Gilded Age Collections

Collection ID: GA-76
Location: GA -76

(Description ID: 595632)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

William Cox Cochran


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

This collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 1957 and 1958 by Mary Rudd Cochran of New Richmond, Ohio.  The William Cox Cochran Great Smoky Mountains Photograph Collection, containing ninety-two photographs that were taken in 1886, is currently held at the University of Tennessee Library, Knoxville, Tennessee.  Much of Cochran’s research—including his law books, Civil War materials, family records, and other historical data—has been deposited in the Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, archives.

Biographical Sketch
William Cox Cochran was born in 1848, the oldest grandson of notable evangelist and Oberlin College President Charles G. Finney.  His father, William Cochran, died several months prior to his birth.  His mother, Helen (Finney) Cochran remarried in 1849.  William C. Cochran would attend Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, and received his A.B. degree in 1869.  He initially worked under his stepfather, Jacob D. Cox, in the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC.  After touring Europe in 1872, Cochran pursued studies in law before opening a practice in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he handled cases in corporate and patent law.  He would later serve as clerk of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati as well.  In 1878, Cochran married Rosa Dale Allen, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music; the couple had five children.  Cochran developed a keen interest in historical research and preservation, and would author a number of published and unpublished articles and manuscripts in his later years.  William Cochran died in 1936 at the age of 88.

Scope and Content
This collection contains correspondence of William Cox Cochran, a publication authored by him, and eighteen photographs taken in 1888 relating to Ballast Island, Lake Erie, Ohio.

Ac. 1130, 1226

To Wm. C. Cochran dtd Kidder, Aug. 22, 1876.  1 p.

To Miss Barney dtd Cincinnati, Mch. 11, 1877.  3 pp.
To “Mother” dtd Cincinnati, Jne. 18, 1876.  6 pp.  One page missing.

COX, C. F.
To “Will” dtd New York, Dec. 14, 1876.  12 pp.  W/notation card.
Article.  “How Joe Settle Helped Nominate Hayes for President.”  By W. C. Cochran. 
The Oberlin Alumni Magazine.  May 1929.


  • Images of cottage, boathouse, scenery and family members (Cox, Cochran, and Pope)
    sailing on Lake Erie off Ballast Island.
  • Ballast Island, Ohio.  16 photographs.  1888.
  • Ballast Island, Ohio.  Our Cottage at Ballast I.  1888.
  • Ballast Island, Ohio.  The “Star” at Ballast Island.  1888.