Member Biography

James Henry "J. Henry" Cochran 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1895-1896       24 Democrat
1897-1898       24 Democrat
1899-1900       24 Democrat
1901-1902       24 Democrat
1903-1904       24 Democrat
1905-1906       24 Democrat
1907-1908       24 Democrat
1909-1910       24 Democrat


01/14/1845 - 12/06/1911

James Henry “J. Henry” Cochran (D24) Columbia, Lycoming, Montour and Sullivan Counties, 1895-1910                 

Early Life:

James Henry “J. Henry” Cochran, born January 14, 1845, Saint Stephen, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada; son of James and Mary Cochran; parents removed, Calais, Maine; common school education; arrived, Pennsylvania, 1862; engaged, lumberman, banking; married, Avis Ann Rouse, 1870, children, Joseph William Cochran, Charles Cochran, Garrett Cochran, Avis Cochran Hickok;; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1895-1910; delegate, Democrat National Conventions, 1896, 1904; Democratic nominee, United States Senator, several times; declined, nomination, Governor of Pennsylvania; died, December 6, 1911, (age 66 years, 326 days), pneumonia, southern home, Urbanna, Middlesex County, Virginia; entombed, mausoleum, Wildwood Cemetery, Williamsport, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. 

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

Director, Lycoming National Bank of Williamsport, 1883; formed, banking firm of Cochran, Payne and McCormick, 1887, Mr. McCormick died, 1892; Mr. Payne withdrew, 1908, business incorporated, Northern Central Trust Company, 1909; president, director, Susquehanna, Bloomsburg and Berwick Railroad Company, Pittsburgh, Westmoreland and Somerset Railroad Company, Lycoming Improvement Company, Lycoming Electric Company, Edison Electric Company, Northern Central Trust Company, Byers Allen Lumber Company, president, Williamsport Board of Trade; various street-car lines as well as a number of land and other companies. 

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 24th district, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour and Sullivan Counties, 1895-1910; committee assignments, Appropriations, Banks and Building and Loan Associations, City Passenger Railways, Corporations Finance, Game and Fisheries, Judiciary Special, Mines and Mining, Railroads.          

Delegate, Democrat National Conventions, 1896, 1904. 

Democratic nominee, United States Senator several times. 

Declined, nomination, Governor of Pennsylvania.


In the early parts of the 20th Century, Cochran played the role of “Santa Clause.” According to the Evening Sentinel, of Carlisle, Cochran had “been distributing Christmas dinners to the needy.” It was estimated he helped feed 150 to 300 families each year.


 Cox, Harold "Senate Members "C"Wilkes University Election Statistics ProjectWilkes University.

The Pennsylvania Manual, (1910). Miller, H.P., (Compiler). Baker, W.H., (Assistant Compiler). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages, 993, 1000-1003, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 971.

J. Henry Cochran’s unique history in Lycoming County – On the PULSE (

James Henry “J. Henry” Cochran (1845-1911) - Find a Grave Memorial