Margaret Russell

Margaret Russell was the first wife of Richard Cobe (Junior) and is our maternal ancestor.  There is not enough known about her to provide an interesting biography.  She was not mentioned in the newspapers of her day as she lived and died as the wife of a quiet farmer in a very rural county in Ohio.  The nearest newspaper publication came out of Defiance, Ohio, 17 miles away by horse – quite a distance for that time.  Paulding County, even to this day, is all farming community and local news focused more on town residents and major events (such as her son, John’s, adventures).

Find A Grave, database and images for Margaret Russell Cobe.

She was born in Ohio on 8 March 1852 and died on either 5 September or 5 December 1888 (dates between headstone and mortality index conflict) in Brown Township, Paulding County, Ohio at the age of 36.  She is buried near other Russell’s in the Charloe-Blakeslee Cemetery in Brown Township (near Charloe, Ohio).

The Cobe’s were associated with two towns in Brown Township; Charloe and Melrose.  Margaret and Richard each owned a parcel of land just south west of Charloe which Emmett sold just before moving to Michigan in 1902.  Emmett lived near Melrose and his brothers were also associated with Melrose during the ordeal over the harness thefts.  His brother, John, was a canal boatman and Eleanore Cobe remembers playing along a canal as a child.  The Miami Canal, ran near both Charloe and Melrose, Ohio as did the Auglaize River (Charloe) and the Little Auglaize (Melrose).  The railroads had been completed in the 1850s and by 1855, use of the canals had started to decline until catastrophic damage occurred in about 1913.

This map is from and shows property ownership for Brown Township, Paulding County, Ohio in 1892.  The red boxes are the property owned by Richard and Margaret Cobe.  The Yellow circles are the towns of Charloe and Melrose. Dark blue shows the path of the Miami Canal (the Wabash intersects north of Charloe).  The light blue shows the path of the Auglaize and Little Auglaize rivers.

Margaret lived in the time of Abaraham Lincoln’s presidency and assassination.  She saw new states being admitted into the Union: Nevada, Nebraska and Colorado.  She read about the expansion of the United States through the purhcase of the Alaskan territory from Russia.

During her life she read, discussed, and may have been affected by the events of the Civil War, the passing of the 13th Amendment (abolishment of slavery), the beginning of the Pony Express, completion of the transcontinental railroad, creation of Yellowstone National Park, the Battle of Little Big Horn, the invention of Edison’s light bulb (or Tesla’s), and the lives and deaths of Wild Bill Hickok, Jesse James, Billy the Kid, the Earp brother’s and Doc Holliday.

She was the second child and oldest daughter of Ebenezer Russell and Malinda Hand.  Our Gleason cousins have traced her Russell line to their arrival in Massachusetts in 1635 from Suffolk, England.

She married Richard Cobe on 10 October 1867 in Paulding County

Richard and Margaret had the following children.

  1. Hortense was born in April 1869 probably in Paulding County, Ohio. She married 1) Edwin Walter Gleason, 2) Fred A. Gleason and had children by both husbands who were cousins. She told her children and grandchildren that her marriage to her cousin-in-law, Fred, was a matter of necessity for both of them as they were both widowed and each had young children to provide for in a tough environment. She grew to love Fred and had a long and successful marriage with him.
  2. Emmett R. was born on 13 October 1871 in Paulding County, Ohio. He married Mary Stockford on 28 November 1864 at Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio. He died on 30 March 1907 in Harbor Springs, Emmet County, Michigan.
  3. John W. was born on 1 December 1873 in Paulding County, Ohio. He led a very exciting life as a canal boatman and is our token black sheep.
  4. Joseph Archles was born on 10 November 1876 in Brown Township, Paulding County, Ohio. He married Charlotte Green on 6 May 1912. According to the 1930 census, he was a veteran of the Spanish-American war (1898), and he is found in 1900 census in the Philippines (military service). He and Charlotte raised their family in Mackinac County, Michigan.
  5. Frederick was born in June 1879.