Saturday, April 20, 2019

Samuel B. Cobb (1816-1887)

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At the time of the 1850 US Federal Census Samuel B. Cobb was living in the Caswell County home of his mother Nancy Jennings Cobb. His younger brother John Wilson Cobb also was part of the household. Both brothers listed their occupation as "Negro Trader." Their father, Joseph Littleton Cobb had died in 1827. Another brother, Henry Wellington Cobb, was living next door.

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In 1851 Samuel B. Cobb married Elizabeth C. Burton, daughter of Henry A. Burton and Nancy Graves Slade. By the time of the 1860 US Federal Census the couple had moved to the Oregon Hill Community in northern Rockingham County, North Carolina, and were engaged in farming. The couple had no children. Personal property owned was valued at $19,000. Before the Civil War this usually indicated substantial slave ownership. Real estate was valued at $5,860.
As with many slave owners the value of Samuel B. Cobb's personal property was greatly reduced by the enumeration of the 1870 US Federal Census. Samuel and Elizabeth (Bettie) Burton Cobb still had no children and apparently still lived on the same land in northeast Rockingham County, North Carolina. However, it now was called Oregonville, but eventually became Ruffin Township. Personal property was valued at $1,000; real property at $4,000. Included in the household were eight-year-old Nancy Gunn and two black domestic servants: Lucy Cobb; and Thomas Slade.

We know from the 1874 postal card that Samuel B. Cobb was living in the Purley Community of northern Caswell County, North Carolina. What his business was with J. W. Mimms (apparently of Pelham, Caswell County, North Carolina) is not known. When the Cobbs moved from Rockingham County is not known. At the time of the 1880 US Federal Census they were shown as farming in Dan River Township, Caswell County, North Carolina (which includes the Purley Community).

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When Samuel B. Cobb died is not known. However, his estate was administered in 1887. There are no census records for 1890, and Elizabeth C. (Bettie) Burton Cobb was 75 and a widow when the 1900 US Federal Census was taken. Thus, Samuel B. Cobb died between 1880 and 1900. In 1900, Bettie Burton Cobb was operating a boarding house in Dan River Township, Caswell County, North Carolina, possibly in the same Purley house in which she and Samuel B. Cobb had lived before his death. Her boarders were: George H. Gunn (26); Mary F. Gunn (27); Henry A. Gunn (3); William H. Gunn (1); Fannie A. Ware (72); and Jno. L. Duninvant (29). Note: Fannie A. Ware is a sister of Bettie Burton Cobb and apparently helped operate the boarding house. George Henry Lee Gunn is a nephew of Bettie Burton Cobb.

When Bettie Burton Cobb died is not known.

The J. W. Mims who sent the 1874 postal card to Samuel B. Cobb may be John Wright Mims, Jr. (1823-1900). At the time of the 1870 US Federal Census Mims was a farmer living in Pelham Township, Caswell County, North Carolina. He apparently was married twice: first to Martha Neal Hatchett (1828-1851); and second to Martha Ann Burns (1832-1898). As Martha Neal Hatchett died only one year after being wed it is possible that she died in childbirth. Some researchers show a daughter born in 1851 named Sue Mims, but without supporting documentation.

John Wright Mims, Jr., quickly remarried (June 11, 1852), which may indicate the need for a "mother" to care for an infant.

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