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Reunion History


Cochran's Tent Camp near Anderson Lodge during the 2003 Reunion

Chronological List of Reunions

Revisiting Past Reunions – By Edith Erickson


Chronological List of Reunions

1941, Yakima, WA. June 22 - At the Montague Home.
Bob McCoy elected Chief, 40 attended.
1953, Ocean Park, WA. July 3, 4 - Methodist Church Camp.
Ellen Miller elected chief, 41 attended.
1956, Coeur d'Alene Lake, ID. - Paul McCarthy's cabin.
Dick Cochran elected Chief, 50 attended.
1958, Manson, WA. July 3,4,5,6 - Dick Cochran's home.
Bill Wortman elected Chief, 54 attended.
1961, Lewiston, ID. September 2, 3, 4 - At the Ray Shinn home.
Paul McCarthy elected Chief, 84 attended.
1964, Kelso, WA. September 5, 6, 7 - At the Robert Cochran home.
Louis Shinn elected Chief, 58 attended.
1967, Kelso, WA. September 2, 3, 4 - At the Robert Cochran home.
Louise Kimble elected Chief, 45 attended.
1970, Liberty Lake, ID. September 5, 6 - A church camp.
Joan Knoshaug elected chief, 49 attended.
1973, Lake Cushman, WA. - At the Montague cabin.
Geneal Erickson elected chief, 58 attended.
1976, Lake Cushman, WA. - At the Montague cabin.
Marcia Campbell elected Chief, 64 attended.
1979, Manson, WA. July 20, 21, 22 - At Dick Cochran's home
Margaret Perkins elected Chief, 56 attended.
1982, Doumecq Plains, ID. July - The old home place.
Leo Montague elected Chief, 95 attended.
1985, Fort Warden State Park, WA. July 26, 27, 28
Eileen Lancaster elected Chief, 73 attended.
1988, Anderson Lodge, Cougar, WA. August 5, 6, 7
Marty Cochran elected Chief, 85 attended.
1991, Anderson Lodge, Cougar, WA. July 18, 19, 20
Larry Campbell elected Chief, 94 attended
1994, Anderson Lodge, Cougar, WA. July 15, 16, 17
Karen Booth elected Chief, 100 attended
1997, Manson, WA. July 18, 19, 20 - Dick Cochran's home.
Uncle Robert was the oldest at nearly 99. His great great granddaughter River Holt was the youngest at just 10 days.
Jim Montague elected Chief, 125 attended.
2000, Anderson Lodge, Cougar, WA. July 21, 22, 23
Jim Lancaster elected Chief, 98 attended.
2003, Anderson Lodge, Cougar, WA. July 11, 12, 13
Karen Knoshaug elected Chief, 92 attended
2006, Field's Spring State Park, WA. July 14, 15, 16
Lowell Kimble elected Chief, about 84 attended
2009, Fort Flagler State Park, WA. July 3, 4, 5
Zae Miller elected Chief, 68 attended
2012, Camp Zanika, Lake Wenatchee, WA. Aug 24 -26
Rozy Williams elected Chief, 54 attended

Revisiting Past Reunions – By Edith Erickson

The Cochran family always enjoyed getting together. As long as Grandpa and Grandma lived on Doumecq, all nine of their children spent some time every summer together. After Grandpa and Grandma moved to the Horse Heaven Hills the nine of them were never altogether again.

Aunt Edna died in 1923, Aunt Inez and Aunt Mary went to Nome, Alaska in 1919 and 1920, and Aunt Omie and Aunt Zenna spent time in both Alaska and California. Probably the last time that Grandma went to a family gathering was in the summer of 1931 when she, Grandpa, the McCoy children, the Shinns, the Montagues, and the Robert family met at the Robert home out of Pomeroy. As I remember, this house had only two bedrooms. Robert and his wife Edna kept their bed with two cribs in their room .Grandpa and Grandma of course got the other bed. Ruth and Grover and Ray and Ethel found a couple of old fashioned bed springs but there were no mattresses. They put them on blocks on the east porch and settled in for a night's sleep. Of course they visited far into the night. The coils were not comfortable with just a blanket or quilt over them. On the east porch in late June the sun came up very early.

The "big" boys, probably down to Dick, who would have been four, took their blankets and went to the barn. The barn was filled with hay, but much of it was fireweed. The stickers on the fireweed made sleeping almost impossible. Soon the boys abandon the barn. First they moved their beds to the middle of the barn yard and later in the night to a smooth place along the railroad tracks. In the wee small hours of the night a long freight train rushed by, blowing its horn loudly. The frightened sleepers, still half asleep, grabbed their blankets and rushed to the house almost walking on the adults trying to sleep on the porch. The girls had been smarter and had taken their blankets out under a tree. The lack of sleep really did not seem to bother people too much.

After dinner the next day the teenagers, apparently supervised by Aunt Ruth, were assigned the job of doing the dishes. The noise in the kitchen got louder and louder until the adults were having trouble visiting. Ethel opened the door to speak firmly to her teens. As she put her head in the kitchen a paper plate barely missed her. It was not thrown by a teenager but by her sister Ruth.

In this kitchen was a "dumb waiter" which carried heavy articles from the kitchen to the basement. This was very handy when moving fruit and fruit jars at canning time. It saved many heavy loads being carried up and down. The young people discovered it was a very interesting place. What fun the younger ones had riding it up and down. That was fine until the rope jumped the track and a small one was caught halfway, not able to go either up or down. An adult had to be called to the rescue and that ended the fun.

In 1941 the first "official" reunion was held at Yakima at the home of Ruth and Grover Montague. Grandpa and Aunt Georgia, all of the sisters, Sid's wife and Robert's lady friend at the time, and apparently about 18 grandchildren and two great grands were there. The reason for this gathering was that Aunt Omie and sons were coming from Alaska. This meeting was written up by Ruth and Zenna. Minutes concerning this meeting have some not so important things recorded. Here are quotes from them.

"Mary (Wortman) hovered over Ruthie (age 9) who felt strange and clung. Finally exhausted she went to sleep on Aunt Ruth's bed. Dan, Lowell, and Sharon were 2 and 3. Dan and Lowell fought over who should lead Sharon around. Dan got his head stuck between the steps and when Sandra shoved it through or pulled it out his ears were scraped and he made a great uproar. Lowell locked himself in the bathroom and couldn't unlock the door. The next group ages 5 to 15, had a wonderful time. Mary had them give a program. Lowell, at 2 could not talk much but we clapped when he spoke his piece. He spoke again and again until Virgil or Louise dragged him from the stage."

It was at this meeting that Aunt Omie suggested that Bob McCoy be chosen Chief of the tribe or clan. She may have done some prodding as time went on. In any case in 1953, twelve years later, a reunion was held at Ocean Park, Washington.

The Ocean Park reunion was written up by Aunt Omie and Judy McCoy. On the first page is this quote, "This history is inscribed to the memory of JOHN EAKIN COCHRAN whose deep and abiding interest in his family has kept it closely united. May many such men arise in the Cochran Clan".

The invitation was a poem written by Judy McCoy. At that meeting five sisters and Robert made it. Mary had died. Records show that 51 people were present. Some were Aunt Georgia's family. The minutes have this to say, "Bob McCoy, President at the time, with Ethel's advice and encouragement, started the John E. Cochran Educational Fund." The original was signed by J. R. Cochran, Omie McCarthy and Ethel Shinn. The first borrowers from the fund were Ruth Wortman and Dick Cochran.

Also at this meeting Marcia Bergan announced her engagement, and both Nancy Davis and Shirley Cochran said they were pregnant. These minutes did not have fun things in them like those for the 1941 reunion.

The minutes for the 1956 reunion were very skimpy. They did say it was held at Paul & Eleanor's cabin at Coeur d' Alene Lake. They don’t say how many people Attended. They do record that Dick Cochran was elected Chief, and invited the crowd to Manson in 1958.

Dick wrote up the minutes for the meeting at Manson. He wrote several pages ending with a list of things that should be remembered – Pat and Ken Nelson picking cherries and raspberries by flashlight for salad, The Old Folks Home, Delbert Davis making homemade ice cream for 64 people, water skiing, watching fireworks from the rocks, The "big" boys shooting fireworks, punch cascading over the picnic table, Bob's tent shrinking after the shower, the picnic at the point, eating green apples, picking cherries, parking cars in the orchard, Ken using Hig's cane, Visiting with anyone who would listen.

Aunt Zenna added her 2 cents worth saying "Omie and Ruth spent an unreasonable amount of time holding their youngest granddaughters. Inez and I are not upset about it any more. We now have granddaughters for the next time. Maurice behaved exactly like Omie and Ruth with Teena, and with good reason. She obviously adored him."

The 1961 meeting was special, it not only was the reunion, but was also Ray and Ethel Shinn's 50th wedding anniversary. Ethel's brother and sisters had done a booklet remembering the wedding 50 years before. Minutes say Zenna's diary brought back priceless memories. Part of the crowd made a trip to Doumecq. Some had never been there before. Maurice took them down a switchback or two toward Whitebird. Leo admitted he leaned toward the bank and Roy said it hadn't been exaggerated in the many stories told. The ladies at the church served 84 people for the special dinner. It was the first meeting to have an auction. The income was $170.

The 1964 and 1967 reunions were held at the J. Robert Cochran home at Kelso on Labor Day weekend. Tents were pitched in the field and there were horses for the young ones to ride. Cots were set up in the basement Paul had flown to the 1964 meeting because he had been moved to Idaho Falls where he was working for Arco, but felt as Chief of the clan he had to come. The auction that year brought in $234.95. This was the first reunion for which Edith did a genealogy booklet to be sold. Aunt Georgia sent a wrapped package saying it was something that had been in the family for many years. It brought a good price, and turned out to be a pair of old scissors.

This takes us through the first 20 years or so of reunions. Above is a list of the reunions, where they were held, who was elected chief or president at each one, the number of people attending, and how many generations were represented.

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