Alabama Pioneers HonoredBiographiesGenealogy Information

Biography: James Bass Cobbs born March 17, 1856 – photograph

Happy Birthday!




Jefferson and Choctaw County, Alabama

James Bass Cobbs was born March 17, 1856, in Choctaw county, Ala. His father, Thomas Cobbs, born Aug. 5, 1826, at Raleigh, Wake county, N. C., was a chancellor of the northwest division of Alabama for twenty-four years. He was a prominent lawyer and an able judge. He died June 19, 1902, in Sumter County, Alabama. He was the son of Thomas and Sarah (Boone) Cobbs

Sarah Boone was the daughter of Joseph Boone of North Carolina and Sarah “Sally” Bass. Joseph Boone was a relative of the famous Daniel Boone of Kentucky. The two children of Joseph Boone and Sarah Bass were Sarah Boone and Joseph Boone III. (b. ca. 1780-ca. 1812) Joseph Boone III married Mary G. Green Feb. 1, 1803, in North Carolina. They had a child named Daniel Boone, born Aug. 20, 1786, Johnston Co., NC-d. Feb. 3, 1870, DeSoto County, Mississippi.

Sarah Boone 1st married William W. Hopkins June 16, 1812, in Johnston county, N.C. and their child Devereux Hopkins was born on May 13, 1813, in Johnston County, North Carolina. William W. Hopkins died when Devereux was only five months old and ten years after his death, Sarah Boone Hopkins married Thomas Cobbs, of Raleigh Dec. 10, 1824, in Johnston County, N. C. They had six children;

  1. Thomas Cobbs,
  2. Elizabeth Boon “Lizzie” Cobbs,
  3. James Cobbs,
  4. Hannibal Cobbs,
  5. Sarah Cobbs
  6. Julia Cobbs.

The maiden name of the mother of James B. Cobbs was Lucy Thorn, daughter of Reuben Thorn and wife, Margaret, of Culpeper, Va. The ancestry on both sides was engaged in the Revolutionary war. On the maternal side, one was a captain in the Revolution. The father of James B. Cobbs was a major in the Civil war, in an Alabama regiment stationed at Mobile.

James B. Cobbs received his early education in the Livingston common schools and in the business college at Poughkeepsie N. Y. He studied law in the office of’ his father but never entered the practice. He engaged in the mercantile business at Livingston and Mobile, Alabama until 1883. He then entered the National bank at Birmingham as a messenger, working himself along the line to paying teller.

In 1885 he resigned from this position and took the position of cashier of the Central bank, and upon the re-organization was made cashier of the Berney National bank, a position he held until 1894 when he was made thr president of the same bank. He was also president of the Clearing House association during the panic of 1893. His history in this connection is favorably known in banking circles.

In 1899 he resigned the presidency of the Berney National bank and accepted the position of vice-president and general manager of the Birmingham Trust & Savings company. This position he resigned in January 1901, and in July of that year was made the president of the Alabama National bank. He confined his time entirely to the banking business and was at the head of one of the strongest institutions in the State. Under his administration the deposits increased from $500,000 to $1,500,000

Mr. Cobbs was also director and stockholder in some of the leading institutions of the city. He was a vestryman in the Episcopal church of the Advent in Birmingham, a Knight Templar, a Shriner, an Elk and a Knight of Honor. He married Dec. 7, 1880, Susie Tankersley Little daughter of Capt. Ben B. and Susan (Franklin) Little, of Warsaw, Ala.

They had six children:

  1. Tommie Cobbs,
  2. Carrie Cobbs,
  3. Berney Cobbs,
  4. Herbert Lewis Cobbs
  5. William Boykin Cobbs
  6. Elwyn Douglas Cobbs

James Bass Cobbs died March 1925 in Jefferson County, Alabama and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama.



  1. Find A Grave Memorial# 70755875 # 70757473 # 70757732 # 70755546
  2. Sumter County, Devereux Hopkins Biography

This biography can be found in Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Volume VI 

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

Liked it? Take a second to support Alabama Pioneers on Patreon!