Historic Markers Across Alabama

Cobb's Light

Marker ID:  
Location: in a park at the intersection of AL Hwy 59 and US Hwy 98.
County: Baldwin
Coordinates: N 30° 24.411    W 087° 41.019
  30.40685    -87.68365
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMDN7Z


1942, Benjamin DeWitt Cobb, more affectionately known as “B.D.”, was appointed as the lone police officer for the town of Foley. In 1943, another officer was hired and B.D. was appointed as the first Chief of Police. This marked the founding of the Foley Police Department. B.D. Cobb served as Police Chief until 1971 when he resigned due to failing health. He remained with the Police Department for several more years, serving as a Captain.

Early in Chief Cobb’s tenure, the Town of Foley entered into an innovative agreement with John M. Snook, the founder of the Gulf Telephone Company, in an effort to quicken police response time. A light was erected atop the building on the southwest corner of this intersection. Citizens in need of police service would call the Gulf Telephone Co. operator who served as the first Police Dispatcher. The operator would then activate the light. Chief Cobb, who was normally on foot patrol or sitting on a park bench near this In location, would see the light and go to the nearby phone where the operator would relay the details of the call.

The light quickly became known as “Cobb’s Light”. Later in his tenure, Chief Cobb was instrumental in establishing the first radio communications for a municipal police department in Baldwin County. “Cobb’s Light” was no l onger needed. However, it stayed atop the building until the mid 1990’s when it was removed during a roofing project. Regrettably, the light was lost.

The light you see is a replica of “Cobb’s Light” and was replaced in 2008. It serves as a reminder of the early days of Police service and as a memorial to the dedicated service of Chief B.D. Cobb, the first of “Foley’s Finest”.

End of Cobb's Light