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August 10, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Mrs. Watson B. Cobb

In July of 1896, in an era in which obituaries for women were rarely published, the Appomattox and Buckingham Times printed a rather lengthy one remembering Mrs. Martlia E. Cobb.

In Memoriam.

Departed this life at Slate River Mills, Buckingham county, Va., June 9th, 1896, Mrs. Martlia E. Cobb in her 85 year, the widow of the late Watson B. Cobb. She was a Miss Lockett born and raised in Prince Edward county, and was a fair and ornamental sample of one of the oldest and best families in Virginia. A woman of strong mind blended with every necessary grace. For years she had lived with her son-in-law W. S. Kyle, where she was greatly beloved and highly appreciated. Her end was peace, she repeated her favorite hymns, among them was “How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord,” and seemed ready for the glorious transition in her last hours. For years she had been gloomy about her spiritual welfare, but as the Grim Monster approached it was disarmed of its terrors. She was quietly laid to rest at her old home on a picturesque spot overlooking the rippling waters of Slate River, and covered with beautiful Flowers by loving hands.

 She leaves 3 children, Mr. Howell E. Cobb, of Manchester, Mrs. W. S. Kyle, and Mrs. Wm. W. Pryor, Buckingham and numerous grandchildren and great-grand-children to mourn her loss. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”

A dear one from us is gone

The voice we loved is still,

The chair is vacant in our home

Which never can be filled.



One wonders precisely what qualities made the former Miss Lockett a perfect “ornamental sample” of Virginia. Mrs. Cobb’s son-in-law, Washington Swoope Kyle, was the father of Annie Julia Kyle, who married my ancestor’s nephew, George Randolph Holman. It is nice to know she had such an admirable grandmother.

Note: While the newspaper recorded Martlia’s name as “Cobb,” it was likely Cobbs.


Leave a Comment
  1. Mary Roy / Aug 10 2017 4:24 pm

    Your source, The “Appomattox and Buckingham Times” is quite intriguing because I have been searching for years for my great-grandmother’s grave in Buckingham Co. I wonder if her obit was also carried in this newspaper. How do I access back issues? My great-grandmother, Mary (Mollie) Elizabeth Putney Jones passed away in Feb. 1878. Thanks for your help!

    Kind regards, Mary Roy Dawson Edwards

  2. Bill Davidson / Aug 10 2017 10:50 am

    Here is just some related information that may be of interest to someone. I don’t know much about the Lockett family, but I believe that Watson B. Cobb’s middle name was “Benning.”. The Benning family and the Cobb family had intermarried, and both families were quite influential in Virginia (and beyond). Fort Benning in GA (where I was once stationed in the Army) was named for that Benning family, and Cobb Co., GA was named for that Cobb family (also shown as “Cobbs” in some branches of the family over the years).

    The Edward Davidson who was listed on the 1764 Buckingham Co., VA tithe list (but who died in Campbell Co., VA in 1794, leaving a Will), fathered a son who was named Charles Davidson (probably born in the 1740s or so). That Charles Davidson fathered a son of his own who was named John Benning Davidson, and it seems certain that Charles’ wife named Judith was the widow Mrs. Judith (Benning) Kitchen. The Will of John Benning Davidson mentioned his half-brother Benjamin Kitchen.

    • Joanne Yeck / Aug 10 2017 2:38 pm

      Thanks, Bill. This might help someone. Always good to hear from you! Joanne

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