Bio- Sawyers

A highly cultured woman, whose interests in civic affairs, as well as in educational matters, have enabled her to contribute much for the edification and happiness of others, is Mrs. Aphelia F. Cochrane, a successful ranch owner of the Morgan Hill district in Santa Clara County. She was born in Bangor, Maine, November 3, 1845, the eldest daughter of Mr.  and Mrs. George Farrington. The father, George Farrington, was born in England, the son of an old prominent family, a highly educated and cultured man. who came to America in the early '30s, located and became a prominent citizen and merchant in Bangor. He married Miss Hannah Elizabeth Philbrook, a native of Newport Maine, whose parents were English and Scotch. They were the prosperous owners of a 200 acre farm. Their close relatives were merchants of the sea, having been the owners of many ships going to foreign ports. The maternal grandfather and an uncle, Nathaniel Drew, on her mother's side, served in the Revolutionary War, the latter being commissioned a major during his service. They became the parents of three girls, Aphelia, the subject of this sketch, Emma and Jeannett, the latter now deceased.

 In 1850 the parents left their children with their grandparents and came to California via Panama and located in San Francisco where the father died a few years later. Mrs. Farrington married again, becoming the wife of A. J. Van Winkle, a native of New Jersey and a pioneer of this state and a man of splendid character. He owned a number of stock and dairy ranches in Humboldt, Sonoma and San Mateo counties, also property in San Francisco. He was the owner of the West End Distillery, San Francisco, and was the inventor of the method of aging wine by the process of extracting the fusel oil and making wine into brandy and received patents on his invention from England, Germany, France and the United States. He had located in San Mateo County at an early period, long before the railroads had pushed their way down the Pacific Coast. In 1859 Mrs. Van Winkle returned East and brought her girls to California. They left New York on the S. S. Baltic and reaching Aspinwall, crossed the Isthmus of Panama and boarded the S. S. Sonoma and arrived in San Francisco the latter part of November. Miss Emma F. Van Winkle, as she is known to the art world, having taken the stepfather's name, is a graduate of the Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco and is recognized as an artist of considerable note.

Mr. Van Winkle passed away, but his widow still lives in San Francisco, aged ninety-five years. Aphelia Farrington was educated at the Denman school on Bush Street, San Francisco and took a two years' course at a finishing seminary in that city. In 1864 she became the wife of John Cochrane, the ceremony taking place in San Francisco. He was born in Amherst, N. H., and came to California in 1848 via Cape Horn in a sailing vessel. He was identified with many mining enterprises, became wealthy and owned large holdings in various parts of California. He owned a ranch of 250 acres adjoining the Presidio in San Francisco and carried on a large, prosperous dairy business, known as the Pioneer Dairy; he also set out the first cherry orchard in California at this place, sending East for the trees; he also had other property interests in the city. At one time he owned the McNulty ranch in Colusa County, made famous as the greatest grain ranch in the world by the late Dr. Glenn, in the Sacramento Valley. It contained many thousands of acres and had a frontage of ten miles on the Sacramento River; the fencing alone costing $20,000. For a number of years Mr. Cochrane operated this place, after selling it. In 1869 Mr. Cochrane and his family removed to the Santa Clara Valley where he had purchased the old McElroy ranch of many hundred acres. This ranch is located on the watersheds of the Coyote and Packwood creeks, twenty miles south of San Jose. Here Mr. Cochrane built up one of the finest dairy ranches in the state, employing Swiss butter and cheese makers, selling his products in San Francisco. He built the road, now known as the Cochrane Road, which was completed in 1893. He was one of the leaders in all local movements for the betterment of the community and took an active part in promoting all progressive measures, as a real booster for Santa Clara County. Mr. and Mrs. Cochrane were the parents of five children: Emma F. died at the age of eleven years; Minnie B. passed away at the age of nine years; and Charles, the youngest, died when sixteen years old; Aphelia May is the wife of A. J. Jackson and the mother of two children, Alfred and Gladys; Elsie B. is the widow of the late Henry C. Doerr and resides with her mother.

Mr. Cochrane closed his eyes to the scenes of this life on November 20, 1899, after a long and useful career and is held in loving memory by all who really knew him. The Cochrane ranch, which consists of many hundred acres. has 125 acres devoted to raising fruit which yields bountiful crops each season. The entire acreage is still in .the possession of the family. In 1914, Mrs. Cochrane erected a comfortable modern residence on a sightly elevation on the property. She has been actively identified with the Presbyterian Church of Morgan Hill, having helped to build it up from a small mission church to its present standing and served for four years as one of the trustees. She has been prominent in temperance work and in the circles of the W. C. T. U. since its organization at Morgan Hill and she is beginning her third term as trustee of the Live Oak Union high school. She contributes liberally to the Y. M. C. A. and the Y. W. C. A., as well as to all other worthy causes.

 She is a charter member of the Morgan Hill Civic Club; also was one of the foremost workers and promoters of the Ye Friendly Inn of Morgan Hill,  an organization that has but one motive- the betterment of the locality.  It was first suggested by the W. C. T. U. and the idea acarried out in detail by a few of the most progressive and enterprising citizens of the community.  In 1914, Rev. A. M. Porter, then pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Morgan Hill, first took up the subject with the parent board of San Jose in behalf of the citizens of Morgan Hill and the first meetings were held in the Presbyterian parsonage.  Mrs. Cochrane has contributed many articles ot he press during her travels and her popularity has contruted much to the advancement of the causes with which she has been identified- a splendid example  of the value of character and trainded intellect.
 Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 756


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight