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Happy Birthday to this guy, Peter Porter Cobb (aka. P. P Cobb) was born on November 21, 1857 and died on February 2, 1943. Peter wasn't native to Florida; he was born in Cazenovia, New York, a small town in Madison County. His mother was Mary Cobb (nee Powell) while his father's name remains a mystery. His mother Mary remarried John R. Watts, who owned and operated a grocery store in Cazenovia. Peter learned the grocery trade from this stepfather.
Our story begins when Peter bought the Hoggs trading store from his previous employers, the Oyster Cannery Company, naming it the P. P. Cobb General Merchandise Store. His motto for his new store was "Everything to Eat, Wear, and Use." Most of his merchandise came from ships and Florida East Coast Railroad trains.
Peter was a very generous and civic-minded man. He lent money to settlers and businesses before banks became available in the area, assumed the post of Postmaster, and was one of the first five aldermen chosen to govern the newly incorporated city of Fort Pierce in 1901. Most importantly, Peter loved children. Children loved to come over to P.P. Cobb's to sample the free candy Peter put in a glass jar. When one of his clerks complained that the children were not paying for the candy, Peter's response was: "This is not what I hired you for, young man." Peter closed P. P. Cobb's in 1931, and passed away on February 2, 1943. In his will, he lent money to the Fort Pierce Library and the Fort Pierce Memorial Hospital.
Peter Porter Cobb was irreplaceable. There will never be another one like him. Rest in peace and happy 163rd birthday.