COBB

Located in Roscoe Township; originally known as Howard’s Mill and later Richey’s Mill. Was later known as Cobb in 1889.
Cobb had a Post Office during the years 1889-1918.

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The State of Missouri, 1904:
Cobb was in the southeast section of St. Clair County, six miles north of Rookins and nine miles west of Collins., located in section eleven.

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Now and Then – Reminiscence, By Rev. B.F. Lawler:
Avery Howard built a Mill, the place being called Cobb. Here our already famous Sac river had been reinforced by Cedar Creek, itself having received Horse Creek into its channel. Horse Creek comes from way out toward “Golden Grove” as it used to be called and drains a vast extent of country. So Mr. Avery had something to do in harnessing the Sac river at that place to make it serve him, turning the monstrous wheels of his then great Mill. Yes, there were times when the raging waters had their own way.


St. Clair County Courier, 10 November 2000:
Nine miles west of Collins on Highway 54 is the Sac River Bridge. On the west side of the old bridge, a side road ran next to the river. About a half mile down this road would have brought you to the water mill and a small settlement.
Old man Ward settled on a piece of land on the west side of the Sac River. Dr. Cox and Avery B. Howard built a mill on Ward’s land in 1841. This was the first water mill in the county and was known as Howard’s Mill or the Ritchey Mill. It was with one exception, the only mill of the kind in the county for several years. It had two run of burrs and did a good business. Going to a mill in early pioneer days was one of the first necessities to get food for their families. With no roads, no bridges and no ferry boats, getting to a mill was no sorry task when so many rivers and streams were to be crossed. Several of the early census records list Howard’s Mill as the local post office. The first Post Office was from Roscoe, Rives County with John Burch as postmaster on June 18, 1840, but was changed to Howard’s Mill on Sept. 8, 1854 with William H. Cock as the postmaster. A series of postmasters were in charge from 1880 and moved from Howard’s Mill to Roscoe a number of times. The postmasters from 1856 to 1867 were: Bertrand O. Weidemeyer, Gabrial P. Nash, William W. Ritchey, John H. Dice, Anderson Morton, Noah Graham, Abraham S. Hart and Sterling Cooper. There were several others until it was discontinued in 1886. The mill was called Cobb on May 25, 1889 with James H. Fletcher, Mary S. Fletcher, Mrs. Meda Polston and Reuben E. McLain as postmasters and continued until May 13, 1918, when the post office was discontinued. The name “Cobb” was given the mill post office since there was always a huge pile of cobbs near the mill. The people thought that would be an appropriate name to give their settlements.
The mill was owned just before and at the beginning of the Civil War by William R. Ritchey and his partner, U.L. Sutherland, both natives of Kentucky who arrived in St. Clair County before 1840. They also had a large store in connection with the only mill. William R. Ritchey eventually moved onto land south of Osceola, close to the Harris Plantation.
U.L. Sutherland had a large house about ½ mile southwest of the river bridge. He was probably responsible for the starting of a school in the area, Cole-Hampton-Riverview. A small battle was fought there at the mill on Oct. 13, 1862. A small unit of the Southern Army took over a short time and began to mill their flour. A union force of 50 men under General U.R. Parsons took the mill back and began to mill their flour and meal.
A number of operators ran the store and mill over the next years. There was always a blacksmith shop in the settlement, several drug stores, probably several stills, a saw mill, several homes, store and one-pump gas station ran by James Keeton which burned about 1927 or ’28. Evon Gentry built a store south of the El Dorado – Collins road in the early ‘30s. Only rocks and some bolts drilled into solid rock that held the mill in place show where the mill was at an earlier time.

 

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