Col. William Cochran, and That’s The Truth

I wrote about Col. William Cochran (1793) in June 2014. Researching and writing on a (self-imposed) deadline can lead to errors.  I hope that fewer of those happen as I get more experienced at genealogical excavations, but all family history stories and family trees are works in progress. The next week, month, or decade may turn up new evidence that changes assumptions made earlier.

Although I got most of the story right, including the background of the war of 1812, it turns out that my interesting history of Col. Cochran in the War of 1812 actually belongs to some other William Cochran.  Since writing “Would I Lie To You?“, in which I admitted I wasn’t sure of some of the facts, I have come into a great deal more information about the Cochrans. I’ve shared information about Col. Cochran’s father and grandfather, and about several of his children, the siblings of my great-great-grandmother, Emeline Cochran Stout.

I have returned to that first post about William and highlighted wrong information and explained new information. I did not delete the superfluous information, because it does apply to SOME William Cochran, and might be of some assistance to someone else who stumbles upon it. Additionally, I am going to redo William’s history here, with the old information that was correct, and the new information that has surfaced recently, most notably an article about  his political activity, his obituary, and a copy of his will.

Col. William Cochran 1793-1898

Growing Up in the Wilderness

It is interesting to contemplate how our ancestors wound up living where they did and how cities grew around them.  The picture is clear in Guernsey County.  It is all about road building.

 Zane’s Trace is one of the earliest routes through Ohio (1797), started as a footpath from Wheeling West Virginia and meandering across southern Ohio to the southeast where it met another trail that went to New Orleans. Town’s like Cambridge in Guernsey County grew up around ferry crossings along the trail.

In 1806 Thomas Jefferson authorized the building of  the first national highway, called the National Road as far as Wheeling West Virginia. There it stalled until 1825, when construction resumed, following the path of Zane’s Trace as far as Zanesville and then heading straight for Columbus, Ohio.  Today tourists can follow the historic road on route 70. My ancestors lived along these two main routes into Ohio. As you drive You’ll see sections of brick surfaced road and the “s” bridge that my mother said she remembered because when her family drove to see the Stouts in Guernsey County they knew they were close when they crossed the “s” bridge.   On the map below, the towns of Washington and Middleborough were just east of Cambridge.

Zane's Trace in Ohio

Zanes Trace was later extended from Zanesville to Columbus to become part of the National Road. Image from Roots Web.

William Cochran, father of Emeline Cochran Stout, was in the first generation of the Cochran clan to move to Ohio. He is my 3x great-grandfather.  Born in Hickory, Pennsylvania, he got to Ohio about 1802 when his family moved to a settlement along the National Road in Southeast Ohio making them one of the earliest families to settle in that county in frontier Ohio Territory. As an old man, one account says he claimed there were only 25 families in the county in 1802, and this one says 15 families.  [ See Alexander Cochran Arrives in Guernsey County]

A Correspondent writes from Hamilton, Butte County, California 1874 (Probably in the Cambridge, Ohio newspaper–I have only a transcript given to me by a cousin).

Col. Cochran is 81 years of age  and has been a resident of this part of the country for 73 years.  When he first set his foot in what is now Guernsey County it was occupied by but fifteen families and the site of Cambridge was a wilderness, the only building being a cabin on the creek below the present pike bridge, occupied by a man named Tunes who kept a small ferry.  The redskins were plenty in the region at that time as were all kinds of wild animals and game.
William Henry Harrison

“Old Tippecanoe”, William Henry Harrison, painted by Rembrandt Peale in 1814

Note: General William Henry Harrison gained his fame and nickname “Old Tippacanoe” fighting Indians in 1811 along the Ohio River.  See political implications to William below.






William’s obituary in the Cambridge Jeffersonian in 1878 also described the territory.

The first settlement of the family was made upon the land embraced in the Carlisle possessions near the Salt Works on the National road between Washington and Middlebourne. His father located there when the region was an unbroken forest, no other “clearing” being then within several miles of him.  Afterward they moved a few miles eastward up the Salt Fork on Wills Creek upon land which remained in the family until a very few years ago.

What an exciting place for a little boy to grow up.

Military Service

As a young man, William enlisted in the Ohio Militia.  According to an article in The Guernsey Times (1893) “He received his title of colonel in the Second brigade of the Fifteenth division of Ohio Militia, General James M. Bell commanding the division.”

Although none of the articles about him, including his obituary refer to the War of 1812, there is a War of 1812 marker with his gravestone in the Stout farm cemetery in Guernsey county. And there is a Pvt. William Cochran listed as being a member of Captain Cyrus Beatty’s Company from Guernsey County who served from October 23, 1812 to February 22, 1873. William would have been nineteen at that time. I assume that was his company, but how he got from private to Colonel, I’m not sure. And I have found no evidence that William, Captain Beatty, or Major General Bell saw military action during their time in the militia.

Marriage and Family

At the age of twenty-four,after working on his father’s farm,  he married Martha Henderson, who lived on a neighboring farm on February 20, 1818. Their own farm on Zane’s Trace, became quite prosperous.

Martha and William were said to have had thirteen children. I have evidence for ten. However, in William’s will he mentions 6 living children and 3 deceased with children. I have to assume if they had 13, that three died in infancy or young childhood. In the case of the son William, he may have died before his father and left no children, and thus is not mentioned in the will.

  • 1818: John Henderson Cochran, who moved in 1857 to California and spent his life there.
  • 1822: Jacob Cochran who went to California in the Gold Rush, then settled first in Iowa and then in Kansas.
  • 1823: Birmingham, who relocated in Christian County Illinois, where William invested in property and when he was a widower, moved to Oklahoma.
  • 1828: Emeline, who married neighbor Isaah Stout, my 2x great grandparents.
  • 1830: William H. Cochran, listed in the 1850 census living with his father and mother, but not in the will.
  • 1832: Alexander, who went to California for a few years as a young man and then returned to found Quaker City in Guernsey County.
  • 1834: Thomas W. Cochran, listed in the 1850 census and in the will, but I have not other information.
  •  Mary, about whom I know very little. Although one source gives her death as 1911. In William’s will she is listed as one of eight children and he leaves a share of his estate to her children.
  • 1838: Joseph Cochran, who died one year before his father, leaving children.
  • 1842: Martha A. H. Cochran. William states that Martha’s children are to receive no part of his estate as”having made advancements to her in her lifetime of one thousand dollars or more being her full share…”  Sounds like some family trouble there!

See Early California for more information about some of these Cochrans descendants.

Community Involvement

In 1825, William became a member of the first Masonic lodge in Guernsey County “The Old Guernsey Lodge,” Cambridge.  Later in his life he was a member of the Eureka Masonic Lodge in the village of Washington. He was a member for more than 50 years, and was the last living member of the “Old Guernsey Lodge.”

William was active in the Disciples of Christ church, a believer in reform Protestantism.

In addition to being a busy and successful farmer, WIlliam took part in affairs of the community. He held the title of Tax Collector for four terms, personally collecting taxes.  “He knew every man in the county.  He grew up with and noted the coming of people into it and watched its growth and development and lived to see the territory it then embraced rise from a mere handful of persons to a population of thirty thousand souls, and from a wilderness of woods and swamps to a region filled with farms and doted with twenty towns.”

I will talk more about his political involvement in a later article focusing on the political activities of various ancestors and family, but the high point for him was working for the election of William Henry Harrison of the newly formed Whig party in the 1840 Presidential election.


By 1850, William’s very prosperous farm contained a total of 460 acres (300 under cultivation), worth $4,000. He owned 16 horses, nine milk cows, 15 other cattle and 330 sheep.  Crops he raised included wheat, corn and oats.  Since he instructs in his will that there be no “appraisement and no sale of my personal property” we are denied the pleasure of pawing through his personal effects to learn more about him.

We do learn from his will that he owned land in Illinois, probably related to the fact that his son Birmingham settled there.

In 1851, his wife Martha died, leaving children 9, 11, 15, 17 and older. In the same year, William’s father, Alexander Cochran died. Within a year, William had married his second wife, Ruth Hazlett. She bore him no children in their 16-year marriage. They moved from the farm to the town of Middlebourne in 1863.

Ruth died in 1868, and two years later, at the age of 79, he married his third wife, Mary Moore.

His obituary sums up the personality of this man who contributed so much to his community affairs and so many successful and adventurous offspring to the world. He is an ancestor to be proud of.

Col. Cochran had a kind heart and a fast hold upon the affections of all who knew him.  He was a man of remarkable vigor of intellect, of indomitable will, of perseverance, patience and industry which did not desert him until stricken with his last illness, and then to the closing hour his mind was as unclouded as on any day of his busy and useful life.  The qualities named made him a man of influence in his community and that influence was used to the promotion of the welfare of those about him.

Col. Cochran’s impressive tombstone, with its Masonic emblem and War of 1812 medal, stands in the overgrown and overlooked old cemetery on what was once the farm of Isaiah and Emeline Cochran Stout (William’s daughter).

Willliam Cochran

William Cochran Tombstone in the Stout Cemetery, Guernsey County, Ohio

William Cochran

Wm. Cochran Grave Marker, with War of 1812 Marker Stout Cemetery


And that’s the truth.


How I Am Related

Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of

Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of

Vera Stout Anderson, who is the daughter of

William Cochran Stout, who is the son of

Emeline Cochran Stout, who is the daughter of

Col. William Stout and Martha Henderson Stout

Notes on Research

  • A genealogy of Alexander Cochran and family by George C. Williston, found on the web at RootsWeb.
  • Information about Alexander Cochran, the son of William Cochran and brother of Emeline, is in History of Guernsey County, Ohio by Col. Cyrus P. B. Sarchet, Illinois, Vol. 1 & 2, pg. 615, (1911)
  • The Household Guide and Instructor with Biographies, History of Guernsey County, Ohio, by T. F. Williams (1882)  (Two copied pages that include the Stout/Cochran family are in my possession. (Whole available free through Google books)
  • U. S. Federal Census reports: 1820, Oxford Twp, Guernsey County, Ohio; 1830, Knox Twp., Guernsey County, Ohio, 1840, 1850 and 1870 Oxford Twp, Guernsey County Ohio.
  • Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850, Agriculture, Oxford Twp, Guernsey County, Ohio,
  • Ohio, Marriages, 1803-1900, Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research, Ancestry.comWilliam Cochran and Mary Moore, 31 Mar 1870, Belmont, Ohio.
  • Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998,, Record of Wills, 1812-1918; Index, 1812-1972; Author: Ohio. Probate Court (Guernsey County); Probate Place: Guernsey, Ohio, William Cochran, 1 April 1878, Guernsey County, Ohio, Will Records, Vol 3-4, 1875-1891
  • Find a Grave, William Cochran, Martha Henderson.
  • The Campaign of 1840: A Series of Articles in The Guernsey Times, 1893 Compiled by Kurt Tostenson. Original author Col. Cyrus P. B. Sarchet in 1893. In my possession a photo copy of compilation of articles from the Guernsey Times for the Guernsey County Genealogical Society in August 1994
  • Letter from Cambridge Lodge 66 F & AM, Letter to Tom Fowler from David Campbell, Cambridge Masonic Lodge.Undated. In my possession a photo copy of the letter, provided by the recipient.
  • The Jeffersonian, Cambridge newspaper, Obituary of Col. Cochran,  In my possession, a photocopy of transcript of the obituary of Col. William Cochran, dated 1878

Sick Food: Barley Water For Invalids

No, not food that is sick. Food you eat when you are sick, like barley water.  A better term is the chapter heading in one of my vintage cookbooks: “Invalid Cookery.”

1925 Cook Book

1925 Cook Book Cover

I had noticed this intriguing chapter title in the 1925 book, The Home Makers’ Cooking School Cook Book by Jessie M. DeBoth (cover title: Buffalo Evening News Cooking School Cook Book).  This book, which qualifies as an heirloom, belonged to my great aunt, Maud Stout Bartlett.  As I’ve explained before, a number of newspapers across the country carried Miss DeBoth’s column on cookery, and each published a book of recipes, putting their own name on the cover.

I’ve had a cold that knocked me down this past week, and I kept thinking if I had the energy to get up, I’d cook something from the chapter on “Invalid Cookery.”  Now I’m back up and at the computer, and still feeling the need of comfort food, although not feeling good enough to actually cook anything complicated..

Sick Child

Child in Sick bed, photo from The London Blitz, 1940, Photo by Cecil Beaton, public domain

We all have our sick food favorites, some the same from childhood. Mine include Vernor’s ginger ale (it has to be Vernor’s and if I have to explain why, you’re not from the mid-West); pudding of any kind, but particularly rice pudding; tea with lemon juice and honey; white bread toast to dunk in the tea–or spread with applesauce. Soup and club crackers. It has now been scientifically proven that chicken soup actually IS good for you when you’re ill.

From Mrs. DeBoth’s Cook Book

Back to the book. The introduction to the chapter “Invalid Cookery” is preachy and thorough– as is every chapter introduction in this book. It encourages the housewife by saying,

Caring for the invalid falls to the lot of a large majority of homemakers at some time.  Very often the homemaker has much to do with the recovery of the invalid.  Special foods must be cooked, appetites must be coaxed back to normal, and the patient must be catered to in every possible way.

That is a proposition that I am sure every husband would agree to, and every homemaker might wonder just who was going to “cater to [ME when I get sick] every possible way.”

Not only must you prepare the right food, but the appearance of the food affects the appetite.

Sick person breakfast tray

From American Food Roots website.
In “Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent,” Fannie Merritt Farmer called for setting a pretty breakfast tray to stimulate the appetite. / Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co. and the USDA National Agricultural Library

A simple dish of pudding can be made to look so attractive that the person for whom it is intended will be glad to take it no matter what it is.  Daintiness is of primary importance.  The tray must be attractive.  The portions should be small.  A large serving may look so overwhelming that the patient will not try to eat it.  When hot liquids are served, they should be brought in a covered pitcher to be kept hot.  By pouring it in the room, there is not the danger of spilling in carrying.  Nothing so quickly mars the appearance of a tray as a saucer into which some of the liquid of the cup has been spilled.

Oh, dear! Heaven forfend that I should slop some liquid into a saucer!

Monotony should be avoided, even if only the garnish on the food is changed.  When the diet is so limited that great variation is not possible, it sometimes helps to change the dishes with which the patient is served.  A bit of parsley in place of other garnish makes the plate look a little different.  Cress, too, makes an attractive garnish.

The author of this book, does not apparently have a high opinion of the brain power of the reader.

Special care should be taken that no liquid food is ever served in the glass which has contained medicine.  Even if the glass has been thoroughly washed, it may have a slightly unpleasant taste or odor.

Okay, got it! Be dainty. Don’t spill stuff. Add some parsley. Don’t put the lemonade in the paregoric glass. But what should I prepare?  Some suggestions sounds okay, but some just sounds downright weird.


When I was a child, and my children were small, I made rennet custard.  My vintage cook book calls for Junket tablets in an eggnog, which sounds awfully good, but I didn’t have any Junket (a brand name) rennet tablets on hand, so I couldn’t try that.

Barley Water

Nor did I have pearl barley on hand for barley water.  (See UPDATE below) But I know that barley water was a headliner in feeding injured soldiers during the Civil War, and it hung on into the twenties. By the way, have you been watching Mercy Street on PBS? Set in a Civil War hospital, where the head nurse spends quite a bit of time worrying about what the soldiers are eating.

In case you want to try it:

  • 2 Tablespoons pearl barley
  • 1 Quart cold water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • A little sugar if desired.

Wash the barley, pour the water over it and soak for several hours.  Add salt and cook in a double boiler for at least three hours.  Strain through cheese cloth or a fine strainer, flavor with lemon, and add sugar if desired.

Note: Most current day recipes call for cooking barley for 45 minutes–but that is for eating it as a grain. Also, pearl barley has had a lot of the nutrients removed (which apparently Ms. DeBoth hadn’t caught on to, so its benefit to invalids is a bit questionable.)

The Book of Household Management by Mrs. Beeton has a similar recipe for barley water , but a more intriguing one proposes barley gruel made with red wine. Mrs. Beeton’s book, published just before the Civil War, must have been quite influential. I found her book at the intriguing site called Ex-Classics and from another site that contains her whole book, Mrs.

Mrs. Beeton’s barley water recipe.

INGREDIENTS – 2 oz. of pearl barley, 2 quarts of boiling water, 1 pint of cold water.

Mode.—Wash the barley in cold water; put it into a saucepan with the above proportion of cold water, and when it has boiled for about 1/4 hour, strain off the water, and add the 2 quarts of fresh boiling water. Boil it until the liquid is reduced one half; strain it, and it will be ready for use. It may be flavoured with lemon-peel, after being sweetened, or a small piece may be simmered with the barley. When the invalid may take it, a little lemon-juice gives this pleasant drink in illness a very nice flavour.

Time.—To boil until the liquid is reduced one half.

Sufficient to make 1 quart of barley-water.

UPDATE: I could not stand the suspense, so finally got out to buy some pearl barley and try making barley water.  I used Mrs. Beeton’s recipe, because it sounded a little more logical to me.  The tiny amount of barley in relation to the water, gives the barley water a pinkish-brown hue. I got just over a quart of liquid at the end.  I added to one glass, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of sugar (channeling my grandmother Vera Anderson who would put the maximum amount of sugar in anything).  Neither of the recipes specify drinking it warm or cold, but I drank it cold, thinking that would be more soothing for a sore throat.

 It really is not bad. You get a bit of the flavor of the grain, plus the lemon and slight sweetness.

Medieval Recipe for Barley Water

Finally, if you want to go back to Medieval days for a recipe for Barley Water for Invalids:

This is an excerpt from Libre del Coch
(Spain, 1520 – Robin Carroll-Mann, trans.)
The original source can be found at Mark S. Harris’ Florilegium

94. Barley-water for Invalids. You will take barley and cook it the night before, according to the quantity that you wish to make. Then take a pullet or cockerel, and break its bones and then make a pot boil with water that is clean; and moderately, in such a manner that when you cast in the pullet or cockerel, the water only covers it; and [this is] if it is little, of necessity you will have to cast in more water if the pullet is larger, and it is necessary that it cooks longer; and it must cook or boil constantly, and never cease to boil. And do not cast in salt until the last, when you know that there is no more than a dishful of broth, because it will be more flavorful. And having done this, after the patient has supped, you will take a few peeled almonds and grind them with a little of the white meat of the pullet in a mortar; and blend them with the broth of the cockerel or pullet; and when you have strained it, put this milk in a little pot; and if you wish, cast in a tiny bit of starch; you can cast it in at the same time as the milk; and then take the barley or ordio when it is cooked, and take a hemp-tow which should not be very thin, and put it in that ordio or barley, and press down the hemp-tow very well, in such a manner that all the liquor comes out of the barley; then take that milk that you removed, and strain it through a sieve, in such a manner that little of the starch passes through it; and then strain everything again, the barley and all; and it should be a little clear and thin. Because in resting overnight it will turn thick. And I wish to say this now: let it cook the night before with sugar; and in the morning, when the patient is going to drink it, make it boil a little, and that will make it of great benefit; and when you give this barley-water, cast a little sugar over the dish; and if you don’t wish to cast in starch, do not cast it in, [and see] that nothing goes into it.

The things you can find on the Internet!!

What I Will Not Cook

I’m going to pause here, but promise that I’ll bring you some more–but probably NOT “Toast water” (a piece of stale bread soaked in boiling water). And NOT Irish moss (it’s a seaweed and is controversial because it is the source of carrageen which some health experts warn against.) So while cold and flue season is still upon us, I’ll be back with more Invalid Cookery in the future.

Source in addition to those linked above: A Manual for Invalid Cookery. (1880) (available on line)

Early California : The Cochrans and the Moores

A child born in a hacienda in the central valley of California in the early California could have held citizenship in three countries before she reached the age of thirty. The growth of early California was tumultuous. After being Spanish at birth in 1820, she would have become Mexican in 1822 when Mexico won its Independence from Spain, and then become an American in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe HIldalgo, ceding California to the United States.

The History of Early California

Although the first organized party of settlers to reach California by land arrived in 1841, the state evolved quickly into a powerful force.  Gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, triggering a mass migration within the North American continent. Covered wagons headed West until in 1866 railroads started coming across the mountains. After the brief U.S.-Mexican war (1846-1848), California became a state in 1850.

U.S. Map 1850- California

What Manifest Destiny looks like on a map. Photo from Wikipedia. Click for attribution.

Coming from Scotland and Across America

Several of my ancestors were part of this migration. The Cochrans  came from a long line of feisty people willing to “follow the money”. Jane Cochran married Robert Moore, and the Moore family also had emigrated from Scotland. The Cochrans/ Cochranes, Scottish Presbyterians, were drawn to Ireland both by an opportunity to be paid militia, and later by King James of England, a Protestant who wanted to squelch the Catholics of Ireland.  So firmly Scottish were they, that the clannish Scots never thought of themselves as Irish, even though some families lived in that country for generations. (Read the history of the Cochranes here, and learn why there are so many Williams and Alexanders in the line.)

When the Catholic Irish became tired of the Presbyterians and the English crown no longer supported them, our doughty Scottish ancestors headed for America, the land of opportunity. Once there, they kept pushing inland, away from the already settled lands and towns into the forested lands of Pennsylvania, and when that became too crowded they moved on to the Northwest Territory where they were Ohio pioneers.

Once they had leveled the forests and started thriving farms, established churches, schools and towns in the new state of Ohio, they looked for more opportunity, and found it in fighting in the War of 1812, the U.S. Mexican War, and the Spanish American War. Then came California, and the lure of Manifest Destiny.  They were determined to once again break new ground and be the first to profit from the riches of California–which naturally they believed should belong to the United States.

Portrait of Andrew Bines Moore from History of Guernsey County Ohio by Cyrus Parkinson Beatty Sarchet.

Portrait of Andrew Bines Moore from History of Guernsey County Ohio by Cyrus Parkinson Beatty Sarchet.


It might be helpful here to explain my connection to these California pioneers.

  1. My mother was Harriette Anderson Kaser, and she was the daughter of
  2. Vera Stout Anderson, who was the daughter of
  3. Dr. William C. Stout, who was the son of
  4. Emmeline Cochran Stout, who was the daughter of
  5. Col. William Cochran, who was the brother of Jane Cochran Morrow Moore, the wife of
  6. General Robert Bines Moore.

Who Went to Early California?

Jane Cochran Morrow Moore was the step-mother of Jacob G. Moore and George W. Moore, and the mother of Robert Alexander Campbell Moore who settled in California. Her other step children also moved to California when she and Robert Moore moved. Not all stayed.

Jane’s nephews John Henderson Cochran and Jacob Benjamin Cochran, and Alexander Cochran (sons of my 3x great grandfather Col. William Cochran) also went to California for varying lengths of time. There was also a James Cochran who went to California in 1852, but I have not determined his relationship to Jane, since there are several Jameses.

Robert Bines Moore fought in the U.S. Mexican War (1846-1848), and that was probably what gave him the idea to move to California.  Although I have not determined exactly when they moved their family, Robert had to be there prior to 1854, because he was elected to office in 1855. Their son, Robert A.C. Moore was born in Ohio in 1843, leading me to assume that there move was after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo in 1848.

Butte County, California

Robert Bines Moore , known as “The General”, with his wife Jane Cochran Moore bought a portion of an old Spanish land grant called the Francisco Grant.  Once again, Jane, whose family pioneered in Guernsey County, Ohio, would become pioneers.

Their home was located in what would become Hamilton Township in Butte County. A busy town grew up near the Feather River and for some time was the county seat.  In addition to farming, Robert B. Moore also cashed in on the business generated by the Gold Rush by running a ferry in Butte County, over the Feather River. It was called the Hamilton Ferry, and he wills the license to his wife and son, but I can find no clue as to its exact location.

Movers and Shakers

California became a state in 1850, but it took a while for the legislature to authorize the election of County Commissioners. When the first election for County Commissioners was held in 1855, Robert Bines Moore got the highest number of votes. A couple of years later, after new townships were organized, he again ran and again topped the number of votes.  He and his family obviously were very influential in their corner of early California. In 1862 his son, J. G. Moore was elected to the State Assembly. The following year he was elected as County Clerk, and at the end of his term two years later he was re-elected.  Meanwhile, son George was elected County Coroner.

Hamilton Ferry, however, disappeared. A history of Butte County states that “After the removal of the county seat to Bidwell the town languished and finally disappeared altogether.”  The town’s hotel burned down in 1865.  “Mr. Robert Moore [son of Robert Bines and Jane] is now the sole occupant of the town-site [ in 1882] and one visiting his pleasant home can hardly think what a busy little village was here.”

John Henderson Cochran

John was 32, married with a two-year-old and an infant in 1850. He kept a grocery store in Middleton, Guernsey County, Ohio. He and his wife had three more children in Ohio, and in 1857 they set off in a covered wagon for California. His wife, pregnant at the start of the journey, gave birth on the way across the Plains. He stayed in California the rest of his life.

Jacob Benjamin Cochran

Other members of the family engaged in gold mining. The 1860 census lists Jane’s nephew Jacob Cochran as a miner.  Like others who went off to strike it rich, he left his wife behind in Ohio. It is sad to see him listed in Butte County, California in the 1860 census, while his wife and six children, ages 5 through 14, are still in Guernsey County, Ohio.  He may have left Ohio as early as the end of 1854, at the first hint of the gold rush, since his youngest child was born in 1855.  After making some money in California, and serving a 4-month stint in the Civil War in 1964 (Corporal in Co. A, 142nd Infantry Regiment), he returned to his wife by 1870, but they were then living in Troy Iowa.

By 1880 Jacob Cochran was married to a second wife and they had a second child. Iowa was not his last stop as his 2nd wife and their large family had moved to Kansas by 1895. He would be an interesting character to research further, since he married a woman 30 years younger than he, and fathered his last child when he was nearly 70.  The circumstances of that 2nd marriage and what happened to the children of the first are a bit of a mystery. He died in Kansas

Alexander Cochran

Another adventurer attributed his young man’s journey to the gold mining country as a great learning experience.  Alexander Cochran, another of Jane’s nephews (son of Col. William Cochran), went to California when he was nineteen (1951) and stayed six years according to a Guernsey County history. Alexander returned to Ohio with money in his pockets and helped grow the town of Cambridge before founding Quaker City.  Although he is buried in Quaker City, he died in West Virginia. The West Virginia death index lists his occupation as “capitalist.”

1860 Census

By 1860, the first Federal Census  conducted in California reveals a gold mine of information on these lands built around gold mining.

Jacob G. Moore

Son Jacob Gomber Moore (know as J.G.), 37, now married with two small children, is a Physician.  He owns $10,000 worth of land and employs four farm laborers and a Chinese cook, giving us an interesting glimpse into the life of wealthy American farmers. (As I mentioned above, he was elected to public office.)  But future census reports show his fortunes shifting, as he is living in California with no real estate value listed. He is working as a Clerk in the Customs House–no doubt a political appointment. He lived his life in California.


Who Were the California Settlers?

It is obvious that in Butte County, where Chico, California is now the County Seat, the attention had turned from gold to grapes (and wheat, olives, nuts and other crops).  Most of the people listed on the 1860 census surrounding the Moore’s are farmers. And the new residents came from every state and from many countries–Baden (Germany), Saxony (Germany), Ireland, England, Canada and China–especially China.

The Chinese Neighbors

1860 California Census

Chinese miners, neighbors of General Robert Bines Moore in 1860 census, Butte County, California

The exceptions to the farm occupations are a large number of neighbors with names like Lo Low, Ah Luke, Ah Long, Ah Foo, etc., all listed as miners–presumably gold miners, since this was a central part of the California gold rush territory. They are listed on three different pages in groups of two to eight or ten, which leads me to picture tents or small huts along the rivers where they panned for gold. All the non-Chinese on the census are engaged in agricultural activity. Only these Chinese are miners.

In 1850 fears by American miners that foreigners were taking away most of the gold, led to imposing a tax of $20 a month on foreign miners, but riots and unrest led to repealing that law the following year.  Two years later it was restored at $4 a month, showing that the resentment against foreigners was still there.

R.B. Moore’s wealth

Another interesting fact turned up by this census is how very cheap land was in the early days of California. Robert B. Moore owned 1363 acres when he died in 1866, and presumably about the same in 1860.  In the census, his land was valued at $60,000 and personal property at $2,000.

[If you want to know more details of the life of Jane Cochran Moore and her husband Robert Bines Moore, please turn to last week’s story about them: Jane Morrow Cochran Moore and the General.

Notes on Research

History of Guernsey County, Ohio, Two volumes,   various pages, by Col. Cyrus P.B. Sarchet, PUblished by B. F. Bowden and Co., Indianapolis, 1911 Available at Google

 History of Guernsey County, Ohio, page 368. excerpts on web site Ohio Geneaology Express. The article about James Cochran and others leaving for California published April 2, 1852 in the Guernsey Times.

History of Butte County, California, 2 volumes, by Harry L. Wells and others,  San Francisco,1882 Available at Google

U. S. Federal Census reports

  • Guernsey County Ohio, Wills Township 1820, Cambridge Township 1830, 1840, QUaker City, 1880
  • Hamilton, Butte, California, 1860, 1870, 1880
  • San Francisco California, 1870
  • Graham, Graham, Kansas ,1900
  • Troy, Troy, Iowa, 1880

U. S. Find a Grave for Jane M. Cochran Moore, Robert Alexander Campbell Moore, Jacob Benjamin Cochran,  Robert Bines Moore, Alexander Cochran.

California Wills and Probate Records 1792-1999, Probate Court Case Files, 1850-1879; Author: California. Probate Court (Butte County); Probate Place: Butte, California, Robert Bines Moore

California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898 California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 – 2A; CSL Roll Number: 44; FHL Roll Number: 977099

U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865,

West Virginia, Deaths Index, 1853-1973,