William Lynn Cochran

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William L. Cochran
1874-Cochran, W. L. mayor signature.JPG


Biographical Information

Date of birth 1838
Date of death September 22, 1875
Place of birth Charlottesville
Place of death Charlottesville
Spouse None
Children None
Residence Charlottesville
Alma mater University of Virginia
Profession Lawyer

William Lynn Lewis Cochran (1838-1875) was a Charlottesville lawyer and member of the Republican Party. During Reconstruction, at the age of 32, he qualified for office and was elected mayor of the Town of Charlottesville on May 26, 1870. [1] He died while in office on September 22, 1875. Cochran was replaced by Council President R. F. Harris during a special meeting of the council held on September 28, 1875.


At Virginia Military Institute (VMI) for 6 weeks Class of 1864MS. University of Virginia, 1860-1861; 1865-1866.

Civil War

Physically unfit for military duty in the Confederate combat service, he entered the Quatermaster's Department and was commissioned as Major. (A quartermaster is generally a relatively senior soldier who supervises stores or barracks and distributes supplies and provisions. Quartermaster is not considered Combat Arms. It is Combat Support.)

Life Sketch

Source: Brief sketches of the Albemarle Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (1920) by Mrs. John M. Preston (aka Mary Lewis Cochran Preston).

Major William Lynn Cochran was born in May, 1838. He was the fifth son of John Cochran (1793-1881) and Margaret Lynn Lewis (1808-1875), his wife. The Cochran family moved from Staunton to Charlottesville in 1826. "Willie" Lynn attended school in Brownsburg and was educated in the schools of Albemarle and at the University of Virginia. Craven graduating at the University in both the Academic and Law Departments.

Military Record: Lame from childhood. Appointed 18 October 1861 to Capt, Quartermaster Department. Unofficial source says he served with Brig Gen J.B. Floyd. Resigned 12 December 1861. No further record found. Post War Career: Lawyer, Public Official. Mayor of Charlottesville, VA 1869-1875. He was a Mason, Odd Fellow, Knight of Pythias. Brother of Cochran, HP (VMI Class of 1864 MS).[2]

In early youth he was afflicted with "white swelling," which left one leg very much shorter than the other, rendering him unfit for military duty. Being determined to take part in the Confederate service, he entered the Quatermaster's Department, and was commissioned Major. He served during the entire war, being stationed principally in Southwest Virginia with quarters near Dublin.

After the war he settled down to the practice of law in Charlottesville. In 1870 election, he qualified for office and was elected mayor of the town - a position he held until his death on September 22nd, 1875. He was an active member of the order of Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and of the Monticello Guard.

He never married. After an illness of two weeks, William Lynn Cochran died on September 22, 1875 at the age of 37. He is buried at Maplewood Cemetery.

White swelling

White swelling, known as bone tuberculosis or Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is a tubercular, bacterial infection of the bones, causing swelling, stiffness, and fluid accumulation in the joints, especially in the knees or hips. Most often occurring at middle-age or in children, nineteenth-century treatment for white swelling included a liniment containing hemlock oil, croton oil, and tincture of iodine.


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