Cobb Brick Company
Gideon was the quintessential pioneer. He knew everyone in Town and
all knew and were indebted to Gideon. He was a Soldier who helped
secure Brighton and New York State during the War of 1812, Firefighter
in City of Rochester, Salesman of tools made by his brother William,
Sand Co. Proprietor, Brick Co. Proprietor, Teamster, staunch Abolitionist
engaged in the "Underground-Railway", Building Contractor,
Tree Stump Removal Contractor, Road Builder, Tavern Proprietor, Father,
School Director (School #5), Farmer, and an interesting Story Teller......a
great guy! He was a frontiersman who moved to Brighton, found a wilderness,
showed extraordinary courage and developed an area for civilization
to take hold. Participating in and demonstrating leadership in all
aspects of frontier life and enjoying the process. Brighton was fortunate
to have had such a resident.
Gideon constructed a kiln, manufactured bricks and applied his
vast skills to erecting the City of Rochester and the Town of Brighton.
To build was his drive, bricks were secondary to progress. Gideon's
involvement in the business of brick manufacture was created not by
family connections as the Buckland's nor financial investment as the
Otis family but by a desire to build and create. Gideon was a contractor
who applied his brick product to community building.
Block Print by Norman Kent, depicting Gideon and his oxen team.
Arrival in Rochesterville:
age 20, Gideon and William Cobb, (his older brother by four years),
in association with the brothers Francis and Dr. Matthew Brown, moved
from the Rome, NY area to Rochester, NY. William Cobb was a blacksmith
in association with the Brown brothers who established a mill at the
high falls of the Genesee River. The year was 1812 and the census
population of Rochester was fifteen people. The Brown's brought mill
wrights, mill irons, a small stock of goods, and commenced improvements
in an old mill building, in the area to be known as Brown's Race.
Shortly after Gideon's arrival, in 1812, when volunteers were called
for taking Fort Erie he enlisted in the Army. He was assigned to an
area that is now Aurora, in Erie County on New York State, where he
was appointed an officer and erected certain defenses to protect the
settlement from an anticipated attack of the Indians. Gideon returned
in 1813 and in 1814 purchased and used a lot on Front Street, as a
cattle and hog yard, he lived as a resident boarder in a house near
& War of 1812:
When the war broke out the frontier was almost entirely unguarded;
only a few hundred militia were on duty to protect the American settlements.
Communications were bad, the roads were very poor, and it was difficult
for Americans farther east to support their frontier cousins. On the
other hand the British had control of all-important water routes that
were the main avenues of military conquest in the American wilderness.
By October 1812 the Americans were better prepared for hostilities.
They had an army of about 6,000 men, over half were regulars, assembled
along the Niagara River between Fort Niagara and Buffalo. During 1813
most of the military activity took place at the end of the year. In
December of 1813 two British Armies plus many Indians crossed the
Niagara River. On December 18, 1813 Fort Niagara was captured by the
British and then British forces attacked Lewiston and laid waste the
entire countryside as far south as Tonawanda Creek. Ten days later
General Riall's men burned Black Rock and Buffalo. Panic-stricken
settlers fled eastward to Batavia and even across the Genesee River.
As 1813 ended, British control of the Niagara Frontier was almost
Gideon returned to Rochester in 1813, the War was to continue till
February of 1815.
soldiers were badly fed and disgracefully clothed. In winter, the
unfortunate sentries who patrolled the Canadian-American border shivered
and shook on duty because they lacked overcoats.". After the
War (1850's), Gideon Cobb, presented Claim No. 8098, to New York State
for payment for Military clothing and equipment provided by individuals
who volunteered or were drafted into Service." Amount Allowed:
$65.50.... Gideon was elected a delegate to the War of 1812 Veterans
Convention, January 13, 1854, held in Philadelphia Pa.
Reference Book: WAR OF 1812, Western, p11....Wallace Lamb's Sectional
Histories of New York State.