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Short biographies of Stanwood Cobb and his wife Ida.
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Cobb, Stanwood and Ida Nayan Whitlam:
Bios and photos from "Find a Grave"

compiled by Jonah Winters

1. Dr. Stanwood Cobb (1881-1982)


Birth: Nov. 6, 1881
Middlesex County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Dec. 29, 1982
Chevy Chase
Montgomery County
Maryland, USA
Stanwood Cobb lived to age 101. [Note: lists his death date as 12/28, but a member of Cobb's family informed me that the correct date is 12/29. -J.W., 2014]

In 1911, he is listed as a member of The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, as follows: "STANWOOD COBB, Newton Upper Falls, Mass. (23842). Great-grandson of Ebenezer Cobb, Jr., private, Col. Ebenezer Sprout's Mass. Regt.; great-grandson of Ebenezer Cobb, Sergeant First Middleboro Company of Minute Men."

He was an American educator, author and prominent Bahá'í of the 20th century.

He was born in Newton, Massachusetts to Darius Cobb — a Civil War soldier, artist and descendent of Elder Cobb of the second voyage of the Mayflower — and Eunice Hale (née Waite) — founding president of the Ladies Physiological Institute of Boston and mother of Cobb's four sisters and two other brothers. He studied first at Dartmouth College, where he was valedictorian of his 1905 graduating class, and then at Harvard Divinity School, earning a A.M. in philosophy and comparative religion 1910. In 1919 he married Ida Nayan Whitlam. Cobb was a member of several literary associations and of the Cosmos Club of Washington, D.C.

Cobb lived internationally for some years before settling at 19 Grafton St. in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where he died.

In 1907–1910, Cobb taught history and Latin at Robert College in Constantinople (now Istanbul), followed by several years teaching in the US and Europe. He later headed the English department at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland (1914-15), taught at Asheville School in Asheville, North Carolina (1915-16), and was instructor of history and English at the United States Naval Academy (1916-19). Frustrated by the teaching experience at the Academy, Cobb heard a lecture by Marietta Johnson who helped marshal and crystalize his thoughts on education practice and curriculum theory. As a result, in 1919, Cobb founded the Chevy Chase Country Day School, of which he was the principal until his retirement, and, active in the progressive education movement in the United States, became a founder and motivating force, first secretary, and eventually president (1927-1930) of The Association for the Advancement of Progressive Education, later renamed in 1931 as Progressive Education Association, and then American Education Fellowship.

Family links:
Darius Cobb (1834-1919)
Laura Marie Lillie Cobb (1846-1919)

Ida Whitlam Cobb (1878-1967)
Rock Creek Cemetery
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

Stanwood Cobb at about age 100. He is sitting on his porch at his home at 19 Grafton St. in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Dr. Stanwood Cobb at his 100th birthday party on July 4, 1982. His birthday cake, with sparklers on top, is being brought over to him to blow out. The photo was taken in front of his house at 19 Grafton St., Chevy Chase, MD, which was also the location of Dr. Cobb's school, the Chevy Chase Country Day School.

2. Ida "Nayan" Whitlam Cobb (1878-1967)


Birth: Aug. 25, 1878
Ontario, Canada
Death: Mar. 10, 1967
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Ida Ella Amelia Whitlam was the daughter of Henry Whitlam (Feb. 20, 1843-Nov. 12, 1903) and Isabella Drummond (1846-Dec. 25, 1896) in York county, Etobicoke township, Ontario, Canada.

She was always known as "Nayan". Her husband Stanwood wrote: "Her very name indicated success, so she was told by the New York numerologist who had devised it for her a year before we met, to replace her given name "Ida" which I never did like. Every acquaintance has adored, as I always have, this unique exotic name so full of promise — the creation of New York's leading numerologist."

One of her distant cousins (Valarie (Drummond) Kalynchuk) wrote: "I found her "Officers' Declaration Paper — Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force" dated April 29, 1916. She was living in Estevan, Saskatchewan at the time."

She and Stanwood Cobb were married on Sept. 19, 1919 in Manhattan, New York City.

Nayan and Stanwood Cobb had no children.

Much about Nayan and her life are described in a book "Life With Nayan", written after her death by her husband, Stanwood Cobb, and published in 1969.

Family links:
Stanwood Cobb (1881-1982)
Rock Creek Cemetery
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

Photo from the book Life with Nayan, by Stanwood Cobb.

Rock Creek Church Cemetery
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