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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent
James A. Cochran Biography

This biography appears on pages 166-167 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. V (1915) 

James A. Cochran, a prominent and well known pioneer, is living retired in Milbank. His birth occurred in Aurora, Illinois, on the 11th of October, 1854. His parents, Charles and Isabelle (Whitelaw) Cochran, were natives of Perth, Scotland, the former born in 1817 and the latter in 1822. They were married in their native land, but in 1850 emigrated to America, and, making their way westward, settled in Chicago. The father, who was a mason by trade, worked in that city and at Aurora, Illinois, but at length removed with his family to Wisconsin, where he followed agricultural pursuits. He accumulated four hundred and sixty acres of land and at the time of his demise was well-to-do, although he had been in limited financial circumstances when he emigrated to this country. He was a republican in his political belief and held membership in the Presbyterian church. Both he and his wife died at New Hampton, Iowa, in the year 1900. To their union were born six children, of whom four are living: James A.; William, who is farming in Canada; Emily, who is the wife of Dudley Summerville, a farmer residing in Oklahoma; and Ida, now Mrs. William Bunson, who is living on a farm in Iowa. 

James A. Cochran received his education in the common schools of Iowa and during his boyhood also gained valuable training in agricultural work. In 1879, when twenty-five years of age, he emigrated to Grant county, South Dakota, and homesteaded a quarter section of land. From time to time he added to his holdings and now holds title to five hundred and sixty acres, all of which he has rented to others. For many years, however, he personally operated his farms and his energy and good judgment were attested by the gratifying income which his labor yielded him. Since 1907 he has lived in Milbank and occupies a comfortable residence, which he erected. 

Mr. Cochran was married in 1886 to Miss Annie Miller, a daughter of Charles Miller, who is a retired farmer living at New Hampton, Iowa. To this union have been born three children: Bert Edward, who is a lineman with the Chicago, Milwaukee &; St. Paul Railroad; Ethel, who is teaching school in North Dakota; and Milton, who is attending school. 

Mr. Cochran is identified with the Masonic lodge and the Royal Arch chapter, and is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. A stanch republican in politics, he has always worked loyally for the success of his party. For twelve years he served as township treasurer, and since 1913 has been a member of the city council of Milbank. A substantial resident, he is also a public-spirited citizen, doing all in his power to promote the progress of the community along worthy lines.



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