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Dr. Cochrane, for many years a well-known and influential citizen of Atchison, was born in Owen county, Kentucky, in 1820, and was of Scotch and English parentage. His father was a physician and practiced from 1812 until 1850 in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky. Familiar with the science of medicine from boyhood, it is not strange that W. W. Cochrane became interested in the subject and determined to make it his life work. He prepared for his chosen calling in the Louisville Medical College, in which he was graduated in 1848. He afterward practiced in Louisville and in Mississippi until 1859, when he came to Atchison, and for many years was a leading physician of this city. He spent his last years in retirement, gradually putting aside his active cares on account of his advanced age. He was one of the first members of the Kansas Medical Society, joining that body in 1862, and from 1868 until 1872 he was its honored president. From that date until 1890 he was annually elected treasurer, a fact which indicates his high standing in the ranks of his profession. His skill and ability as a medical practitioner was marked and gained him high prestige. He had deep human sympathy, and would never refuse to make a call even though he knew he would receive no compensation for his services.

In 1862 the Doctor wedded Miss Mary D. Stuart, at Palmyra, Missouri, and to them were born three children, who are now living. The Doctor was a high-minded, honorable gentleman of the old school; at all times courteous and affable, yet firm and steadfast in his convictions. Those who knew him best loved him most and understood and appreciated his splendid traits of character. No history of the medical fraternity of this city would be complete without a record of his life, for through long years he was one of its leading and most honored representatives.