Fayette County Genealogy Project

Contributed by Keely Deuschle

COCHRAN (p 495)
(I) John Cochran came to the American colonies about 1745, settling in Chester county, Pennsylvania.

(II) Samuel, son of John Cochran, born July 24, 1750, was a soldier of the revolution, serving with a company enlisted in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. He fought at Paoli, Brandywine and Germantown, and spent the winter with the hardy, tired patriots under Washington at Valley Forge. He married (first) a Quakeress, Esther, daughter of Daniel John. Her father was brought to Pennsylvania by William Penn to preach to the Indians and Quakers. One of his grandsons, Gideon John, was sheriff of Fayette county about 1850. Samuel Cochran came to Fayette county after the revolution and settled in Tyrone township, where he purchased a three hundred acre tract from Joseph Huston, where he lived until his death. He willed the homestead part of his landed possessions to his youngest son, Mordecai, and the remainder to his oldest son, James. The latter died a bachelor in 1875, aged ninety-two years, having always lived with his brother Mordecai, to whose oldest son, James W., he willed his estate. Mrs. Esther (John) Cochran died October 8, 1802, leaving six children: James; Samuel; Isaac; Thomas; John; Mordecai, of whom further. Samuel Cochran married (second) Agnes ______, who bore him one child Esther, who married John Strickler, of Tyrone township.

(III) Mordecai, youngest son of Samuel and Esther (John) Cochran, managed the Cochran farm, which was located at the western outcrop of the Connellsville coking coal deposit. In addition to his farming operations he embarked about 1845 in the manufacture of coke, an industry that has brought millions upon millions of dollars to the Connellsville region. He purchased a tract on the Youghiogheny river, and erected four coke ovens that being the beginning of the plants which, in its later development, was known as the Sterling Mines, situated below the Broad Ford, in Tyrone township. These ovens were operated continuously until 1868 when he sold them to his sons James W., Alexander C. and Lutellas Cochran. He sent the coke down the Youghiogheny to the Monongahela and Lower Ohio, until the 1860 decade, when shipments began by rail. Mordecai Cochran, after settling his coking interests in 1868, continued his farming operations until his death, December 29, 1880. His three sons added a large amount of coal land to the plant; in association with W. H. Brown, of Pittsburgh, as Brown & Cochran, enlarged and expanded the business, and until 1873 did the largest coking  business in Pennsylvania. The firm was dissolved by the death of W. H. Brown and Alexander C. Cochran. The business, however, remained in the family, and through James, a nephew of Mordecai Cochran, and his descendents, has brought fame and fortune to this justly celebrated Fayette county family. Mordecai Cochran married Susannah Welch, who died August 12, 1873. Children: Three died in infancy; Esther, married R. Q. Fleming, and died in 1872. Alexander C., died May 30, 1873; James W., died April 20, 1888; Lutellas, died September 25, 1892; Mary Ann; Margaret S., of previous mention, now widow of George W. Strickler; Melinda, married Hugh S. Darsie; Catherine D., married Jacob Harris; Alice C., married Isaac N. Beighley; and Mark M., a leading lawyer of the Fayette county bar and a prominent business man; married (first) Emma J. Whitsett, (second) Mary Schell.

Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Under the Editorial Supervision of
John W. Jordan, LL.D.
Librarian of Pennsylvania Historical Society, Philadelphia AND
James Hadden of Uniontown, Pennsylvania; author of “Washington and Braddock’s Expeditions Through Fayette County,” and the reproductions of Judge James Veech’s work entitled “The Monongahela of Old, or Historical Sketches of Southwestern Pennsylvania to the Year 1800.”

New York
Lewis Historical Publishing Company
Three Volumes

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