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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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RUFUS R. COBBUM, a popular and highly esteemed citizen of Murphysboro, and a Director of the Jackson County Lumber Company, was born in Bluffton, Wells County, Ind., September 24, 1847. The family is of English origin, and the grandparents came from England to America. The grandfather was a contractor and builder, and contracted to erect the State Capitol of Virginia. The father of our subject, James Cobbum, was born in Maryland, and was a tailor by trade. Removing to Ohio, he there married Sarah Webb, a native of Hocking County, that state, whither her parents removed from Pennsylvania.

Mr. and Mrs. Cobbum became early settlers of Wells County, Ind., where he entered land from the Government and improved a fine farm. In politics he was a Republican, and in religious belief he was a Methodist. He passed away in March, 1861, respected by all who knew him. His wife was called to her final rest in 1872. They had seven sons and one daughter, of whom four are yet living: Joseph, now a farmer of Wells County, Ind.; Henry, who is living a retired life in Bluffton, Ind.; James L., who makes his home in the same place; and Rufus R., the only one living in Illinois. Henry was one of the boys in blue, being a member of the One Hundred and First Indiana Infantry during the late war.

Our subject received his early education in an old-time log schoolhouse, with the writing desk along the wall, rude benches and other primitive furniture. Much of his instruction, however, was received from a blind man, John McLeary, who taught the high school at Bluffton, Ind. At the age of twenty years he began traveling for a marble firm in Ft. Wayne, Ind., and thus continued for seven consecutive years, after which he embarked in business for himself in Geneva, Adams County, opening a grocery store, which he carried on for two years. He then became representative for the Fairbanks Windmill Company, of Indianapolis, traveling for them throughout Indiana for about nine years. He also owned a farm near Bluffton.

In 1888 Mr. Cobbum was united in marriage with Mrs. Nancy Gill, widow of Hon. John M. Gill, and the mother of Lieut.-Gov. J. B. Gill. She was born in Williamson County, Ill., and is a cultured and refined lady, who is a controlling influence in social circles.

In 1887 Mr. Cobbum came to Murphysboro and purchased a sawmill in Kinkaid Township, manufacturing hard-wood lumber for two years. He also had a lumber yard in the city. In October, 1890, he was one of the organizers of the Jackson County Lumber Company, and for eighteen months served as its manager. He is now serving as salesman. Mr. and Mrs. Cobbum own considerable real estate, having seven hundred and sixty acres of fine timber land in Arkansas, besides five lots and good buildings in this place. In the year 1889 their residence on Cherry Street, a comfortable and commodious home, was erected. Mr. Cobbum is a member of the Odd Fellows’ society, is a Democrat in politics, and is an Elder in the Christian Church. He is a stockholder in the Jackson County Homestead Building and Loan Association.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Jackson County, Illinois family biographies here: Jackson County, Illinois Biographies

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