Samuel Bedlington Cobb was born on December 6, 1859 on a farm two and one-half miles
from Searsmont, Maine. His earliest memories were of his father being discharged from the Army (Civil War) in 1864.
When he was about ten years old he earned his first wages:
|Samuel Cobb (1859-1951)|
"I drove cows about a half mile to pasture mornings and returned them at night, and for this service I received
for the season two dollars for each cow driven. Late in the fall, when I was paid, one evening father took me to a
store and I came home wearing red-top, copper-toed boots. No boy was ever happier and prouder then I at that time."
Samuel’s family moved to Port Byron and then Cambridge, Illinois. In the fall of 1877, he followed Horace
Greeley’s advice and headed west with two new shirts and some carpentry tools. He worked his way across the United
States and finally landed in Portland, Oregon, in late 1882.
Mr. Cobb got a job as a mill superintendent at $125.00 a month and married, Florence Madden, on May 3, 1888. They
eventually had six children--Orville, Earl, Cecil, Everett, Edna and Grace. In the meantime, Mr. Cobb and his
boyhood friend, C. C. Woodcock, organized the Standard Box and Lumber Company. The business became quite
successful and in 1911 Mr. Cobb moved his family into a beautiful new Arts and Crafts house on the side of Mt.
Tabor. In addition to eight bedrooms and seven fireplaces, the house had a billiard room on the third floor and a
bowling alley in the basement.
Mr. Cobb’s wife died in 1920.
It was the spring of 1924 when Eathel Moore and Daddy Raker came to Mr. Cobb’s office at SE Third and Oak. They
told him a little about the Camp Fire Girls organization and their camping program. When asked if they could have
the meadow area for their summer camp, Mr. Cobb said yes. It is because of his kindness and generosity that we are
able to celebrate this milestone 75 years later.
Not only did he donate the original plot of land, but in addition Samuel Cobb gave of his own time, energy and
money for many years. He built the first swing in Sherwood because of a childhood fondness for swings.
In 1950, when Mr. Cobb wrote his memoirs, he said:
"Camp Namanu of the Camp Fire Girls organization, of which I am a member, is located on land given by me. It lies
on the bank of the Sandy River near Bull Run. I enjoy in all its fullness the pleasure and friendship the gift has
brought me. I am proud of their achievements and beneficent acts, which are most worthy and of high order."
Samuel B. Cobb lived a full rich life and died on February 18, 1951, at the age of 91.
Full-unabridged text of this chapter is available in the 75th Anniversary Book which is for sale at the
Camp Fire USA Portland Metro Council's office in Portland.
©1998 Reprinting only with written permission of Camp Fire USA Portland Metro Council.