For the longest time, I believed that my Mr. and Mrs. Silas W. Cobb of Vermont had one daughter, Adeline, and three sons: Edwin, George Whitman and Silas Bowman. I have always been struck by the Cobb children’s names as the oldest two children are known by their first names only while the younger sons are known by their first and middle names. I am sure the older two children were given middle names, but the middle names were not found on records.
Examining the lives of the Cobb children shed light on the Silas W. Cobb and his family. When looking Adeline Cobb’s life, I discovered new family information. Her obituary was found in the 13 June 1885 issue of the Columbus Republican Newspaper of Columbus, Columbia County, Wisconsin. Adeline Cobb Stiles’ obituary provided evidence of another, unnamed sister. Brothers Edwin, George and Silas were mentioned by name. I sure wish their sister had been named!
“Mrs. Adeline Cobb Stiles, wife of Mr. Reuben Stiles, was born at Montpelier, Vermont, Feb. 21, 1802, and died at their home on section 29 of the town of Columbus, Columbia County, Wisconsin, May 30, 1885, aged 83 years, 3 months, and 9 days. She was the oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Silas Cobb, whom providence blessed with five children, three boys and two girls, all of whom have lived to a good old age. The oldest brother, Edwin, died a few weeks ago. George and Silas, and their sister, still survive, and are quite vigorous for their age. The brothers with their wives, of Chicago, were at the funeral. These brothers were among the first settlers on the site of that great city. Adeline was married to her now bereaved husband, then a strong, healthy and industrious young man, and also captain of a home guard of that place, in the year 1822, at the age of 20, and immediately began housekeeping in a little cottage, which was characteristic of those days, and which was in the course of time made bright and cheerful by the addition of five happy children, one whom died in infancy; but the others still survive her, and were all present at her bedside at her death.
In the year 1846, father, mother, and their four children, with other friends, left the place of their nativity and came to this state, and settled on the homestead above named, where they have lived in peace and prosperity for thirty-nine years, and endeared themselves to all around them. For the last three or four years old age has been clearly visible, and before her death she became quite helpless; but willing hands and loving hearts of husband, children, and friends, cared for her. She was in every sense of the word a true type of womanhood, and we trust that their loss is her gain. The following verse expresses the deep feelings in their hearts:
"Thou art gone, most precious mother
But we, thy children, love thee still;
And have in our hearts a mother
Thy beloved place can fill!
Every path thy foot that trodden
To us is hallowed ground
And we feel our spirits sadden
As each new momentos found
E'ne the Book of Books is dearer
And the place and hour of prayer
Heaven itself to us seems nearer
Now, dear mother, thou art there!
Oh, that we again may meet thee,
In that brighter world above;
May our joyful spirits greet thee
In that home of light and love."
The funeral service was held at the house Monday, June 1st, by Rev. Thos. James, of Fall River, his text being 2 Cor. 5: 8, a very large and appreciative audience being in attendance. We deeply sympathize with the bereaved family, and especially with the bereaved husband who now must endure the breaking of that conjugal tie which has bound husband wife together in the closest affection for sixty-three years. May the blessings of Heaven rest upon them all.
Thos. James. “
I find Adeline Cobb Stiles’ obituary very interesting. First, it gives her home section number in Columbus, Wisconsin. I have never seen that before. Adeline’s obituary also gives proof of another Cobb daughter/sister though she remains a mystery. I have learned if you wait long enough, small puzzle pieces appear. I will keep my eye peeled.
Adeline Cobb Stiles Obituary, Columbus Republican Newspaper, 13 Jun 1885.