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John Polk Cochran

Gov. John Polk Cochran

  • January 19, 1875 - January 21, 1879
  • Democrat
  • February 7, 1809
  • December 27, 1898
  • Delaware
  • Married twice--Eliza Polk, seven children; Mary Tumlin


JOHN POLK COCHRAN, Delaware’s 35th governor, was born near Middletown, Delaware, on February 7, 1809. He became a farmer, owning extensive acreage in Delaware. Cochran entered public service in 1838, representing New Castle County in the Levy Court, a position he held for eight years. He was elected to the Delaware governorship on November 3, 1874, and was sworn into office on January 19, 1875. During his tenure, the 1873 Constitutional Amendment was sanctioned, which authorized a general incorporation law. Also, a state board of education was established, as well as a state superintendent of free schools. Cochran left office on January 21, 1879, retiring from public service. Governor John P. Cochran died on December 27, 1898, and is buried at the Forest Presbyterian Cemetery in Middletown, Delaware.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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