Linah Mims Cobb1,2,3

ID# 1713, (abt 1838 - 1904)
FatherRobert Livingston Cobb4,5,6 (6 Oct 1805 - Jun 1873)
MotherCornelia Barbour Mims7,5,6 (1816 - 31 May 1875)

Key Events:

Birth: about 1838, Eddyville, Caldwell Co., Kentucky8,9,10
Death: 21 Apr 1904, Paducah, McCracken Co., Kentucky4
Burial: Riverview Cemetery, Eddyville, Kentucky11
ChartsDescendants of Linah and Rebeccah (Davis) Mims
Descendants of Gideon Cobb
AncestryThe Linah Mims - Rebecca Davis Family
The Cobbs of Pawlet, Vermont

Copyright Notice

Narrative:

     Linah Mims Cobb was born about 1838 in Eddyville, Caldwell Co., Kentucky.8,9,10
     He was probably one of the three males under age 5 listed in the household of his father, Robert Livingston Cobb, in the 1840 Federal Census of Caldwell Co., Kentucky.12
     He appeared on the 1850 Federal Census of Trigg Co., Kentucky, in the household of Marcus Marcellus Tyler and Sarah Jane Mims, his mother's sister and her husband, enumerated 2 Aug 1850.13 He also appeared on the 1850 Federal Census of Caldwell Co., Kentucky, in the household of his parents, Robert Livingston Cobb and Cornelia Barbour Mims, enumerated 13 Sep 1850. Since his parents' household was enumerated over a month after his aunt and uncle's, perhaps he had moved back home. Or it may be that both households thought of him as living with them.14,15
     He attended Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, where he was a sophomore in 1857-1858. He was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He evidently did not graduate.16,17
     He appeared on the 1860 Federal Census of Eddyville, Lyon Co., Kentucky, in the household of his parents.18,19

R L Cobb & Sons --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---


     With his brothers focused on mills and the iron business, Linah's father maintained the family mercantile business in Eddyville founded by his father.20,21,22 Linah and his brothers Robert and Joshua joined their father in the family business as they came of age. It is not clear just when each joined the firm, but all were participating by 1859. The firm was then called R L Cobb & Sons.23,24,25 Robert withdrew from the partnership 1 Jul 1861, leaving Linah, Joshua and their father operating the business.26
     Linah and his brother Joshua registered for the draft for the Civil War, appearing on the register dated in Jul 1863, while living in Lyon Co., Kentucky, reporting they were both merchants.27 According to his obituary Linah served in the Confederate army, then moved to Paducah at the close of the War. However, no records of his service have been found. When he registered in 1863 he was shown with no prior service.4

The Family Business Collapses --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---


     The Civil War left the family in "much reduced circumstances," to use a phrase popular at the time. Robert was an ardent secessionist in a neutral state. He sold some of his holdings to invest in Confederate bonds, and lost much of the rest through failures brought on by the war.28
     On 29 Feb 1868 Linah and Joshua filed nearly identical petitions of bankruptcy at the U.S. District Court in Paducah. They reported that the firm owed debts of $38,600, including $2,220 due on accounts to 12 farmers and $3,600 due on accounts to other merchants, all apparently suppliers to their mercantile business. In addition they reported $17,800 in notes due 50 individuals and firms, and $15,000 due the Commercial Bank of Kentucky. While a few notes dated to 1859, the majority of the debts originated in 1866 and 1867, indicating that the firm had fallen into difficulty after the war. One note of interest was one for $225 borrowed 2 Oct 1867 from Robert's sister-in-law, Marina Turner Cobb, wife of his brother Joshua.29
     The firm's assets were listed as a 324½-acre parcel in Christian Co. valued at $500, notes written by 77 debtors with a total amount of $39,800, and 226 accounts due the firm totaling $30,600. On paper at least, the partnership was solvent, with over $110,000 in assets and less than $39,000 in debts. That probably explains why neither the firm itself nor their father filed for bankruptcy. Why Linah and Joshua did so is unclear. Neither showed other significant assets, but Linah owed the firm $10,700 and Joshua $5,800 on their personal accounts. Clearly some of the notes and accounts due the firm were uncollectable; as a beginning those owing 17 of the 226 accounts due were deceased, and the addresses of 33 more were unknown. If we assume only half of the notes and accounts due the firm could be collected, each partner's share would be worth around $5,500, less than what either owed.30 (For further details of the bankruptcy proceeding see the extracted Case Files.)
     Still, it appears Linah may have somehow retained some property in Lyon Co.. On 5 Apr 1869 he and several others granted right of way to the Elizabethton & Paducah Rail Road Co. across unspecified lands owned by each of them.31
     The financial picture apparently was bleaker than portrayed by these filings. On 28 Dec 1867 the Lyon Circuit Court issued a writ against the estates of Robert, Linah, and Joshua for $600, with interest from 26 Nov 1867 and costs of $23.40. As a result, the Cobb's brick ware house and lot on Water St. in Eddyville was sold at court house door on 24 Feb 1868. The purchaser was Willis Benson Machen, sometime business associate of the Cobbs, paying $600. A second writ was issued 26 Mar 1868 by Caldwell Circuit Court against the estates of the Cobbs and O. M. Jenkins, for $2219.10 with interest from 30 Nov 1867 and costs. It was levied on the same property, and the right of redemption was sold 27 Apr 1868 at the court house door. Machen again was the purchaser, paying an additional $2448.50. But before the deed was issued, Joshua supposedly paid Machen $3,600 (how did he have that sum of money?), and Machen had the deed issued in Joshua's name.32 The property was sold 17 Nov 1869 to Frederick Henry Skinner for $3,000. The deed was from both Joshua and Machen, suggesting some question about the validity of the prior sale.33
     The deed in this last sale identified the ware house as "now occupied by Cobb and Terry," suggesting that the Cobbs had taken on a new partner, although no other reference has been found to him. It is not clear which of the Cobbs were still involved in the business, if any. Joshua, at least, had already moved to Paducah.34
     After 1869 the Cobbs would appear to have had few, if any, assets left in the county. The Lyon Circuit Court issued two writs 24 Jan 1868, one in favor of Garret Gray against Thomas P. Paine, O. M. Jenkins, R. L. Cobb, and W. B. Machen, the other in favor of John Gallatly against Thomas P. Paine and L. M. Cobb. They were levied on the property of Paine, not the Cobbs.35

Moving to Paducah --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---


     He moved to Paducah, with his parents about 1870.36,37 He appeared on the 1870 Federal Census of Paducah, McCracken Co., Kentucky, in the household of his parents.38
     After his sister Bobella was widowed in Hawaii, he went there to assist her. He arrived in Honolulu 25 Nov 1873, aboard the bark Comet from San Francisco.39 He returned with her, her two young daughters, and a nurse, departing Honolulu 27 Dec 1873 bound for San Francisco aboard the bark D. C. Murry.40,41,42
     Linah was described in his obituary as well known river man, a steamboat clerk on various steamers coming into Paducah. He was said to be an expert accountant, thus especially qualified for this work.4,43
     He was reported to have started his riverboat career on the Minnetonka in 1861. If so, other interests seem to have interfered until about 1869, when he was clerk of the Armada, running between Paducah and Nashville. In the summer of 1870 he was clerk of the Alpha, which advertised in Nashville regular Monday packet service for passengers and freight to Cairo, St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans. By 1874 he was clerk of the new steamer Bolivar H. Cooke, which advertised the same route.44,45
     He apparently took time out from river work for a period. He as shown as a station agent for the C. & S. W. R. R. (perhaps the Chesapeake, Ohio and Southwestern Railroad sucessor to the Paducah and Elizabethtown Railroad) in Paducah from 1876 to 1883.46,47
     He appeared on the 1880 Federal Census of Paducah, McCracken Co., Kentucky, at Market St., enumerated 7 Jun 1880, where he seems to have been rooming with William G. Bullets, a lawyer.48
     On 8 Jul 1885 Linah was the clerk on the steamer Gus Fowler operating between Paducah and Cairo, Illinois. As the boat approached Metropolis, Illinois a man on the river bank fired five shots at the boat. The second hit Linah in the breast. Newspapers reported it the wound "will probably prove fatal," but he did survive. J. W. Hedges was arrested for the crime.49
     He was a deputy in the County Clerk's office in 1901.50
     He never married.4
     Linah died on 21 Apr 1904 in Paducah, McCracken Co., Kentucky.4 He was buried in Eddyville, Kentucky, probably in the Cobb plot in Riverview Cemetery, although no stone for him has been found there.11

Citations

  1. [S8316] Fisher, Catalogue of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, pg 939, shows name as Linah Mims Cobb.
  2. [S3235] Obituary for Mrs. Cornelia B. Cobb, unknown newspaper, 2 Jun 1875, shows name as Linah M. Cobb.
  3. [S569] M. M. Tyler household, 1850 U.S. Census, Trigg Co., Kentucky, shows name as Linah M. Cobb.
  4. [S2743] "Death Claimed Capt. Linah Cobb," The Paducah Sun, 21 Apr 1904.
  5. [S1820] Robert L. Cobb household, 1850 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, shows them in same household, appearing to be parent and child.
  6. [S1811] Robert L. Cobb household, 1860 U.S. Census, Lyon Co., Kentucky, shows them in same household, appearing to be parent and child.
  7. [S3235] Obituary for Mrs. Cornelia B. Cobb, unknown newspaper, 2 Jun 1875.
  8. [S1820] Robert L. Cobb household, 1850 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, shows age 12, county, and state.
  9. [S569] M. M. Tyler household, 1850 U.S. Census, Trigg Co., Kentucky, shows age 12, and state.
  10. [S2743] "Death Claimed Capt. Linah Cobb," The Paducah Sun, 21 Apr 1904, shows age 66 at death 21 Apr 1904, town, and county, as Lyon.
  11. [S2743] "Death Claimed Capt. Linah Cobb," The Paducah Sun, 21 Apr 1904, shows he would be buried in Eddyville.
  12. [S1795] R. L. Cobb household, 1840 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky.
  13. [S569] M. M. Tyler household, 1850 U.S. Census, Trigg Co., Kentucky.
  14. [S1820] Robert L. Cobb household, 1850 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky.
  15. [S1745] Robert L. Cobb, owner, 1850 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, slave schedule.
  16. [S8315] Catalogue of Cumberland University.
  17. [S8316] Fisher, Catalogue of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, pg 939, shows no degree or graduation date.
  18. [S1811] Robert L. Cobb household, 1860 U.S. Census, Lyon Co., Kentucky.
  19. [S1675] Robert L. Cobb, owner, 1860 U.S. Census, Lyon Co., Kentucky, slave schedule.
  20. [S1795] R. L. Cobb household, 1840 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, shows the only person employed, apparently Robert, as employed in commerce.
  21. [S1820] Robert L. Cobb household, 1850 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, shows occupation as merchant.
  22. [S1811] Robert L. Cobb household, 1860 U.S. Census, Lyon Co., Kentucky, shows occupation as merchant.
  23. [S3265] R. Cobb, bankruptcy, Schedule A-3, shows debt created in 1859 by R L Cobb & Sons, and that Robert and R L Cobb, L M Cobb, and J C Cobb were doing business as a partnership.
  24. [S3266] J. C. Cobb, bankruptcy, Schedule A-3, shows debt created in 22 Aug 1859 by R L, L M, and JC Cobb, firm of R L Cobb & Sons.
  25. [S1950] Battle, Perrin and Kniffin, Kentucky - A History of the State, pg 291, shows Joshua's first venture was with his father in Eddyville, where he engaged in the tobacco trade.
  26. [S3265] R. Cobb, bankruptcy, Schedule A-3.
  27. [S7790] J. C. Cobb and L. M. Cobb, Civil War Draft Registrations Records.
  28. [S3064] Lawson, Irvin S. Cobb, pg 2.
  29. [S3266] J. C. Cobb, bankruptcy, petition; Schedule A-3, unsecured debts.
  30. [S3266] J. C. Cobb, bankruptcy, petition; Schedule B, assets.
  31. [S3152] Lyon Co. Deeds, D:331-2, L. M. Cobb, O. M. Jenkins agent for James Doom, H. M. Hensen, Joshua Blaud and M. D. Lerey to Elizabethton & Paducah Rail Road Co., 3 Feb 1871.
  32. [S3152] Lyon Co. Deeds, D:40-3, John Boyd, late sheriff Lyon Co. to Joshua C. Cobb, 26 Jul 1869; and D:96-8, Joshua C. Cobb and Willis B. Machen to Frederick H. Skinner, shows Machen had sold to Joshua C Cobb for $3600 on 23 Jul 1869 and directed sheriff to make the deed to Cobb, 18 Nov 1869.
  33. [S3152] Lyon Co. Deeds, D:96-8, Joshua C. Cobb and Willis B. Machen to Frederick H. Skinner, 18 Nov 1869.
  34. [S3152] Lyon Co. Deeds, D:96-8, Joshua C. Cobb of Paducah and Willis B. Machen to Frederick H. Skinner, 18 Nov 1869.
  35. [S3152] Lyon Co. Deeds, D:134-5, John Boyd, former sheriff Lyon Co. to W. B. Machen, for lots no. 16 nd 17 in Eddyville were Thomas P. Paine lived, a vacant lot back of the drug store of Bowman & Smith, and 2 ac on bank of Cumberland River, all owned by Paine, 26 Feb 1870.
  36. [S1042] Connelley and Coulter, History of Kentucky, pg 497, shows year, as 1870.
  37. [S628] Robert L. Cobb household, 1870 U.S. Census, McCracken Co., Kentucky, shows occupation as retired merchant.
  38. [S628] Robert L. Cobb household, 1870 U.S. Census, McCracken Co., Kentucky.
  39. [S8321] Comet arrival 25 Nov 1873, Records of Passenger Arrivals and Departures.
  40. [S3009] Saunders, "Terry  Re: Saunders genealogy," e-mail to author, 3 Jul 2009, shows she returned to the US shortly after his death with her children an the nurse.
  41. [S1073] "John Bartlett Saunders", shows death date and his daughter Laura was born posthumously.
  42. [S8322] D. C. Murray departure 27 Dec 1873, Records of Passenger Arrivals and Departures.
  43. [S1811] Robert L. Cobb household, 1860 U.S. Census, Lyon Co., Kentucky, shows occupation as clerk.
  44. [S8318] News item, Clarksville Weekly Chronicle, 25 Jul 1885, shows started on Minnetonka, then on Armada and route.
  45. [S8319] Classified ad, New Advertisments, Republican Banner, 12 May 1874.
  46. [S8316] Fisher, Catalogue of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, pg 939.
  47. [S1667] William G. Bullets household, 1880 U.S. Census, McCracken Co., Kentucky, shows occupation as "R Road clerk."
  48. [S1667] William G. Bullets household, 1880 U.S. Census, McCracken Co., Kentucky.
  49. [S8317] "A Desperado's Fatal Shot," Harrisburg Daily Independent, 9 Jul 1885.
  50. [S8320] News item, The Paducah Sun, 3 Oct 1901.