VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT
APHELIA F. COCHRANE
SURNAMES: FARRINGTON, PHILBROOK, DREW , VAN
WINKLE, JACKSON, DOERR
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.
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.
and reaching Aspinwall, crossed the Isthmus of Panama and boarded
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
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