Editor's note: I was blessed, in late August 2001, to receive from my Uncle Mike Heath [Elmer Earl is his given name, but he lets his friends call him "Mike"] a wonderful and cherished gift of two scrapbooks that were painstakingly made by Mary Cochran Heath, the youngest child of Robert and Nancy Cochran.

These fragile books are an invaluable insight into early Middleburg history and the personal histories of the Cochran, Heath, Antrim, and other families. These books, which date from the early 1880's to approximately 1904, have been a part of our treasured family history for many, many years.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be publishing the information from these pages. The news clipping at right is but one example of many. I hope you find this information as exciting as I.

A Very Rare Occasion.
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Cochran
Celebrate Their Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary

Robert Cochran was born in Pittsburg, Pa., June 28, 1806. Nancy Humison woas born at Vienna, Trumbull County, Ohio, September 11 1807. On September 30, 1827, they were married at the homestead of the Humison family, in Vienna. In 1832 they moved to Delaware County, and thence, in 1842 to Logan County, where they have since resided. the have had 11 children born to them - six of whom are still living.

Friday last, the 30th of September 1887, this worthy and venerable couple celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary at their old homestead, near West Middleburg. Neighbors and relatives and friends from near and far assembled to join with them in doing honor to this rare occasion, and many and hearty were the greetings and good wishes the two received.

After the guests had all assembled, an excellent dinner was set, under a "fly" in the yard, to which 112 adults beside a large number of children sat down, and all were served the best and the greatest abundance. It was a feast worthy of the occasion.

After all had dined, a number of those present were called on for remarks, and Israel Pool, Rev. Thos. Ballinger, J. Q. A. Campbell, Mrs. Sarah Gorham, Henry Bell, John Outland, Isaac Ballinger, Dr. Whitaker, Aaron sharp, and Thos. Marquis responded. Most of them had been neighbors of Mr. and Mrs. Cochran or had known them since they first came to Logan County, and they gave most flattering testimony of their worthy lives, and of their neighborly qualities, congratulated them on their happy journey down thorugh so many years, and wished them a golden sunset, where clouds if they came, would only enhance its beauty.

Mrs. Cochran spoke briefly in response, thanking her old friends and neighbors for the kindness which she then , and had always, received at their hands, and invoking God's blessing upon them. Mr. Lucius Cochran, her son, was called upon, but was too much moved to be able to more than express his thanks. Father Cochran was called upon, but was too hard of hearing to hear what had been said, and excused himself from making any remarks.

At the conclusion of the remarks, several nice presents were made to the bride and groom, including and embroidered table scarf from Mrs. Mary Heath, silk handkerchief from Mrs. James Cochran, a fine cashmere dress from Mrs. Lucius Cochran, and a headed cane from their son, Lucius.

By this time, the afternoon was well spent, and after a fitting benediction from the Reverend Thos. Ballinger, the friends bade the aged couple goodbye and left for their respective homes.

Of the children living, Lucius, George W., Emma Raley, Lavilla Euans, and Mary Heath were present - the youngest being 37 years old. Of the grandchildren there are 5 girls and 7 boys - 9 of whom were present. Of the children and friends present [missing a portion of a sentence that's torn from the page] from abroad there were the following:

  • Lucius E. Cochran, wife and son [Ed. note: Chauncy?], of Youngstown;
  • Mrs. Ray, (sister of Mr. Robert Cochran) and daughter, Mrs. Rumer, of Ridgeway;
  • Rev. Thos. Ballinger, of Oscaloosa, Iowa;
  • Mr. Isaac Ballinger, wife and daughter, from Liberty, Indiana;
  • Mrs. Sarah A. Gorham, from Southwestern Missouri; and
  • Mr. Thomas Marquis, from Illinois.
With marked appropriateness, this happy event was celebrated in what is perhaps the oldest dwelling house and on the oldest farm, in Logan County. On this farm, Mr. Job Sharp landed with his family, Christmas Day 1799. In 1808, Mr. Sharp built this [log] house in which Mr. Cochran's son [Cyrus Vandervort Cochran?] now lives and where the wedding anniversary was celebrated. It is still a well preserved, comfortable, hewed log house, of five rooms.

Near the corner of the house stands a pear tree that was planted in 1805 and that grew from a switch carried by Mrs. Sharp from Chillicothe. This tree bore this year a fine crop of fruit - 50 quarts being canned from it - and the guests on this occasion were all given to partake of its fruit.

Sixty years of married live is such a rare event that it is almost an epoch. Yet in this neighborhood, two venerable couples have completed this era, within tow years, and another couple within two miles, reach well on to their 70th anniversary before their death a few years ago.

Yet how much of time and history has been crowded within those sixty years! How much of our country's history and how much of the world's progress has been made in that time.

  • Fourteen States have been admitted into the Union.
  • The western border of the country has been extended from the Mississippi to thePacific.
  • From a population of 13,000,000 we have increased to 60,000,000.
  • From a third rate power, we have grown to be on of the leading Nations on Earth.
  • Slavery has been blotted out,
  • The continent has been covered with a net-work of railroads,
  • Self-binding reapers have crowded out the sickle,
  • The lightnings have been tamed to speak for man,
  • Machines have taken the place of the spinning wheel and the housewife's busy needle,
  • The little water mill is superceded by the roller process mill,
  • Farmers now ride and plow and sow and reap,
  • Books and paper from being rare and costly have become almost as plenty as the forest leaves, and
  • Ohio that was once then a wilderness has become the busy abode of 3,000,000 people.
When we remember that these, and much more, have happened within the married life of a couple now living in our midst, we can have some conception of the volume that a history of their experiences and observations would make, and can realize something of the wonderful cycle of life that has been vouchsafed to them. They are yet hearty, and all wished that they might be spared in health and strength another decade to illustrate the happiness that attends a worthy Christian life in the blessed state of marriage.
[handwritten date, in Mary Cochran Heath's hand: Sept. 30, 1887.]

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