William Cochran

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WILLIAM COCHRAN (deceased), who for a number of years was engaged in agricultural pursuits in Armstrong county, was a veteran of the Civil war, in which he received injuries that caused him to be partially disabled throughout his life. He was born in Indiana county, Pa., Feb. 16, 1840, son of Alexander and Sarah (Strauss) Cochran.

Samuel Strauss, the maternal grandfather of William Cochran, was a pioneer of Indiana county, where he became a property owner and substantial farmer. He suddenly disappeared one day while plowing in his fields, and it is supposed that he was captured and murdered by Indians, as he was never again heard of. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Rebecca Buckley, afterwards married John Heffelfinger.

Alexander Cochran, father of William Cochran, was a native of Ireland, and when a young man emigrated to the United States. In 1856 he purchased the property where his son William's widow is now living, a tract of 104 acres, and there he continued to be engaged in farming during the remainder of his life, dying in 1872. He married Sarah Strauss, who was born in Shelocta, Indiana Co., Pa., and they became the parents of three children, namely: Rebecca, who married Lewis Wagner, of Indiana county; William; and Lillie, who married Jacob Shank, of Indiana borough.

William Cochran, son of Alexander Cochran, came to Cowanshannock township with his parents in 1856, and was here engaged in farming until Sept. 17, 1861, when he enlisted in Company A, 78th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, under Col. William Sirwell. At the battle of Stone River, Tenn., he was twice wounded, once in the left side and once in the sciatic nerve of his right foot, the latter wound, which never entirely healed, causing him to be disabled during the rest of his life. On receiving his honorable discharge, on account of disability, he returned to his farming operations, in which he was engaged until his death, which occurred Feb. 21, 1900.

On September 15, 1864, Mr. Cochran was married to Mary J. Henderson, daughter of William and Sarah (Willis) Henderson, natives, respectively, of England and Ireland. Her paternal grandfather was Benjamin Henderson, of England, a pioneer of Plum Creek township, Armstrong county, who cleared up part of a farm and died there in 1857. He was twice married, his first wife being Nancy Rose and his second Susan Anderson. Mrs. Cochran's maternal grandfather was John Willis, of County Derry, Ireland, also a pioneer farmer of Plum Creek township, where he died, being buried in St. Thomas cemetery. His wife was Sarah Minteer. There were nine children born to William and Mary J. Cochran, of whom eight grew to maturity: Sarah E., who was the wife of Robert Reynolds; Nancy J., wife of L. A. Grunley; Nathan Alexander; Dillie, the wife of Curtis Bell; Hannah; James E., married and living in Hammond, Ind.; Henderson; and John E., married and living in Hammond, Ind. Nancy, Alexander, Dillie, James and John are living.

Mr. Cochran was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Rural Valley, to which his widow also belongs. He was a faithful comrade of the Grand Army of the Republic and a member of the Odd Fellows, in both of which he had numerous friends, as he had, indeed, wherever his many excellent qualities of mind and heart were known. A Republican in his political views, he served for sixteen years as a supervisor of Cowanshannock township, and gave to his duties the same earnest and conscientious attention that characterized his private activities. Mrs. Cochran, who survives her husband, resides on the old homestead place, which she bought after the death of her father-in-law, at the administrators' sale, her people helping her to purchase it. She is seventy-two years of age, and at this writing (1912) has twenty grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The family is well known throughout Armstrong county, where its members are held in the highest esteem.

Source: Page 717Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September, 1998 by Joyce Sherry for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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