Board room at Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union dedicated to Jim Cobham Jr.

Roosevelt Gant, left, shared his personal experience with the late businessman, and said Jim Cobham was very valuable to the central city.

Journal Staff Writer

July 18, 2016 would be a day that Barbara Cobham, widow of Jim Cobham Jr., businessman, who passed on February 22, 2009, said she would always remember. On that day, at the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, 1339 Dorr St, the CEO of the union, Suzette Cowell, named their board room after the late businessman.

Cobham - Credit Union
James Cobham Jr. owner of serveral McDonald’s restaurants in Toledo.

During an intimate setting, friends of Mr. Cobham, who owned several McDonald’s franchises, shared memories of him. Then, Ms. Cowell would give a plaque to Mrs. Cobham, to take home, and then hang another in the board room that would bear his name. Afterwards, everyone would enjoy lite refreshments.

In Toledo, Jim Cobham was synonymous with the popular international business. But within the McDonalds’s corporation, he was associated with being able to bring a McDonalds out of the red, and into the black, according to Ms. Cowell.

“Besides being a good businessman, and my friend, Mr. Cobham was one of the founding members of the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union. If it wasn’t for his guidance, the union may not be here,” Ms. Cowell told The Toledo Journal.

“He taught me so much, like the do’s and don’ts of business; information you can’t get from a text book,” she said. “For those reasons, and many more, I felt it would be fitting to name the board room after him,” Ms. Cowell said.

Suzette Cowell, standing, presents Barbara Cobham with the plaque that will hang in the credit union’s board room.
Suzette Cowell, standing, presents Barbara Cobham with the plaque that will hang in the credit union’s board room.

“If he was here today, he would have tears in his eyes,” Mrs. Cobham said. “It makes me feel really good knowing they’re naming the board room after him,” she said.

Mrs. Cobham reflected on her husband’s decision, many years ago, to become an owner of a McDonald’s franchise.

“He always wanted to own one, and I knew he would be successful,” she said.

Besides business, Mrs. Cobham said her husband had a strong desire to help others, particularly young people. “He encouraged young people to stay in school and get their education,” she said.