William Ralph Cochran. The Cochran family is of Irish ancestry, as the name would indicate to any one even slightly versed in nomenclature, and William Ralph Cochran’s grandsire, William Cochran, was the first of this line to quit old Ireland’s shores for those of America. He first settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in 1853 moved to Sullivan County, Missouri, where he became a prominent farmer and stockman, and where he died in well advanced years.
The son of this Irish emigrant was R. H. Cochran, father of the subject. He was born in Philadelphia, in 1851, and when the family came to the West in 1853 he came with them, an infant in arms. He was reared in Sullivan County and saw that community advance from an almost barren waste to its present high state of productiveness, and aided largely in bringing about the great change, for he has devoted his life to the business of farming and stock raising, and is still active in the business, being one of the foremost men of the county in that enterprise. Mr. Cochran is a member of the Presbyterian Church and an elder therein. He is a republican and a member of the Masonic fraternity. He married Isabelle Swanger, born in Pennsylvania in 1857, and she died in Sullivan County in 1889, young in years, and the mother of four children. Bruce, the first born, is a naval officer in charge of the naval recruiting station at Omaha, Nebraska. William Ralph, of this review, was the second child. Ray lives at Lane, Kansas, where he is a well-to-do farmer. John, born in 1889, died in 1891.
In later years Mr. Cochran remarried, Lydia Reger, a Sullivan County girl, becoming his wife. Two children have come to them: Cash and Vera, both of them at home as yet.
William R. Cochran attended the Sullivan County public schools in his boyhood, and in 1904 he entered the State Normal School at Kirksville, Missouri, where he spent two years in diligent study. Finishing his normal course he began teaching, and he gave four years of his life to that work, in which he was especially successful, and in which he would undoubtedly have made a name for himself in educational circles.
In March, 1907, Mr. Cochran came to Cestos, Dewey County, and continued teaching until December, 1911, when he entered upon a new enterprise, establishing the Vici Beacon, of which newspaper he has since been editor and publisher. The paper is one of the live sheets of the county, and circulates in Ellis, Woodward and other neighboring counties, besides its home county of Dewey. It is a republican organ, voicing the sentiments of its editor and the party in general, and in all its phases exercises an influence for good in those communities where it circulates that will not be gainsaid.
Mr. Cochran has been town clerk of Vici since the town was incorporated, and is one of the more public spirited citizens of the thriving little city in which he has his interests. He was a member of the school board while resident in Cestos, and takes a wholesome interest in educational affairs in Vici as well. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Oklahoma Press Association, and in a fraternal way is associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Cestos Lodge No. 447, of which he is past noble grand.
In 1907 Mr. Cochran was married in Green City, Missouri, to Miss Mabel Terry, daughter of P. F. Terry, a prominent farmer and stockman of that place. Three children have come to them: Randall, born May 9, 1908; Carroll B., born October 1, 1909, and Annabel, born January 10, 1913. Mr. and Mrs. Cochran are popular young people in their home town and have a host of staunch friends in the city and county. They are sought in the best social circles of the community and have a leading part in the social activities of the place.