community had revealed.
He died of paralysis, at Portland, Maine, Dec. 2, 1890.
Mr. Cobb married, Oct. 16, 1839, at Thomaston, Maine, Martha J., daughter of Dr. Chauncey C. and Lovisa (Miller) Chandler, who was born at Belfast, April 2, 1820, and died at Rockaldn, May 23, 1895.
1. Mary A. C., widow of E. P. Norton.
2. Captain Frank K., who commanded the bark "Jennie Cobb," and was lost at sea on its first voyage.
3. Lovisa H., wife of James S. Hanley, of San Francisco.
4. Maria F., wife of Louis T. Snow, of San Francisco.
5. Charles W. S., of St. Louis.
6. Jennie W., wife of A. W. Butler, of Rockland.
7. Maynard S., who died in infancy.
8. William T., mentioned below.
9. Martha F., who died Feb. 3, 1883.
10. Nathan F., of Rockland.
11. Lucius Edward, of Rockland.
(VIII) William Titcomb, son of Francis and Martha J. (Chandler) Cobb, was born July 23, 1857, at Rockland, Maine. He received his early education in the public schools of his native city, graduating at its high school in 1873. He pursued his college courses at Bowdoin, where, though one of the youngest members of the class, won reputation for excellence in English composition and was an editor of the undergraduate journal. Following his graduation in 1877 he studied at the Universities of Leipsic and Berlin for two years. Returning to America he was a student at the Harvard Law School for a year, continued his law studies with Messrs. Rice and Hall, of Rockland, and was admitted to the bar in December, 1880. He did not, however, engage in practice, preferring a business life, and entered at once the firm of Cobb, Wight & Company, wholesale and retail grocers. Subsequently he formed a partnership with his father for the manufacture of lime at Rockland; and, upon the latter's death, became president of the Cobb Lime Company, a position he held till the sale of this property to the Rockland-Rockport Lime Company in 1900. He is director in the Rockland National Bank, the Rockland Trust Company, the Camden and Rockland Water Company, and the Rockland, Thomaston & Camden Street Railway. He is a trustee of his alma mater, Bowdoin College, where in his undergraduate days he received from his classmates the "wooden spoon," the coveted emblem of the most popular man.
In 1889-90, Mr. Cobb served as a member of the executive council, and in 1904 was chosen governor of Maine. He was reelected in 1906 for a second term of two years. Whatever may have been said in the bitterness of political contests during the election period, the citizens of Maine now agree that not for half a century has any governor stood so strongly and so consistently for the enforcement of law, regardless of personal or party interests. His administration witnessed the passing of legislation enabling the state to prevent open nullification of its prohibitory law by local officials; the adoption of the referendum; the subsitution of salaries in places of fees in the case of most officials, and the establishment of a state auditor.
Governor Cobb married, June 14, 1882, Lucy Callie, only daughter of Dr. William A. and Mary A. (Tillson) Banks, of Rockland. Their two children are: Martha Banks and Anna West Cobb.
Dr. BANKS, a native of East Livermore, graduated at Jefferson Medical College in 1846, was commissioned surgeon of the Fourth Maine Infantry in 1861, and practiced his profession at Rockland, where he died in 1893. He was a descendant of the emigrant ancestor Richard Bankes, a prominent citizen of York, Maine, where he was a provincial councillor in 1651-52, selectman for seven years, trial justice in 1669, 1672 and 1679, and is belived to have perished in the Indian massacre of Jan. 26, 1692.