Folsom A to Z: Philip (Phillip) Charles Cohn

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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Editor’s note: Folsom A to Z is an intermittent series in the Telegraph where readers can learn facts and history about Folsom. Each week, the Telegraph will select a landmark, place, historical figure and major historical event that start with the next letter of the alphabet. This week we continue with “C.”

  • Philip (Phillip) Charles Cohn was born on July 6, 1854 in New York.
  • Cohn is the son of Charles and Dora (Cosminski) Cohn.
  • After his mother’s death when he was less than a year old, Cohn’s father left him with his side of the family in Mobile, Alabama, while his father took Cohn’s sister, Fannie, back to New York.
  • Not too long after, Fannie died and his father left New York with the goal of a life in California.
  • Cohn traveled to Sacramento, California when he was 20 years old in 1874 with $1.15 in his pocket.
  • In 1884, he found himself in Folsom.
  • Immediately upon arrival, he met Alice Martha Cohn and they married.
  • Alice was the daughter of Folsom pioneer merchant Simon Cohn, who owned S. Cohn & Co. Groceries on Sutter Street.
  • Cohn became business partners with his father-in-law and built a house that still stands on 305 Scott Street – the Cohn Mansion.
  • Cohn and his wife had seven children: Dora F., William M., Mabel J., Selma, Charles P., Simon A., and Henrietta.
  • Cohn is the only Folsom resident to have ever been elected to the State Senate and was also part of the State Highway Commission that later constructed what we know today as Folsom Boulevard.
  • In 1915, he went to the Panama-Pacific Exposition after being appointed to the Board of Supervisors, served on the board of directors for the Bank of Folsom and was one of the directors of the Orangevale Water Company.
  • As part of the Democratic State and County Central Committees, he was also involved in a number of fraternal organizations including B’nai B’rith, the Elks and the Masonic Order in which he was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.
  • He also donated property to the Folsom Veteran’s Association.
  • Cohn died in 1928 at the age of 74 and is buried in the Jewish Cemetery at Lakeside Memorial Lawn.
  • Phillip C. Cohn Park in Folsom was named in his honor.