Copyright 2010

Copyright 2010

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Cochren Sisters

These daughters of Plevna shared a moment in the 1980's for this photo.  On the left is Velma Dora Cochren Priest Terry and on the right is Elva Ethel Cochren Merry.  The painting was recently completed by Elva.  Elva played piano in her church for years and Velma was a poet.  They were daughters of George Daniel Cochren and wife Annie B. Brown Cochren.

Perry King and Annie Brown King

George Daniel Cochren

Elmer Fenton



Reno Co., Kansas ca. 1890.


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.

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 around of him.

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.

Valjean, my brother, was born after we moved to Plevna. 
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.

Plevna School, ca 1920'a

Some of the children are Cochrens : Velma, Elva, and George Valjean.

Kansas Marriage Certificate


Newton Jaser Cochren and wife Lucinda Drake Cochren

Brown Family

Ruhamia Issadora Fenton Brown, grandson Chet Brown, and husband Burgess Franklin Brown

Fenton Sisters, Reno Co., Kansas

First Wife of John Brown


The Fenton Children and Wives, Reno Co., Kansas

John Brown, Reno Co., Kansas

Childhood Fun in Reno Co., Kansas

A descendant of Burgess Franklin Brown  of Reno Co., Kansas.

Early Kansas Reader

Although I cannot verify this particular reader was used in Plevna or even Reno Co., Kansas, it is representative of the type of resources used and the content and values of the 1917-1920 time frame.   On the front book fly is written pencil:  Hariette 78, Viola 83, Harold 70, Ollie 94, Ronald 94.

The book was first copyrighted in 1917 by the University Publishing Company, The State of Kansas. The copy shown was published by 1920.  The editors for the work were J.W. Searson, (Kansas State Agricultural College, Manhattan), George E. Martin (Supt. of the Training School and Dean of the Nebraska State Normal School, Kearney, NE) and Achsah May Harris (Kansas State Normal School, Emporia).   It was illustrated by Ruth Mary Hallock.