Emmett R. Cobe

The Cobe’s have been an interesting family. They are by far our most colorful ancestors, though not as colorful as other people’s ancestors. They are as Irish as Irish can be.

I can’t remember how I knew Emmett Cobe was Eleanore’s father. I think the family always knew this from her and I must have gotten it through my Grandmother, Aunt, and Uncle. This was corroborated in the marriage returns for Ken and Eleanore’s marriage which named her parents, Emmett R. Cobe and Mary Stockford.

We have two photo’s inherited through Eleanore, one of three young men which we have always known were Emmett and two brothers, though we don’t know who is who. The second is a woman’s portrait who we have always thought was either Mary Stockford or her sister, Hattie.

Starting with the 1900 Census and Eleanor’s autobiography, I was able to locate several records between Ohio and Michigan. As I mentioned in my post on Eleanore, I found delayed records of birth in Paulding County, Ohio for her and her brother, Richard. I also found a record of birth for Emmett (and his siblings) in Paulding County. And a small mystery…

Emmett’s birth was reported by Hamilton Cobe and names his mother as Margaret Russell – as a result of this, the clerk recorded Hamilton as Emmett’s father. Now, Margaret Russell was married to Richard Cobe, Hamilton’s brother (Civil War pension file for Richard Cobe [Jr]). I have not found Emmett’s actual birth record, just an index of records…so I have to assume two possibilities here: 1) By Margaret Russell’s marriage to Richard Cobe, Emmett is a son of Richard, not Hamilton; or 2) Hamilton is the father of Emmett by his brother’s wife, Margaret. I lean towards option #1. Just because this record is an index and indexes are not always reliable. Two things support my assertion that Richard is his father. First, there is Emmett’s death certificate on file in Michigan. His brother, Joseph, is the informant for Emmett’s death and he names Richard as Emmett’s father. Second, he named his first son Richard, not Hamilton. We’ll go with Richard.

A summary for Emmett reads as follows:

Emmett R. Cobe (the R can be Roan or Rowe, handwriting analysis is undetermined) was born 13 October 1871 in Paulding County, Ohio to Richard Cobe (Jr.) and Margaret Russell. He married Mary Stockford on 28 November 1864 at Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio. The family lived in either Melrose or Payne village in Paulding County where Mary died in 1902.

After her death, Emmett purchased all of his sibling’s share of property inherited through their father Richard Cobe (Jr). His siblings had all left Ohio by this time and may not have had any interest in maintaining a farm in Ohio. This property was in Brown township, Paulding County and consisted of two adjoining farms, one in the name of Richard (Jr.) and one in the name of Margaret Cobe. Emmett appears to have used the proceeds from the sale of the property to finance his move to Harbor Springs, Emmet County, Michigan (collaboration with another Cobe descendant).

Emmett’s brother, Joseph, and his sister, Hortense Cobe Gleason, had already settled in this area, operating farms near Harbor Springs. Emmett engaged in the lumber business but only after a few years he contracted pneumonia and died on 30 March 1907. He was buried without a headstone at Lakeview Cemetery, Section H, Lot-8 in Harbor Springs. Hattie Stockford is buried in the plot next to him, also without a headstone.

Emmett and Mary had three children:

  1. Eleanore Margarette Cobe, born 10 September 1895 in Ohio (either Henry County or Paulding County).  She married Ken Rhoades on 7 August 1920 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and died June 1987 in Lake Andes, South Dakota.
  2. Richard Cobe, born 21 October 1897 in Ohio, likely Paulding County, Ohio.  Richard was raised by family friends on a farm in Michigan and ran away to the military in 1917.  He died in March 1979 in Lake Andes, South Dakota.
  3. Joseph Cobe, born 5 November 1898, probably died in 1900 or 1901.