Frank J. Cobbs House

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Frank J. Cobbs House
Frank J Cobbs House Cadillac MI.jpg
Frank J. Cobbs House is located in Michigan
Frank J. Cobbs House
Location 407 E. Chapin St., Cadillac, Michigan
Coordinates 44°15′1″N 85°23′38″W / 44.25028°N 85.39389°W / 44.25028; -85.39389Coordinates: 44°15′1″N 85°23′38″W / 44.25028°N 85.39389°W / 44.25028; -85.39389
Area less than one acre
Built 1898 (1898)
Built by James R. Fletcher
Architect possibly George D. Mason
Architectural style Colonial Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 88000376[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP March 31, 1988
Designated MSHS September 25, 1985[2]

The Frank J. Cobbs House is a private house located at 407 E. Chapin Street in Cadillac, Michigan. It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1985[2] and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.[1]


Frank J. Cobbs was born in Jackson County, Indiana in 1872, and was adopted by Jonathan W. Cobbs.[3] The Cobbs family soon moved to Cadillac where the elder Cobbs purchased a sawmill and, along with William W. Mitchell, founded the lumbering firm of Cobbs & Mitchell. Cobbs & Mitchell was among the largest lumbering firms in Michigan, supplying hardwood flooring and other products to consumers. At its high point, Cobbs & Mitchell used 100,000 feet of raw lumber daily.[4] Cobbs & Mitchell's operations played a major role in the economic development of Cadillac in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[2]

Frank Cobbs attended prep school at the University of Notre Dame, later attended the Michigan Military Academy, then obtained a degree from Olivet College in 1894.[3] He returned to Cadillac to work at Cobbs & Mitchell, and in 1895 organized the Cadillac State Bank. However, soon after, his father Jonathon Cobbs became ill. As the only son, Frank Cobbs took over his father's place at Cobbs & Mitchell; the elder Cobbs eventually died in 1898.[3] Cobbs & Mitchell continued to grow under Frank Cobbs's management, with considerable investment in the Cadillac area and growing holdings in the Pacific Northwest.[5]

Cobbs married Maude Louise Belcher in April 1898;[3] the same year, he had this house built for himself and his family by local builder James R. Fletcher.[2] It is thought that Detroit architect George D. Mason designed the house for Cobbs.[6] In 1905, additions were made to the house, including adding a reading room over the porte cochere and extending the east wing.[6] In 1912, the Cobbs moved to Oregon to supervise the Cobbs & Mitchell logging operations there, and in 1917 had an impressive Jacobethan mansion built in Portland.[5] Maud Louise Cobbs died in Portland in 1940; Frank J. Cobbs died in 1951.[5]


Frank J Cobbs House c1900

The Frank J. Cobbs House is a three story Colonial Revival house with clapboard siding and a gambrel roof clad in red cedar shingles.[2] The center of the front facade projects slightly forward and is surmounted by a gambrel-roof gable. One end of the house has a gable-roofed wing, while the other has what was once a porte cochere, which is now enclosed with an added second story room. The central portion of the facade projects slightly forward of the primary facade plane and is topped by a gambrel-roof gable. The exterior contains a variety of decorative elements, including a Palladian window, windows with molded caps, round-head dormers, and fluted columns and pilasters.[2]

A former carriage house, matching the main house in style, is sited nearby.[2]


  1. ^ a b Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Cobbs, Frank J., House". Michigan State Housing Development Authority: Historic Sites Online. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d John H. Wheeler (1903), History of Wexford County, B.F. Bowden, pp. 321–22; 365–67 
  4. ^ Cobbs and Mitchell Building Historic District Study Committee (September 15, 2010), Preliminary Report of the Cobbs and Mitchell Building Historic District Study 
  5. ^ a b c John M. Tess (December 1, 2001), NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES REGISTRATION FORM: Cobbs, Frank J. and Maude Louise, Estate (PDF) 
  6. ^ a b Debra Bricault (2002), Cadillac: Vintage Postcard Memoirs, Arcadia Publishing, p. 109, ISBN 9780738520032