Four of the sons of Gideon Dyer Cobb and Modena Chittenden Clark engaged in extensive business activities in Eddyville and the surrounding countryside. Gideon engaged in a variety of businesses from his earliest days in Eddyville. We have evidence that Robert joined his father's business at age 21, and we can assume that Caleb did before him.1 It appears that by the time of their father's death in 1834 the sons had taken over active management of the businesses. Gideon Jr. joined the family businesses in 1836, at the age of 18, and Giles joined them later.
Through a series of partnerships among themselves and with others they engaged in mercantile, real estate, mills, and iron businesses. Iron was a major business in Kentucky at the time; the state was the nation's third ranked producer in the 1830's.2
The four brothers involved were:
- Caleb, the oldest, born in 1797
- Robert, the second child, born in 1875
- Gideon Jr., the seventh child, born in 1817
- Giles, the youngest child, born in 1820
Their joint business ventures are described in this article. Each of them also engaged in a range of business activities on his own account, which are described in their individual stories. The remaining brother, Joshua, the fourth child, moved to Tennessee. He was not involved in these businesses, but was equally engaged, particuarly in the iron business, there.
Lyon & Cobb
By 1826 Caleb had formed a partnership with Chittenden Lyon, doing business as Lyon & Cobb. They described themselves as "partners in trade" in deeds, apparently engaged in other pursuits in addition to land.
In 1826 they purchased a lot and a half in Eddyville. In two transactions in 1828 they acquired land on Lick Creek in settlement of chancery suits they had won against the former owners. Details of the suits have not been found, but they would appear to be for collection of unpaid debts. In 1829 they sold 360 ac. on Lick Creek that would appear to be the property acquired in the suits. In 1838 they sold the lot in Eddyville. In 1841 Caleb sold his interest in the half lot to his cousin Frederick Skinner, who with Lyon, had erected a large brick building on it.3
Lyon, Cobb & Co.
By 1829, Caleb and Chittenden Lyon expanded their partnership to include Caleb's younger brother, Robert, now calling the partnership Lyon, Cobb & Co. The new partnership acquired property on the river, below Water St. and southeast of Main St., and built a 40 by 60-foot building on it by Jan 1834. By 1836 that building was expanded to a two-story brick structure 40 by 80 feet, which served as their store and ware house, apparently the base of their mercantile and trading business. That partnership ceased operations at the end of Jun 1836, when Robert took on new partners for the mercantile business, and Caleb and Lyon seem to have taken up other interests. Lyon sold his one-third interest in the property to Robert in Aug 1836, but Caleb kept his share until he began to dispose of most of his real estate in 1841. He sold his one-third interest to Robert in Jun 1841.4,5
Cobb & Machen
Caleb formed a separate partnership with Willis Benson Machen by late 1833 which appears to have been engaged primarily in the iron business. The partners, who in later deeds used the firm name Cobb & Machen, purchased seven parcels of land in Caldwell Co. between 1833 and 1838. Except for one lot in Eddyville, they were all tracts of land, totaling almost 3,300 acres, apparently purchased for iron ore and coal for iron making. They constructed Livingston Forge on the tract Caleb had purchased in Livingston Co. in 1822 and purchased another 517 acre tract in that county. Willis apparently left the iron business to take up mercantile interests about the end of this period.6,7,8 Caleb sold 226 acres of the a 517 acre tract in Livingston Co. that the partnership had purchased in 1837, to Theophilus Killen for $455.49
Cobb Gray & Bell
In Aug 1836 Robert formed a new partnership, with William Gray, David Bell, and his brother Gideon, who was just 18 years old. The partnership was known as Cobb, Gray & Bell. On 2 Aug 1836 Robert sold a one-third interest in the lot and building where the mercantile business was housed to Gray. It appears the firm operated solely as a mercantile business. No record of real estate transactions has been found. The partnership seems to have been dissolved with the departure of Gray between Jun 1838 and Jul 1840.9 Gray continued to hold his interest in the property until Jun 1846, when he sold it back to Robert.10
Cobb Bell & Co.
The partnership of Cobb, Gray & Bell was replaced by what turned out to be a short-lived partnership of the remaining partners, Robert, Gideon, and David R. Bell, using the name of Cobb Bell & Co. The first record that has been found of it is the $20,000 land purchase by the partnership from Caleb, the older brother of Robert, on 2 Aug 1841. The sale included 18 parcels containing over 4,628 acres, mostly in Caldwell Co. but two in Livingston Co. Three parcels totaling over 1000 acres are identified as being adjacent to Eddyville Furnace. Another parcel of 667 acres included the Livingston Forge.11 With this transaction the mercantile and iron interests of the Cobb brothers were joined in a single business for the first time. Robert seems to have focused on mercantile interests, including mortgages to secure creditor accounts at the store, while Gideon was more focused on the iron business.12,13,14,15 Only one other real estate transaction by the partnership has been found, in Apr 1842, when it purchased the south half of lots No. 49 and 50, fronting on Second St. in Eddyville. The partnership was dissolved, apparently by the death of Bell, between Mar and Jun 1843.16
R. L. & G. D. Cobb Partnership
With the loss of Bell, Robert and Gideon operated their business under the name of R. L. & G. D. Cobb.17 The first purchase the two brothers made jointly was a significant one, expanding their iron operations. On 20 Jul 1844 they bought 15 separate parcels of land from John Stacker of Missouri, Samuel Stacker of Tennessee and Thomas T. Watson of Trigg Co. for $10,000. The Eddyville Furnace and its landing on the Cumberland River was included, along with 13 other parcels apparently used for their ore and coal deposits. The sale involved over 3,800 acres in all.18 The Eddyville Furnace, also called Jim and I, was located one mile east of Kuttawa, Caldwell Co., was built in 1832 by John and Samuel Stacker and Thomas Tennessee Watson.19
No records have been found for the transfer of the slaves engaged with the iron works, but it appears they were also transferred about this time. In 1840 there were over 50 male slaves recorded in Caleb's household and apparently working in the iron business (although not necessarily owned by him). In 1850 Gideon owned a like number while Caleb owned none.20,21
The firm of R. L. & G. D. Cobb made other purchases as well. In 1846 they made four purchases of land totaling almost 2,000 acres in Caldwell Co., and another of 48 acres in Crittenden Co. They bought another 200 acres in 1848 in Caldwell, and in 1850 they bought a half lot in Eddyville with a double log house, weatherboarded, with kitchen and smoke house attached, and a frame shop and stable.22,23 The firm purchased three properties at auction on the courthouse steps, two sold as a result of suits to collect debts owed them.24
Prior to 1850, the R. L. & G. D. Cobb partnership had sold only one property – 237 acres on Eddy Creek with a gristmill and sawmill known as Leroys Mill, which they sold in 1848. Then, on 12 Aug 1850 they sold apparently all their iron operations in Caldwell Co. to William and John F. Kelly, iron masters, under the name of Kelly & Co. The sale, for $20,000, included the Eddyville Furnace and about 8,000 acres of land in 37 parcels. On the same date they sold the site where "Cobb & Machen's old forge stood" and another parcel, now in Crittenden Co. (that county having been formed from Livingston Co. in 1842), a total of 956 acres, for an additional $2,000.25,26
The partnership sold six other parcels after disposing of its iron assets. In Caldwell Co. they sold a 400-acre section of "White House Farm" sold to Willis Benson Machen on 20 Sep 1850 for $3,300, 200 acres on the Tennessee River in 1852, and a half interest in lot no. 2 in the donation part of Princeton in 1856.27 In Lyon Co. they sold a 520½-acre tract to Lewis H. Tolar for $1,225 on 4 Apr 1856, and in two separate transactions, the property they had purchased from their cousin Elijah Galusha. A 49-acre parcel was sold to M. J. Molley on 25 Aug 1856 and a 80 or 85-acre parcel to Mary G. Stacker on 4 Dec 1857.28
Cobb Jackson & Co.
It appears that the R. L. and G. D. Cobb partnership was dissolved in late 1850, with the sale of it's properties. Robert and Gideon then joined in a new partnership with their younger brother Giles and Charles M. Jackson. This new partnership was centered in Dycusburg, Crittenden Co., and was primarily in the mercantile business, making only a few land purchases and sales. It appears that even though his two brothers were involved, this was primarily Giles's business. On 15 Nov 1850 he mortgaged his interest in the firm to a long list of firms in New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, and locally, including his brothers' firm in Eddyville, and the Bank of Kentucky in Hopkinsville, to obtain $18,000 in goods and merchandise. He also mortgaged lot No. 5 in Dycusburg on the same date to secure a debt of $290 owed by Cobb Jackson.29,30
The partnership's first land purchase was on 28 Nov 1850, when it purchased a parcel of unspecified size on the waters of Livingstone Creek for $1,250. In Jan and May 1851 it then sold two parcels totaling 186 acres in the same area, for $524. From the descriptions it is not clear whether these were part of the parcel purchased the previous fall.31
On 22 May 1851 the firm purchased part of lot No. 1 in Dycusburg, from Thomas J. Hall of Paduch for $125. It then sold the same lot less than a month later to H. H. Smith for $250.32
On 1 Feb 1853 the firm purchased a 153 acre tract from John Winters for $700, then sold it back to him for the same amount one year later, for reasons that are not clear. The final land transaction found was a sale of 150 acres on the waters of Livingston Creek to Robert Barr for $830, on 3 Jan 1861. This may have been the remainder of the purchase in 1850.33
The Crittenden Furnace
The Cobb's Crittenden Furnace near the Cumberland River, two miles north of Dycusburg, Crittenden Co., was built in 1848. It was apparently built by Caleb, who then sold it to Gideon. It would appear that it was built on the 1,000-acre parcel Caleb purchased from Cadwallader Wallace for $750 in 1846, and sold to Gideon three years later for $10,000.34,35,36 Caleb also arranged to use the resources on nearby lands. On 21 Aug 1847 obtained a 30-year agreement with P. H. Clements allowing him to extract lead and other mineral or metals from Clements' 180-acre homestead, and cut timber for buildings or smelting, in exchange for half the profits. Exploration was to start within 40 days, and could continue for five years.37
Caleb continued to be involved as manager of the furnace after he sold it to his brother, who was apparently more involved with other ventures.38,15 The furnace was supposedly one of the last operated by the Cobb and Lyon families. It was 9 feet across inside, 30 feet high, charcoal-fueled, with steam-powered machinery, and in 1855 made 1300 tons of iron.39,40 Dycusburg was at that time a thriving center of industry and commerce. The "furnaces alone employed more than fifty white men and over 200 negroes" according to a published biography.41
Giles L. Cobb & Co.
About the same time as Cobb Jackson & Co. was formed, Gideon and Giles formed a separate partnership known as Giles L. Cobb & Co., apparently involving just the two of them. It too was based in Dycusburg, and again Giles seems to have been the lead partner. It was apparently formed in 1851, and dissolved by early 1857. The available land records suggest it did not profit from land trading; whether it was also involved in other pursuits is unknown.42
The first record found of the firm was its purchase of a steam saw mill near the town of Dycusburg, on the bank of the Cumberland River. The mill was purchased from G. B. Dycus on 17 Oct 1851, for $3,500. The purchase included "all machinery, engine, boiler, and every article of machinery necessary run the mill or that may be near the mill, with the house shed and every description of buildings or coverings, with all the privileges owned or controlled by the mill, all the lumber, & books & accounts from the time of her starting." This is the same mill that Dycus had mortgaged to Cobb Jackson & Co. 24 Feb 1851, when it was under construction. Giles L. Cobb & Co. sold the mill five months later to William E. Dycus for $3,000, taking three notes, due 17 Jul 1853 and annually thereafer.43
On 10 Jun 1854 the firm purchased lot no. 8 in Dycusburg from P. P. and Catherine McIntire for $175. It then sold half of that lot in August to Mary A. Priest for $202, for what appears to be a quick profit. But then it bought back that half from Isham Frost and William G. Priest on 8 Dec 1855 for $500. If improvements had been made to the property in the meantime it is not evident from the deeds.44
The firm purchased a tract of land on the waters of Livingston Creek from the heirs of Nancy S. Filch in two transactions in Aug and Dec 1854. Also included were debts owed the estate, for a total price of $260. On 12 Feb 1857, in the last transaction found for the firm, it sold 226 acres in Crittenden Co. to Ann Duvall for $1,500. From the deed descriptions it is not possible to tell whether this was the same property.45
The stores operated by the Cobbs and their partners extended credit to their customers. In some cases they seem to have seen the need to secure that credit with mortgages, sometimes on land, but often on growing crops, livestock, tools, household goods and slaves. Many of the mortgages on land have releases recorded some time later, though a few were foreclosed. There are no releases recorded for mortgages not involving land so it is impossible to know what proportion of those were paid off. Perhaps surprisingly, there are few cases of repeated mortgages by the same borrowerA total of 30 mortgages taken by the various Cobb partnerships have been found in Caldwell Co. records through 1852, which seems to have been the last of their mortgages there. An additional 21 mortgages taken by the several partnerships or one of the brothers individually have been found in Crittenden Co. from the time that county was formed in 1842 until 1860, which seems to have been the end of their mortgage activity. More may have been missed or not recorded, or have been in other counties, particularly in Lyon Co., in which Eddyville was located after that county was formed 1 Apr 1854. Records there have not been examined.46,47
Many of the mortgages by small farmers list not only crops and livestock but also all farmer's the tools and household goods, and thus provide an insight on the lifestyle of those farmers. A mortgage by Madison F. Dunn in 1843 is illustrative. He mortgaged (spelling from the original):
A mortgage in 1848 by Samuel P. L. Marshall, to John H. Mims, brother of Robert's wife, suggests the lifestyle of a more prosperous citizen. He mortgaged:
- [S1977] Cobb, Exit Laughing, pg 25, citing ledger and day books of the business, shows Robert taken into the business at age 21.
- [S849] "Kentucky Historical Marker Database," , reverse of most markers in category "iron industry," viewed Jun 2005, shows Kentucky as third ranked in 1830's.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, E:141-2, Thomas Gordon & wife Elizabeth W. to Chittenden Lyon & Caleb C. Cobb dated 11 Nov 1826 $500 for lot 13 and part of lot 12 in Eddyville; E:351-3, James L Dallam, commissioner in chancery to same dated 21 Mar 1828, land on Lick Creek in settlement of order of Circuit Court in Sep 1827 term; E:355-7, same to same dated 20 Jun 1828, two tracks on Lick Creek in settlement of order in same court Mar 1827 term; F:126, Chittenden Lyon & Caleb C. Cobb to Cader Harrel dated 12 Nov 1829, #360 for 360 ac. on Lick Creek; G:335, Chittenden Lyon & Caleb C. Cobb to James N. Gracey dated 16 Nov 1833, #359 for lot #13 in Eddyville; and K:63, Caleb C. Cobb to Frederich H. Skinner, $100 for ½ interest in part of lot #12 in Eddyville, on which Skinner and Lyon had erected a large brick building.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, F:60-1, John W. Marshall & Samuel P. L. Marshall to Chittenden Lyon, Caleb C. Cobb & Robert L. Cobb dated 2 Oct 1829, $150 for 45x60 ft. lot below Water St., near Main St.; F:424-5, Minerva Catlett executrix for Hanson Catlett to same dated 24 Jul 1830, $80 for40x60 ft. lot below Water St. at Main St.;F:288, John Bradley of Princeton to same dated 10 Jan 1834, $214.38 for lot at Main and Water Sts. where Lyon, Cobb & Co. had a 40x60 ft. ware house (this appears to be the same lot, with the odd amount suggesting the settlement of a debt although the text does not say it is); H:236-7, Robert L. Cobb to William Gray dated 2 Aug 1836, $1500 for 1/3 share of 85x70 ft. lot at Water and Main Sts. with a two-story brick house, 80 X 40 ft., erected by Lyon, Cobb & Co., property held the last day of Jun 1836 by C. Lyon, C. C. Cobb and R. L. Cobb as joint tenants; H:237-8, Chittenden Lyon to Robert L. Cobb dated 31 Aug 1836, $1500 for 1/3 share in same property; and K:148, Caleb C. Cobb to same dated 10 Jun 1841, $1500 for 1/3 share in same property.
- [S876] Pike, in "Robert Emett Meriwether," listserve message 18 Oct 2000, shows Caleb to settle affairs of Lyon & Cobb, and Robert to settle those of Lyon, Cobb, & Co.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, G:233-4, Spallswood D. Crewshaw to Caleb C. Cobb & Willis B Machen dated 27 Sep 1833, $250 for 1000 ac. on Livingston Ck.; H:188-9, John Scott to same dated 20 May 1836, $200 for 200 ac. on Livingston Ck.; H:265-6, Cadwallader Wallace & wife Ruth to same dated 12 Sep 1836, $1000 for 1000 ac. on Big Eddy Ck. and 1000 ac. on Livingston Ck.; H:301-2, James Clark & wife Mary to C. C. Cobb & W. B. Machen dated 26 Nov 1836, $300 for lot #9 in Eddyville; H:317-8, A. Harpending to Caleb C. Cobb & Willis B. Machen "under the firm of Cobb & Machen" dated 16 Jan 1837, $500 for 517 ac. in Livingston Co. on Livingston Ck.; M:301-2, John F. Henry & wife Lucy S. to same dated 2 Mar 1838, $520 for 3 tracts totalling 512½ ac.; I:42-3, Samuel Glenn to Cobb & Machen of Livingston Co. dated 20 Dec 1838, $50 for 50 ac. on Spring Ck.; and K:249-51, C. C. Cobb to Robt L. Cobb, David R. Bell & Gideon D. Cobb dated 2 Aug 1841, item #16, 666 2/3 ac. in Livingston Co. on Livingston Ck. "...whereupon Livington Forge were erected...;" and P:19-20, Robert L. Cobb, & wife Cornelia, & Gideon D. Cobb to William Kelly & John F. Kelly dated 12 Aug 1850, 666 2/3 ac., "...upon which Cobb & Machen's old forge stood...;" property description of last two items identical to that in 31 Mar 1822 sale to Caleb C. Cobb.
- [S2077] Livingston Co. Deeds, AA:4-5, James Fitzhugh to Caleb C. Cobb dated 31 Mar 1822, 666 2/3 ac. for $580, makes no mention of the forge.
- [S4543] Battle, Perrin and Kniffin, Kentucky - A History of the State, pg 860, shows Machen was engaged in the manufacture of iron with Caleb in Livingston Co. for seven years before entering the mercantile business in 1838.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, H:236-7, Robert L. Cobb to William Gray dated 2 Aug 18, $1500 for 1/3 interest in lot on Water and Main Sts. purchased by Chettenden Lyon, Caleb C. Cobb & Robert L. Cobb where they erected a two-story brick house occupied by Cobb, Gray & Bell as a store and ware house; I:72-3, John F. Veid mortgage to Robert L .Cobb, William Gray, David R. Bell & Gideon D. Cobb "merchants & copartners trading under the name and style of Cobb, Gray & Bell" dated 23 Jun 1838; and I:544, Denson Dees mortgage to Cobb, Bell & Co. dated 18 Jul 1840.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, M:411-1, William Gray & wife Sydia to Robert L. Cobb dated 23 Jun 1846, $1500 for 1/3 share of lot on lower side of Water St. at Main St. where the store house of R. L. & G. D. Cobb stands.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, K:249-52, C. C. Cobb to Robt. L. Cobb, David R. Bell & Gideon D. Cobb "trading under the style & firm of Cobb Bell & Co.," 16 Sep 1841 , item No. 1, 556 ac. on Cumberland River adjoining Town of Eddyville; No. 2, 444 ac. on the Cumberland River adjoining the above, excepting 31 ac. belonging to Eddyville Furnace; No. 3, 100 ac. on waters of Eddy Ck.; No. 4, one moiety or equal half of undivided survey of 1000 ac. on Livingston Ck.; No 5, 150 ac. on waters of Lick & Eddy Cks.; No 6 50 ac. on both sides of Spring Ck.; No. 7, 190 ac. on waters of Poplar Ck.; No. 8, 219 ac.; No. 9, 111 ac.; No. 10, 200 ac. on Spring & Crab Cks.; No. 11, 200 ac. on Spring & Crab Cks.; No. 12, one moiety of undivided survey of 1000 ac. on Goose (now Livingston) Ck.; No. 13, 72½ ac. on Knob & Hammond Cks. adjoining Eddyville Furnace; No. 14, 200 ac., one moiety of 400 ac. on Spring Ck. a branch of Livingston Ck.; No. 15, 50 ac. & house on Skinfame Ck.; No. 16, 666 2/3 ac. in Livingston Co. on Livingston Ck., where Livingston Forge erected; No. 17, 291 ac., part of 517 ac. tract in Livingston Co. on Livingston Ck.; and No. 18, 200 ac. on Tennessee River opposite Long Island.
- [S1795] R. L. Cobb household, 1840 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, shows the only person employed, apparently Robert, as employed in commerce.
- [S1820] Robert L. Cobb household, 1850 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, shows Robert's occupation as merchant.
- [S1811] Robert L. Cobb household, 1860 U.S. Census, Lyon Co., Kentucky, shows Robert's occupation as merchant.
- [S578] Gideon D. Cobb household, 1850 U.S. Census, Crittenden Co., Kentucky, shows Gideon and Caleb living with a group of young men whose occupation appears to be laborer, apparently in the iron works, with Caleb's occupation as iron maker and Gideon's as merchant and iron maker.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, K:574-8, George M. Marshall to Robert L. Cobb, David R. Bell & Gideon D. Cobb dated 14 Apr 1842, for two half-lots in Eddyville; K:387-7, Madison F. Dunn mortgage to R. L. Cobb, David R. Bell & Gideon D. Cobb "trading under the firm & style of Cobb Bell & Co." dated 17 Mar 1843; L:84-5, John Martin mortgage to Robert L. Cobb & Gideon D. Cobb "surviving partners of Cobb Bell & Co" dated 19 Jun 1843; and P:85-86, Robert L. Cobb & wife Cornelia, & Gideon D. Cobb to Willis B. Machen dated 20 Sep 1850, shows grantors as surviving partners of Cobb, Bell & Co., David R. Bell having "long since departed this life."
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, M:127-8, Edward T. Walkins, Commissioner in Chancery to Robert L. Cobb and Gideon D. Cobb of the firm of R. L. & G. D. Cobb dated 4 Feb 1845, $1500 for the interest of Elijah Shepardson in a house and lot in Princeton in settlement of debt owed Robert L .Cobb & Gideon D. Cobb, surviving partners of Cobb Bell & Co.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, L:454-9, John Stacker of Missouri, Samuel Stacker of Tennessee & Thomas T. Watson of Trigg Co. to Robert L. Cobb & Gideon D. Cobb dated 20 Jul 1844, $10,000 for several parcels of land, on which Eddyville Furnace stands and adjacent thereto: 1st 100 ac. survey made for Christopher –-?–- , conveyed to John Jones and by him to grantees, where Eddyville [Furnace?] stands; 2nd 100 ac. on –?– Ck., purchased of John Hammonds; 3rd 50 ac. on Cumberland River immediately below the Furnace; 4th 30 ac. purchased of C. C. Cobb upon which the Furnace landing sits; 5th 2 surveys of 400 ac. each purchased of Randolph Doom; 6th 300 ac. bought of Henry Doven; 7th 480 ac. survey made in name of Saml. & John Stacker & Thomas T Walter on Cumberland River; 8th 260 ac. survey made in name of Samuel & John Stacker & Thos T Walter; 9th 700 ac. survey made in name of Samuel & John Stacker & Thomas T Walson; 10th 100 ac. survey in name of Stacker & Watson on Cumberland River; 11th [blank] ac. survey; 12th 300 ac. survey for Slacker & Watson on Cumberland River; 13th 124 ac. survey in name of Daniel Glenn on Goat Ck.; 14th 400 ac. survey made for E. S. Galusha conveyed by him to Stacker & Watson; and 15th 90 ac. survey made in name of Joshua Hammond purchased of him.
- [S849] "Kentucky Historical Marker Database," , Marker Number 1326.
- [S574] C. C. Cobb household, 1840 U.S. Census, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, shows 8 persons employed in mining and 6 in manufacturing. This would appear to count only the white males, of which there are 8 over age 15 (probably including Gideon), counting 6 of them for both occupations. It apparently does not count the slaves, of which there were 38 males over age 24, and another 16 between 10 and 24.
- [S1681] Gideon D. Cobb, owner, 1850 U.S. Census, Crittenden Co., Kentucky, slave schedule, shows he owned 53 male slaves.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, M:299-301, Caleb C. Cobb & Willis B. Mahen to R. L. & G. D. Cobb dated 19 Jan 1846, $600 for 3 tracts, part of Rittenhouse Academy survey: 190 ac., 219 ac. and 111½ ac.; N:14-5, Nathaniel Doom & wife Theodosia to Robert L. Cobb & Gideon D. Cobb dated 18 May 1846, $675 for 2 parcels on Poplar Ck., 521 ac. & 154 ac.; M:448-9, William B. Chandler & King Chandler to same dated 15 Jun 1846, $285 for 335 ac. on Cumberland River; M:417-8, Caleb C. Cobb to same dated 29 Jun 1846, $600 for 200 ac. on Flat Ck. and 250 ac. adjacent; N:476, Joshua Hammond to same dated 23 Sep 1848, $200 for 200 ac. on Cumberland River; and P:18-9, Frederic N. Harris to same dated 16 Feb 1850, $1000 for NE ½ of lot #34 in Eddyville.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, A:509-10, William Gossett to R. L. Cobb and G. D. Cobb, 22 May 1846.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, M:127-8, Edward T. Walkins, Commissioner in Chancery to Robert L. Cobb & Gideon D. Cobb of the firm of R. L. & G. D. Cobb dated 4 Feb 1845, $1500 for one equal half or moiety of lot #2 in the Donation part of Princeton in settlement of Caldwell Circuit Court order in suit to collect debt owed Cobb Bell & Co.; O:474-5, I. H. Rackerby, commissioner in chancery to R. L. & G. D. Cobb dated 23 Apr 1850, $180 for 150 ac. on Eddy Ck. in settlement of Caldwell Circuit Court order in suit by R. L. & G. D. Cobb to collect debt owed by James C. Church; and P:14-5, E. N. Owen, deputy Sheriff to Robert L. Cobb & Gideon D. Cobb dated 10 Aug 1850, $575 for 2 tracts on Livingston Ck. 600 ac. and 200 ac. in settlement of writ obtained by Josiah Kennedy, former owner, against Caleb C. Cobb & Willis B. Machen.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, N:391-2, Robert L. Cobb & Gideon D. Cobb, merchants & partners in trade under the style & firm of R. L. & G. D. Cobb, to Nelson Ellis & William H. Heath dated 17 Jan 1848, $1075 for two tracts on Eddy Ck., 37 ac. and 200 ac. including the mills; P:47-58, Robert L. Cobb, merchant, & wife Cornelia, & Gideon D. Cobb, merchant, doing business under the style and firm of R. L. & G. D. Cobb, acting individually and as surviving partners of Cobb, Bell & Co. to William Kelly & John F. Kelly, iron masters, doing business under the style and firm of Kelly & Co., dated 12 Aug 1850, $20,000 for 37 parcels, including 100 ac. "on which Eddyville Furnace stands," other parcels identified as containing 7404½ acres, and seven parcels of unstated size; and P:19-20, same to same dated same, $2000 for 2 parcels in Crittenden Co. [apparently recorded in Caldwell Co. because the clerk obtained Cornelia's release of dower and certified it to Crittenden Co. to save her having to travel to that county]
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, B:593-5, Robert L. Cobb & Cornelia his wife, and Gideon D. Cobb, merchants doing business as R L & G D Cobb, to William Kelly and John Kelly, iron masters, doing business as Kelly & Co., two parcels in Crittenden Co., 21 Oct 1850.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, P:85-6, Robert L. Cobb & wife Cornelia, & Gideon D. Cobb to Willis B. Machen dated 20 Sep 1850; Q:310-1, R. L. & G. D. Cobb, surviving partners of Cobb, Bell & Co. to Noah Fulks dated 27 Sep 1852, $600 for 200 ac. on Tennessee River; and Robert L. Cobb & Gideon D. Cobb, late partners under firm of R. L. & G. D. Cobb, and Cornelia B. Cobb to Thomas J. Floumoy, surviving partner of Floumoy & Son dated 1 May 1856, $1560 for one moiety of lot #2 in donation part of Princeton.
- [S3152] Lyon Co. Deeds, A:301-2, William H. Heath & wife, Robt L. Cobb & Gideon D. Cobb, late partners in firm of R L & G D Cobb to Lewis H. Tolar, 2 ___ 1856; A:344, R. L. & G. D. Cobb to M. J. Molley, 6 Sep 1856; and A:492-3, Robert L. Cobb & Gideon D. Cobb, late partners in firm of R L & G D Cobb, & Cornelia B Cobb, wife of Robert to Mary G. Stacker, 18 Feb 1858.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, B:616-7, Giles Cobb, one of firm of Cobb Jackson & Co. mortgage to West & Summers, Paul Tubane & Co., J. Burnside & Co., and Dudley & Nelson, all of New Orleans; Thomas Smith & Co. and Tulane Baldwyn & Co., both of New York; Bancroft Beaver & Co., P. M. Direon & Co., Oliver Martin & Co., Martin & Smith, Dudly & Johns, Seviete Perkins & Co., Boyd & Storud, and Charles Henderson, all of Philadelphia; P. F. Bennett, H. P. Martin, B. W. Bennett, George D. Martine, A. P. Brasher, of Crittenden Co,; William Smith, and W. P. Bennett of Caldwell Co.; R. L. & G. D. Cobb of Eddyville; Bank of Kentucky of Hopkinsville; and Francis Ford of Crittenden Co., 12 Dec 1850; and B:617, Giles L. Cobb, one of firm of Cobb Jackson, mortgage to Francis Ford, 12 Dec 1850.
- [S3055] Travis, "A Thriving Town in the 1800s", shows Jackson & Cobb were selling goods along with shipping tobacco in 1851.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, B:711-2, William E. Parker and wife Elizabeth to Robert L. Cobb, Gideon D. Cobb, Giles Cobb, and Charles M. Jackson, 22 Mar 1851; B:906-7, Cobb Jackson & Co., viz, R. L. Cobb and G. D. Cobb of Caldwell Co., and G. L. Cobb and C. M. Jackson of Crittenden Co. to Elijah Cuncan, 17 Dec 1851; and C:114-5, same to Lewis Duvall, 25 Jan 1853.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, C:94, Thos. J. Hall to Cobb Jackson & Co., 25 Jul 1853; C:95, Cobb Jackson & Co. to H. H. Smith, [blank] Jan 1853.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, C:245-6, Cobb Jackson & Co. to John Winters, 14 Mar 1800; C:491, John Winters to Cobb Jackson & Co., 22 Aug 1854; and F:410-1, Cobb Jackson & Co. to Robert Barr, 13 Mar 1861.
- [S1999] Lesley, The Iron Manufacturer's Guide, shows "Crittenden Steam Cold-blast Charcoal Furnace" owned by G. D. Cobb, year built, and location, as 2 miles west of Dycusburg.
- [S849] "Kentucky Historical Marker Database," , Marker Number 1210, 2½ miles north of Dycusburg, viewed Jun 2005, describes Crittenden Furnace, shows location as one mile west of marker.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, B:72-4, Cadwallader Wallace & Ruth his wife to C. C. Cobb, 24 May 1847; D:247-8, C. C. Cobb to Gideon D. Cobb.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, B:253-4, P. H. Clements to Preston Sodwick, G. B. Dycus & C. C. Cobb, 21 Feb 1848.
- [S1999] Lesley, The Iron Manufacturer's Guide, pg 128, shows "Crittenden Steam Cold-blast Charcoal Furnace" owned by G. D. Cobb and managed by C. C. Cobb of Dycusburg.
- [S1999] Lesley, The Iron Manufacturer's Guide, pg 128, shows dimensions and 1855 production.
- [S849] "Kentucky Historical Marker Database," , Marker Number 1210, 2½ miles north of Dycusburg, viewed Jun 2005, says it was one of last operated by the Cobb and Lyon families.
- [S2465] Biography of Mrs. Fannie Travis, The Crittenden Press, unknown date in 1928.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, B:878-9, G. B. Dycus to Giles L. Cobb & Co., dated and recorded 17 Oct 1857; and E:270-1, Giles L. Cobb and Gideon D. Cobb, late partners of Giles L Cobb & Co, and Marion Cobb, wife of Giles to Ann Duvall, dated 12 Feb 1857 and recorded 19 Mar 1858.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, B:878-9, G. B. Dycus to Giles L. Cobb & Co., dated and recorded 17 Oct 1857; B:726, G. B. Dycus mortgage to Cobb Jackson & Co., 14 Apr 1851; and B:1020-1, Giles L. Cobb & Co. to Wm E. Dycus, 11 Jun 1852.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, C:493-4, P. P. McIntire and Catherine to G. L. Cobb & Co., 28 Aug 1854; C:493, G. L. Cobb & Co. to Mary A. Priest, 28 Aug 1854; and D:254-5,Isham Frost and Wm G. Priest to Giles L. Cobb, 31 Jan 1856.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, E:219-20, Samuel R. Burke, Elizah K. Burke, Salis G. Burke, George W. Spencer and Sarah R. his wife, and William E Parker and [blank] his wife to Giles L. Cobb & Co., 28 Dec 1857; D:255, Charles R. Burke to Giles L. Cobb & Co., 31 Jan 1856; E:270-1, Giles L. Cobb and Gideon D. Cobb, late partners of Giles L. Cobb & Co, and Marion Cobb, wife of Giles, to Ann Duvall, 19 Mar 1858.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, mortgages to R. L. Cobb & Co.: H:190-1 dated 8 Jun 1836, and H:212 dated 27 Jun 1836; to Cobb, Gray & Bell: H:412-3 dated 12 May 1837, H:498 dated 30 May 1837, H:502-3 dated 27 Jul 1837, I:30-1 dated 7 Apr 1838, I:32 dated 2 Jun 1838, and I:72-3 dated 23 Jun 1838; to Cobb, Bell & Co.: I:544 dated 18 Jul 1840, K:262 dated 2 Sep 1841, K:346 dated 17 Jan 1842, K:345-6 dated 17 Jan 1842, K:425-6 dated 16 May 1842, K:485-6 dated [blank day & month] 1842, K:488-9 dated 5 Aug 1842, K:604-5 dated 17 Jan 1843, L:49-50 dated 17 Jan 1843, L:8 21 dated Feb 1843, K:387-8 dated 17 Mar 1843, and L:448-9 dated 18 Dec 1844 [may be in error since other earlier mortgages are to "surviving partners"]; to surviving partners of Cobb Bell & Co.: L:84-5 dated 19 Jun 1843, L:108-9 dated 11 Aug 1843, L:201-2 dated 12 Dec 1843, L:399-400 dated 3 Oct 1844, M:211-2 dated 17 Sep 1845, N:246 dated 20 Aug 1847, N:463-4 dated 18 Sep 1848, and O:261-2 dated 20 Sep 1849; to R. L. & G. D. Cobb: M:284-5 dated 30 Dec 1845, M:380-1 dated 20 May 1846, M:410-1 dated 1 Jun 1846, M:424 dated 20 Jun 1846, M:434-6 dated 24 Jul 1846, N:4 dated 22 Aug 1846, N:7 dated 15 Sep 1846, N:15-16 dated 19 Sep 1846, N:158-9 dated 5 Mar 1847, N:183 dated 20 Apr 1847, N:267-8 dated 22 Sep 1847, N:333-4 dated 31 Jan 1848, N:420-1 dated 29 Jun 1848, N:446-7 dated 4 Sep 1848, N:478 dated 28 Sep 1848, O:119-20 dated 20 Mar 1849, O:127-8 dated 3 Apr 1849, O:261-2 dated 20 Sep 1849, P:87-9 dated 24 Aug 1850, P:29 dated 14 Sep 1850, P:250-1 dated 28 Apr 1851, P:332 dated 26 Sep 1851, P:517 dated 31 Jan 1852, P:614 dated 26 Aug 1852, and Q:34-5 dated 18 Oct 1852.
- [S2793] Crittenden Co. Deeds, mortgages to Cobb Bell & Co.: A:113 dated 13 Jun 1842, A:73 dated 21 Nov 1842, A:131-2 dated 6 Jun 1843, A:362-3 dated 14 Jun 1845, B:61 dated 12 Aug 1849; to Robert L. Cobb: A:257 dated 16 Sep 1844; to Cobb Jackson & Co.: B:726 dated 24 Feb 1851, B:727 dated 1 Apr 1851, B:813-4 dated 12 Jul 1851, B:863 dated 21 Aug 1851, B:950 dated 9 Feb 1852; to Giles L. Cobb & Co.: B:1022 dated 7 Jun 1852, C:41 dated 1 Sep 1852, C:86-7 dated 17 Jan 1853, E:344 dated 19 Jul 1858; to Giles L. Cobb: B:1031-2 dated 22 Jun 1852, C:298 dated 17 Sep 1853, D:75-6 dated 15 May 1855; to G. D. Cobb: C:120-1 dated 8 Jan 1853, D:72 dated 11 Jun 1855; and to Cobb Gallatly & Co.: F:247 dated 7 May 1860.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, K:387-8, Madison F. Dunn mortgage to R. L. Cobb, David R. Bell & Gideon D. Cobb trading under the firm & style of Cobb Bell & Co. dated 17 Mar 1843.
- [S1975] Caldwell Co. Deeds, N:383-4, Samuel P. L. Marshall mortgage to John H. Mims dated 21 Apr 1848.