Biography of Hon. Jesse Cochran

Hon. Jesse Cochran was born on Beaty’s creek, Delaware district, Cherokee Nation of the Indian Territory, November 27, 1847, and died November 11, 1905, on his farm on which he had resided since 1878, six miles west of Chelsea, Rogers county, Oklahoma. He was a three-quarter blood Cherokee Indian and a son of Jesse Cochran, Sr., and Nancy (Proctor) Cochran, who were natives of the old Cherokee Nation in the state of Georgia and emigrated to the Indian Territory under the removal of the Cherokees to west of the Mississippi. Mrs. Nancy Cochran died December 8, 1847, and Jesse Cochran, Sr., died in 1866.

In 1870 Jesse Cochran was married to Miss Susan Ross, a daughter of Houston Ross, who was a nephew of Chief John Ross, chief of the Cherokees for forty years. Her mother was Susan (Grimmett) Ross, a native of Tennessee, also an emigrant with her husband, Houston Ross, from Tennessee to the Indian Territory by the treaty of 1835. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Cochran seven children were born: Ellen died in 1879; Kate, born in 1888, died in 1890; John R., born in May, 1883, died January 18, 1915; Henry C. is a widower, engaged in farming near Bushyhead; Jesse, Jr., who is married, is engaged in farming near Alluwe; Clarence, also married, is a farmer; Clinton Lipe, a graduate of the Vanderbilt University Law School of Nashville, Tennessee, is a prominent attorney at Chelsea and resides with his aged and widowed mother on the old farm and home west of Chelsea.

Clinton L. volunteered his services in 1918 and was a private in Company I, Three Hundred and Eighty-seventh Infantry, Ninetyseventh Division, Camp Cody, New Mexico, until the close of the World war.

Mr. Cochran was self-educated and a man of diversified knowledge. He was throughout his life a close student of Men and affairs, and his analytical power brought him a clear understanding of them both. He was not master of the English language, but in the use of his own he had few equals.

He was a leader in the affairs of the Cherokee Nation and served his country well in many honored official positions. His first office was acting as deputy sheriff under the late Hon. John Schrimscher, sheriff of the Cooweescoowee district. He was then, prior to 1885, elected sheriff of the Cooweescoowee district for two terms, and during these terms of office brought an end to the depredations of some of the most desperate and notorious outlaws that ever infested the Indian Territory. He was elected and held the office of solicitor (prosecuting attorney) of Cooweescoowee district from 1885 to 1889. He was appointed, May 22, 1894, deputy United States marshal for the western district of Arkansas, and on May 5th, 1894, was appointed by Chief C. J. Harris to the office of “Commander of Guards” in whose care the money was placed by the government that was paid to the Cherokees in 1894, amounting to more than six million dollars, known as the” Strip” money. He was appointed November, 1894, by the National Council to the office of associate justice of the supreme court of the Cherokee Nation for the term of three years. He represented the Cherokees as a delegate to Washington, D. C., in the negotiation of an allotment treaty in 1900, which was followed by the adoption of the present allotment treaty of 1902.

Mr. Cochran was a Democrat and was a strong advocate of “single statehood”. The judicial trend of his mind enabled him at all times to see below the surface of things in his consideration of vital state questions and to correctly determine the possible outcome of a critical situation. Free from personal bias or prejudice in his public acts, sound reasoning and integrity; noted for his truthfulness; his promise equal to his bond; a friend to the poor, he sustained the honor of both state and country.

While watching the passing of a race and a nation into a state, just two years prior to statehood, on that beautiful Sunday, November 11, 1905, at his beautiful home he made years ago, surrounded by his family he loved so well, was laid to rest, the Hon. Jesse Cochran, one of the most prominent and useful men the country ever had.



Indian Territory,

Benedict, John Downing. Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma: including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922.

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