Copyright 2010

Copyright 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Burgess Franklin Brown

My grandfather was born in Tennessee, was part Cherokee Indian. When he came to Kansas, he came in a covered wagon, Indians were living all through the prairie states, buffalo roamed everywhere at this time.
He settled in Sylvia, Ks and lived in or around there until he died. He was crippled since he was in his late teens, kicked by a horse, walked with a cane for years. He could drink coffee as hot as anyone could make it. He was an impatient and gruff person, all us grandchildren were a little afraid around of him.
(Shown left to right: Ruhama Fenton Brown, Chet Brown, and Burgess Franklin Brown).


George Daniel Cochren
My father moved to Plevna with his family around 1919. First worked in harvest fields, then was a track walker for Santa Fe Railroad for a short period, and then became janitor for Plevna Public School, and remained so until his death. When I attended school, daddy was always janitor, when weather was bad, he would fix our lunch in the cooking room in school (hot dogs with sandwich spread and drinks). Boy! We liked that. We always watched for him to ring the school bell. He walked home with us for lunch every day the weather was good. Daddy never owned a car, but he made us a comfortable and happy home.

He played violin and piano. He bought us a player piano when I was in my early teens. He would play and we would all sing.

He told us of when he first came to Plevna as a boy, there were buffalo roaming all over the plain. The first thing I can remember was going swimming, with me on his back. I was about 2 ½ years old, my mother said, but I can remember it clearly.
When pay day came, once a month, Daddy always bought a cigar and a big sack of candy. When we would smell the cigar smoke, we knew it was candy time. Daddy was a good moral man. He lived like a gentleman and set a good example for us. He was a positive man about manners. Was not a Christian until on his death bed 2 days before his death, he himself told me he had made his peace with God.

He (father) lived to only to see one grandchild, when Melvin Daniel Priest was one month old, he died. He and mother were very happy together. We were really poor, but didn’t know it, because we were happy, and never went hungry or ragged


Valjean, my brother, was born after we moved to Plevna. He was named George Valjean but we all called him Val. He attended the Plevna school.


Memories of her Grandparents by Velma Dora Cochren Terry.

Ruhama Isadora Fenton Brown
My grandmother, on Mother’s side. A very tiny little lady, the first real Christian I came in contact with. She belonged to the Church of Christ, was a firm believer in God and left her Christian testimony whatever she went. First church I ever attended was with her. We stayed with her every summer for a week. She made the best tomato soup I ever tasted. I never saw her mad; the most patient of people. She died when I was 14.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Brown Grave, Sylvia Cemetery

Shown in the center is the large stone for the Burgess Franklin Brown family and in the foreground, the stones for the Fentons. To the left of the Brown stone are Roy D. Terry resting on the grass with two grandchildren, Dede and Tami.

Sylvia Cemetery

Velma Cochren Terry beside the stones of her great-grandmother and grandfather Fenton, parents of her her grandmother, Ruhamah Isadora Fenton Brown. Aug, 22, 1977.

Civil War Veteran of Reno Co., Ks.

Here Velma Cochren Priest is shown between the grave stones of her grandfather Newton Jasper Cochren. He was wounded in the Civil War at the Battle of Chickamauga. His wife was Lucinda Drake Cochren. Photo taken August 22, 1977.

Plevna School Revisited

The school where George D. Cochren was the janitor and where Velma, Elva and Valjean Cochren attended school.

Plevna Bank

Photo taken August 23, 1977. Velma Cochren Terry said it 'looked just the same'.

Grocery Store

Plevna, Ks 1977. Woman is Velma Dora Cochren Terry.

Pleasant View Cemetery, Huntsville, Reno, Ks.

Shown are (left to right): Dennis Terry, Tami Terry, and Velma Cochren Terry at the grave of George D. Cochren, Velma's father. Taken August 23, 1977.


In 1977 Velma Dora Cochren Terry, along with son Dennis and his family, traveled back to Plevna so Velma could show off her hometown. Here is a shot from the west side showing the store where as a girl Velma was sent on errands. This was the view she saw everytime she walked to get groceries for her mother.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Mary Ferrand Cochren, wife of Charles Edward Cochren, shown in front of a temporary home the family had in Sylvia, Kansas in Nov. of 1912. The similarity to the drawing of the home in Plevna by Velma Dora Cochren shows the widespread use of these small homes. Velma described her house as being only three rooms and it may be supposed this was of a similar plan.
The style is very similar to the 18th century style known as "Hall and Parlor." It was easy to construct and was favored as starter homes and as vacation or hunting cabins. as the family grew additions, porches, and enhancements would have been made.
The house in the distance is of the classic one-story pyramidal design with partial front porch.

Cochren House, Plevna, 1916-1935

As remembered by Velma Dora Cochren, daughter of George Daniel Cochren and Annie Brown Cochren. She noted there was a well outside the back, roses, and the trim was painted a dark green on the screens and doors. The railroad track was nearby as well, and this is not clearly shown in this image.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Plevna, Ks - Train as seen from the Cochren Yard

From the yard of George and Annie Cochren the train passes by on its way someplace else. Velma Cochren Terry remembered how the engine would give four long hoots of the horn as it prepared to cross the road and she as a little girl always thought the engineer was saying hello.

Plevna, Kansas Another View

Plevna, Kansas - Church

Friday, April 2, 2010

Plevna History

A couple of miles north of the North Fork of the Ninnescah River sits Plevna in Reno County. Highway US 50 runs on the North edge of Plevna; an older road from Abbyville to Sylvia also runs through Plevna.

As you come into Plevna from the east, the highway has to bend around the old brick auditorium that now houses the city offices. There is playground equipment on the east side of this building.

The Santa Fe railroad still serves Plevna, and the State Bank of Plevna is still in business. For many years the Plevna General Store was a well-known gathering place and local landmark; sadly, it burned January 3, 1997.

Brown Children

George Daniel Cochren, Annie B. Cochren, Elva and Velma Cochren

Wheat harvest, ca 1918

Annie Brown Cochren, Valjean Cochren and pet cat, Tom

George Valjean Cochren

Brown Children and Spouse

Ruhama Issadora Fenton Brown

Burgess Franklin Brown Family

George Daniel Cochren and Annie B. Brown

Plevna, Kansas - Elevators



Through the 1920's and until the first few years of the 1930's George Daniel Cochren served as custodian for the Plevna school.

PLEVNA SCHOOL: Professor Stanley Tennet

Either principal or superintendent, Professor Stanley Tennet ran a tight ship by all accounts. It is believed that the first girl in this line is Elva E. Cochren and the third girl is her sister, Velma Dora Cochren.



Plevna, Kansas

Private collection, copyright 2010.

Plevna, Ks

From a private collection, copyright 2010.