Cochran, Frances “Fannie” Louise

Oregon City Enterprise, Friday, June 18, 1909


The funeral services following the death of Mrs. Fannie L. Cochran, who died at her home in this city on Saturday evening, were held Tuesday afternoon at St. Paul’s Church, Rev. T. F. Bowen officiating, assisted by Rev. P. K. Hammond. A large congregation assembled to honor the memory of their deceased friend, and the unusual quantity of beautiful floral offerings were a silent manifestation of the high place Mrs. Cochran occupied in the esteem of her neighbors.

The interment was in Mountain View cemetery and the pall bearers were Bruce C. Curry, Alden B. Graham, Charles A. Miller, Fielding S. Kelly, James P. Lovett and John W. Moffett.

Mrs. Cochran was the widow of the later Hiram J. Cochran, some time Mayor of Oregon City, Seven daughters were born to them, five of whom survive – Mrs. J. B. Robinson, of Chico, Cal.; Mrs. J. P. Keating, of Portland; Misses Harriet, Louise and Nan Cochran, of this city. She leaves four sisters – Mrs. J. D. Biles, Mrs. M. K. West, Mrs. T. M. K. Smith and Miss Eleanor Kelly, all of Portland.

Fannie L. Cochran was born at St. Thomas, Canada, 69 years ago. When a girl of 12 she crossed the Isthmus of Panama with her father, the late Captain William Kelly of the United States Army, who was stationed at Vancouver, Washington. There she grew to womanhood. In those early days hospitals and other provisions for caring for the poor and sick were scarce and to meet a pressing need Mrs. Cochran, with a number of other young girls, organized a society known as the “Ladies of Charity,” and of which she, at the age of 18, was chosen president. A small building was secured, which served as a hospital of six beds, and here the sick and the injured were nursed back to health, or tenderly cared for till death removed them beyond the reach of human help.

The work grew to such an extent that the resources of the “Ladies of Charity” were shortly overtaxed, and they appealed for assistance to the Rev. Bishop Blanchet, the head of the Roman Catholic missions of the Northwest, and in response six Sisters of Charity, with Mother Joseph as Sister Superior, journeyed west from Canada to assume charge of the hospital work. Ultimately a larger building and a new location were needed. These were found in Portland and St. Vincent’s Hospital, with its splendid equipment, ministering to thousands of sick and unfortunate, stands as a fitting memorial to the devotion of Mrs. Cochran and her companions.

When the Civil War broke out Mrs. Cochran was again ready to take up her work for others by supplying the soldiers on the battlefield with medicines and other necessities and was president of the Ladies’ Sanitary Society of Vancouver, an organization well known for its philanthropic work.

At the breaking out of the Spanish-American War she drafted the constitution and by-laws of the society known as the Woman’s Emergency Corps.


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