The Cobb brothers—Horace, Lyman, Charles, Fred, and William—were born in the mid-1850s to an old Vermont family.
In the 1860 census, only brother William had not yet been born.
Somehow, as did so many others from back east, by about 1892 these five New Englanders found themselves out west in Texas, four of them in Cowtown.
Four of them soon became officers in the W. C. Belcher Land Mortgage Company.
In 1907 four of the brothers built a brick plant at a deposit of blue shale near Sycamore Creek on the old O. K. Dairy on the East Side. The plant excavated the shale and turned out twenty thousand bricks a day with a workforce of thirty-five men, who were paid a combined $750 a week and given board at the plant. By 1920 the plant was turning out forty thousand bricks a day. Clip is from the May 7 Telegram.
The Cobb brick company competed with the Thurber Brick Company, founded in 1897 by Colonel Robert Dickie Hunter and James Green in Erath County, and the Acme Brick Company, founded in 1891 by George Bennett in Parker County.
In 1908 the plant was still outside the city limits. Clip is from the January 2 Telegram.
Brother Lyman built this house (1904) at 1600 Jarvis Street (now 1598 Sunset Terrace) on Quality Hill.
Lyman’s wife served on the city’s moving picture censor board. Clip is from the March 4, 1917 Star-Telegram.
The brothers’ other business interests included the O. K. Cattle Company, whose ranch, like the brick plant, was located on the old O. K. Dairy land. (Horace and Lyman also developed the “urban island” of North Glenwood.)
Horace and brother Lyman were instrumental in founding Glen Garden Country Club on their cattle ranch near the brick plant. On December 23, 1913 the new country club elected directors. Horace was later elected president of the country club. Clip is from the December 24 Telegram.
This classified ad ran April 18, 1913 in the Star-Telegram.
The country club’s new clubhouse opened in November 1914. The club had 275 members and a nine-hole golf course, soon to be expanded to eighteen and forever associated with Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, and Sandra Palmer. Today, of course, the Glen Garden country club and golf course are on the list of Fort Worth’s “fore!”closed. Clip is from the November 3, 1914 Star-Telegram.
The formal opening dinner-dance was held November 26. Clip is from the November 27, 1914 Star-Telegram.
In 1921 Horace Cobb gave the city 125 acres along Sycamore Creek near the brick plant and the country club. That land became Cobb Park. Clip is from the April 16 Star-Telegram.
This 1925 map shows the brick plant, Cobb Park, the country club, and the Glen Garden stop on the interurban line to Cleburne. (Map detail from Pete Charlton’s “1000+ Lost Antique Maps of Texas & the Southwest on DVD-ROM.”)
A few blocks away at 4621 Foard Street in Cobb’s Orchard Addition, the “Clinker House” (1913) was built of imperfect bricks from the Cobb plant. This planbook house was owned by Julian C. Harris, who was the plant’s bookkeeper and a cousin of the Cobb brothers.
Lyman Cobb died in 1908.
Lyman Cobb is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.
The Cobb Brick Company did not advertise heavily in the Star-Telegram. For Cobb, this was a big ad.
By 1923 Julian C. Harris, whose Clinker House on Foard Street was an advertisement for the brick plant’s imperfect products, was a partner in the brick company.
By 1929 the company had passed solely to the man in the Clinker House.
Horace Cobb died in 1937. Notice that Julian C. Harris was a pallbearer.
Horace H. Cobb also is buried in Oakwood.
Harris Brick Company, the company that Horace and Lyman Cobb started in 1907, closed in the early 1950s.
And now one of history’s mysteries: Were the Cobb brothers and their father, Roswell Lyman Cobb, related to Lyman Cobb (1800-1864) of New York? The latter Lyman Cobb was the leading competitor of Noah Webster as an author of spelling books. The name “Lyman Cobb” was surprisingly common in New England in the nineteenth century.