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Col. John Cochran first set foot on the soil of Ohio in 1807, when he shipped as a hand on a keel-boat at Pittsburgh, bound for Chillicothe, Ohio. Both the Ohio and Scioto rivers were high, and the boat lay at Portsmouth five days before the main channel of the Scioto river could be found. There were five boats in company, and each became fast on the shoals in ascending the river. They arrived at Chillicothe, in the month of May, 1807. He soon returned to his home, in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, where he remained until in the month of May, 1812, when he received from the Hon. William Eustis, then secretary of war, notice of his appointment as ensign in the Nineteenth regiment of infantry. He was ordered to report for duty to Brig. Gen. Joseph Bloomfield, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In the early part of July he left home, and reported to Major McClung, of Pittsburgh, by order of the general commanding. Here he remained a short time, until he became familiar with his duties, when the command was ordered to Carlisle, and thence to the frontier. There five supernumerary officers, of whom John Cochran was one, who were ordered to report to Col. John Miller at Chillicothe. Three of them came through, Cochran working his fare, as nearly all were without money, or means of transportation. Sixteen days were consumed in traveling from Pittsburgh to Portsmouth. They walked fro Portsmouth to Chillicothe, and after resting a few days, Ensign Cochran was ordered to Dayton, to which place he walked alone. Here he remained a short time, when he was ordered to Franklinton, on recruiting service. He was very successful as a recruiting officer, and was kept at this duty for some time. In July, 1814, the regiment broke camp at Chillicothe and started fro Malden, Canada, guarding a detachment of British prisoners. Before reaching Malden, Ensign Cochran was ordered on detached service, and did not rejoin his regiment until fall, when they erected winter quarters at the head of the Niagara river. In the latter part of november they were ordered to Erie, pennsylvania. In 1815 he received his commission promoting him to a lieutenantcy. The captain of his company was ordered on detached service, and Lieutenant Cochran became its commanding officer. His company had an enviable reputation in the regiment for its efficiency in camp and on the field. The declaration of peace, in 1815, withdrew many of the inducements for following the life of a soldier, as there would now be no opportunity for winning distinction on the field, and receiving deserved promotion.

Lieutenant Cochran withdrew from the service soon after the close of the war, and returned to Ohio, where he had formed the acquaintance of Miss Mary O'Hara while on the recruiting service. He soon made her his wife and settled near South Bloomfield, where he made a purchase of land, which he improved. For a time he engaged in business at the village of South Bloomfield. During the enforcement of the militia law of Ohio he was made colonel of a regiment, which office he held for a number of years. Col. Cochran was a man who read and thought a great deal, and one who had a widespread influence. He so far enjoyed the esteem and confidence of the people of the county in which he lived as to be elected to the State legislature, in which he served during the years 1818, 1831, 1832, 1835, 1836, and 1850. In his political opinions he was a Whig.

His wife proved a careful, prudent, and loving companion, and a judicious mother in her management of the nine children born to them. She departed this life in 1875, at the age of seventy-five years.

During the later years of his life Col. Cochran wrote a series of articles, reminiscences of the early life in this country, and of the war of 1812, through which he served. These were published at the time in the Herald and Union, at Circleville, and were read with interest. He died in 1878, at the age of eighty-eight years, and was sincerely mourned by friends throughout the county in which he had lived so long, and where his worth was so well known and appreciated.


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