HASKELL, COBURN (31 Dec. 1868-14 Dec. 1922) was a prominent Cleveland businessman and sportsman, known as the inventor of the modern golf ball. Son of William A. and Mary Haskell, he came to Cleveland from Boston in 1892 as the result of a friendship between his father and MARCUS A. HANNA. In Cleveland, Haskell became closely associated with the Hanna family; he worked for the M. A. HANNA CO. An avid golfer, Haskell patented a ball with a rubber-wound core on 11 Apr. 1899. In 1901, he retired from M. A. Hanna to organize the Haskell Golf Ball Co. The "Haskell golf ball" replaced the universally used gutta-percha ball and revolutionized the manufacture of golf balls. Because of its greater distance, the Haskell ball reduced scores and helped considerably to increase the popularity of golf. Haskell Golf Ball was dissolved in 1917, selling its patents to other companies, including the A. G. Spalding Co. In addition to his interest in sports, Haskell was also known as a lover of music, art, and books, owning many first editions of the early illustrators.
In June 1895 Haskell married Mary Gertrude Hanna, daughter of Howard Melville Hanna, Sr. They had two sons, Coburn, Jr. (d. 1900) and Melville Hanna (1901-1984) . Haskell died in Cleveland and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.