Cohn and Bock Company, 1882-1934,MS 1759

Cohn and Bock Company, 1882-1934


Maryland Historical Society
 

  

(Text converted and initial EAD tagging provided by Apex Data Services, March 1999.)
 

Cohn and Bock Company, 1882-1934
Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information:
Manuscripts Department
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
410.685.3750
Fax: 410.385.2105
library@mdhs.org
www.mdhs.org

 


Descriptive Summary

Cohn and Bock Company, 1882-1934

MS 1759

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-4674

An Inventory of the volumes in the Maryland Historical Society

Manuscripts Division

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore, Maryland

1970

 


Scope and Content

The material is almost entirely concerned with the financial aspects of the firm: payments to it, balance sheets, and cash transactions. The letterbook reveals little of interest.

From these volumes little or nothing about the firm can be gained.

The newscuttings in the biographical notes page tell the story of the firm since its beginnings in 1867, until 1867. There it will be seen that originally it was a timber cutting venture, and later, at Queene Anne there was a saw mill and a grain mill. Changes occurred, and the firm made boxes, railway ties and other implements. Just before the turn of the century a large flour mill was added. From producing broiler feed the company finally settled on the supply of broiler chickens.

 

The business of The Cohn and Bock Company had its inception in 1867. Its founder was Rudolph S. Cohn who came to this country from Austria at the age of 18. Originally, there was a grist mill of stones for grinding wheat and corn for table use as well as a lumber mill.

Thomas H. Bock was born in England of Dutch parents and came to Maryland with the building of the Railroad to Crisfield. In 1888 he became a partner in the business and the firm Cohn and Bock was organnized. A new modern steam powered roller flour mill with grain storage was erected and the business continued to grow with the community.

Albert E Krause entered the business just before the turn of the century and later the lumber manufacturing division of the business was expanded.

E. Herrman Cohn, son of the founder became actively engaged in in the year 1902. The partnership was consolidated and the firm was incorporated in 1909.

Flour and table meal, lumber, boxes, crated and various wooden products were manufactured until the early 1930's. At that time with the beginning of formulated feeds for the production of table eggs and poultry, a new industry was founded.

Robert.C. Street came with the company in 1931 and Stanley C. Street in 1936, each shortly before his 18th birthday. During the next quarter of century, the business continued to prosper and grow with the production of poultry feeds. Early during this period Cohn and Bock was one of the few independant formula feed manufacturers on Delmarva. Under the leadership of E. H. Cohn, the company continued in many modernization and expansion programs, including building a hatchery in association with Winton D. Gouge, whose nine years of

years of experience in the industry help round out the operation. Before the time of E. H. Cohn's death in March 1961, plans had been laid and construction started on the present efficient push-button feed mill which can supply more than double the present 9,000,000 chickens a year.

Doris Maslin Cohn, widow of E. Herrman Cohn and his silent partner and advisor continues on as Chairman with Robert C. Street as President, and Stanley C. Street as Vice President.

Having survived panic, depression, war, and fire, in just a few years the company will celebrate its 100th birthday. If tradition is kept it will likely be without fanfare and in a manner consistent with the wishes of its founders.

 

HISTORY THE COHN and BOCK COMPANY 1867-1967

RUDOLPH S. COHN CAME TO AMERICA FROM AUSTRIA AT THE AGE OF 18. HE JOINED AN OLDER BROTHER WHO WAS ALREADY AN ESTABLISHED LUMBERMAN IN CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY. IN 1867 HE CAME DOWN TO THE EASTERN SHORE OF MARYLAND SETTING UP TIMBER CUTTING AND MILLING OPERATIONS IN THE NASSAWANGO AND POCOMOKE RIVER AREA OF WHAT WAS THEN STILL PART OF SOMERSET COUNTY. THE OFFICE WAS LOCATED IN PRINCESS ANNE WHERE THERE WAS BOTH RAIL AND WATER TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE GROWING CITIES OF THE EAST WITH THEIR GREAT DEMAND FOR THE HEAVY TIMBERS FIRST PRODUCED. A STONE GRIST-MILL WAS ERECTED TO GRIND BOTH FLOUR AND TABLE MEAL FOR THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY.

THOMAS H. BOCK WAS BORN IN ENGLAND OF DUTCH PARENTS WHO WERE ON THEIR WAY TO THIS COUNTRY. HE CAME TO MARYLAND WITH THE BUILDING OF THE RAILROAD TO CRISFIELD. IN 1888 HE BECAME THE PARTNER OF RUDOLPH S. COHN, THE BUSINESS THEN TRADING AS COHN and BOCK.

AS TIMES CHANGED, ITEMS OF MANUFACTURE CHANGED. MINE PROPS AND HEAVY TIMBERS GAVE WAY TO A PRODUCTION OF A MULTITUDE OF WOODEN PRODUCTS. FRAMING, SIDING, AND SHINGLES WERE PRODUCED FOR BUILDING. DURING THE ERA WHEN SOMERSET COUNTY WAS THE LEADING PRODUCER OF STRAWBERRIES, CRATES AND BOXES WERE MANUFACTURED. ALL THE WHILE, AS THE OCCASION DEMANDED, RAILROAD TIES, TELEPHONE CROSS-ARMS WERE AMONG THE PRODUCTS MADE.

SHORTLY BEFORE THE TURN OF THE CENTURY, ALBERT E. KRAUSE CAME FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH COUNTRY AS MILLER FOR THE NEW STEAM POWERED ROLLER FLOUR MILL ERECTED AT THE SITE OF THE PRESENT FEED MILL. FIRST BY RAIL AND HORSE AND WAGON, LATER BY TRUCK FLOUR AND TABLE MEAL, WOODEN CONTAINERS AND BUILDING SUPPLIES WERE DELIVERED UP AND DOWN/THE SHORE, NEW JERSEY TO CAPE CHARLES.

EDWARD HERRMAN COHN, SON OF THE FOUNDER, AFTER FINISHING AT HAMPDEN-SYDNEY ON HIS 19TH BIRTHDAY AND A TERM AT EASTMAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS CAME BACK TO PRINCESS ANNE AND BECAME ACTIVE IN THE AFFAIRS OF COHN and BOCK IN 1902. ON THE DEATH OF HIS FATHER IN 1909, THE PARTNERSHIP WAS CONSOLIDATED AND THE FIRM WAS INCORPORATED, ITS NAME UNDER THE CHARTER THE COHN and BOCK COMPANY.

LUMBER, WOODEN CONTAINERS AND BUILDING SUPPLIES AND DURING WORLD WAR I REELS FOR BARBED-WIRE ON THE WESTERN FRONT WERE PRODUCED WHILE WHEAT FLOUR, CORN TABLE MEAL AND THEIR MILLING BY-PRODUCTS CONTINUED TO BE MANUFACTURED AND SOLD ON THE LOWER PENINSULA.

IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE HOW A BY-PRODUCT OF AN INDUSTRY SOMETIMES BECOMES THE KEY TO A NEW ONE. THIS HAPPENED IN THE FLOUR MILLING INDUSTRY AS WHEAT BRAN AND MIDDLINGS, BY-PRODUCTS OF FLOUR, BECAME THE NUCLEUS OF A PRIMITIVE HOG FEED, THEN POULTRY LAYER FEED, AND FINALLY A FEED FOR THE PRODUCTION OF BROILER MEAT CHICKENS. NEITHER OF THESE PRODUCTS IS USED IN ANY QUANTITY IN BROILER FEEDS TODAY, BUT THEY, TOGETHER WITH A FEW OTHER SIMPLE INGREDIENTS, ONCE COMPRISED A COMPLETE BROILER FEED.

MR. BOCK SOLD HIS INTEREST IN THE COMPANY DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR AND RETIRED TO DEVOTE HIS TIME TO HIS CHURCH AND OTHER INTERESTS.

ROBERT C. STREET CAME TO COHN and BOCK IN 1931 SHORTLY BEFORE HIS 18TH BIRTHDAY. HE WAS HIRED AS BOOKKEEPER AND CLERK AND WAS CHARGED TO MAKE HIMSELF GENERALLY USEFUL IN HIS SPARE TIME. DURING THE BEGINNING OF THE BROILER INDUSTRY HE BECAME A POULTRY SERVICEMAN AND HELPED NURTURE THE EMERGING CHICKEN BUSINESS TO ITS PRESENT PLACE IN DELMARVA'S AGRICULTURE.

STANLEY C. STREET, HIS BROTHER WAS HIRED IN 1936 AS ASSISTANT TO THE MILLER, WHICH MEANT SACKING FLOUR AND TABLE MEAL AND HELPING TO MIX AND SACK FEEDS FOR POULTRY AND EGG PRODUCTION. HE, TOO, SOON WAS ON THE ROAD AS FEED SALES AND SERVICEMAN. THE BROILER INDUSTRY WAS GROWING BY TREMENDOUS STRIDES. THUS, UNDER THE PATERNAL GUIDANCE OF HERRMAN COHN, THE COMPANY BECAME ONE OF THE EARLY FEW INDEPENDENT FORMULA FEED MANUFACTURERS ON DELMARVA, PROGRESSING WITH THE INDUSTRY AND CHANGING WITH THE TIMES.

ALBERT E. KRAUSE DIED IN 1952, AFTER MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY AT COHN and BOCK, LEAVING A HERITAGE OF DUTCH THRIFT WITH THE COMPANY.

IN ASSOCIATION WITH WINTON D. GOUGE, FORMERLY OF NORTH CAROLINA, A BABY CHICK HATCHERY WAS BEGUN IN 1957. THIS ENTERPRISE NOW FURNISHES UP TO ONE-THIRD OF A MILLION CHICKS A WEEK FOR THE GROW-OUT OF BROILERS ON DELMARVA.

HERRMAN COHN DIED IN1961, BUT NOT BEFORE PLANS WERE MADE

FOR THE PRESENT PUSH-BUTTON FEED MILL WHICH WAS STARTED BEFORE HIS DEATH AND COMPLETED THE FOLLOWING YEAR.

IN 1966 PLANS WERE MADE AND CONSTRUCTION CARRIED OUT FOR A NEW GRAIN RECEIVING, DRYING AND STORAGE OPERATION. THIS PHASE OF THE BUSINESS IS NOW IN ITS SECOND YEAR, CATERING TO A CONTINUALLY CHANGING AGRICULTURE AND FURNISHING THE BASIC INGREDIENT IN THE PRODUCTION OF BROILERS.

DORIS M. COHN, WIDOW OF E. HERRMAN COHN, CONTINUES ON AS CHAIRMAN. ROBERT C. STREET IS PRESIDENT AND TREASURER, STANLEY C. STREET IS VICE PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY. IN SPITE OF PANICS, DEPRESSIONS, WARS, FIRES, NATURAL DISASTERS AND DEATH, COHN and BOCK HAS REACHED ITS 100TH YEAR, STILL PURSUING, STILL PROGRESSING, STILL SERVING ITS COMMUNITY AS IN THE PAST.

Processed by: Miss Ellen Lee Barker

Date: February 1970

 


Introduction

The records of the Cohn and Bock Company of [UNK] Anne, Maryland, were donated by Mrs. Doris Maslin Cohn, widow of E. Herrman Cohn, and Chairman of the Company.

There are 28 volumes of financial records, dating from 1882-1934, Also two boxes of bills, checks and correspondence. There is one letterbook.

All property rights belong to the Maryland Historical Society

Accession number: 62314 28 vols

MS. number: 1759. 2 boxes

GUIDE TO RELATED MATERIALS

Nothing relevant found.

Photographs of the plant and of the officers

are in the Graphics Section of the Society.