History By Michael S. Riggs
Almira Rebecca Barnes Cochran
NOTE: The only places that Melissa Cochran and Amy Cochran names were mentioned is #9 as Almira's children. "The Wives and Children of Justus Morse" and the statement below as two of the "three children" of Almira.
A granddaughter once wrote of Justus, "Perhaps it is like grandpa Morses last dog & last school mam though. The last was always the best with him." Most likely the "last school mam" she was referring to, was Morse's last wife, Almira (Barnes, Cochran) Morse. But even if she was not the subject of the jest, the description was apt. Almira's first husband, George Cannon Cochran, died in 1863, leaving her with three children. They had been living in Ohio, but soon after his death, Almira moved with her children to Hopkins, Michigan. It was there that she converted to the RLDS cause, "after a vigorous fight against the church and she remained faithful adherent to the end of her life.' Five years after her baptism, she and Justus married in Michigan. Shortly thereafter, they made their way down to Pleasanton, Iowa, (near what was soon to become Lamoni) where they lived out their final years.
Born in Massachusetts, raised in Ohio, and having lived in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Illinois, Utah, California, Michigan, and finally settled in Iowa, Justus Morse literally went across the United States and half way back again during his lifetime—a feat of which not many nineteenth-century Americans could boast. With his much-traveled body slowing down, however, Almira would be the best of all his wives to see him through to the end. As opposed to the others, she was unspoiled by plural marriage, and yet was a staunch believer in the Restoration Gospel. She was already a close friend to most of Morse's siblings, even becoming an in-law when her son, Asa Cochran, even married Salley (Bissell) Church's daughter, Mabel (Church) Cochran. Almira brought a respectability to Morse in his new surroundings of which neither Nancy Pratt nor Eleanor Earl were capable.
As noted earlier, the rumor back in San Bernardino was that Justus had left Nancy Pratt "& married an old accquaintance," and worse yet, "an old sweetheart" that "had property." This could only have meant Almira, as she was indeed Morse's last wife. That Morse might have known her at an earlier time is very believable. As a widow of a Cochran, Almira would have been familiar with the Bissell family in the tiny communities of Aurora and Mantua, Ohio.  Her son, Asa Cochran, made a trip back to Mantua as late as 1891, and while there, met with cousins and visited graves. Almira was born in 1821, so she was only eleven years old at the time Justus moved away in 1832 from Mantua to Elk Creek, Pennsylvania. Almira and her first husband, George Cochran, were married in 1842, two years before Morse's 1844/45 mission which brought him home to Ohio. Although the timing was not right for Almira and Justus to have been long-lost "sweethearts," it was quite probable he was well acquainted with her and/or her first husband's family.
Almira and Justus quietly lived out their remaining time, enjoying family and friends, staying very low key, until the disaffection of their neighbor, Zenas H. Gurley Jr., from the RLDS Church."
There is a photo on the Farwest.com site: of Asa and Mabel Cochran, Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary Courtesy of Community of Christ Library-Archives
Gathering in 1916 for Asa Cochran and Mabel (Church) Cochran-daughter of Horace and Sally (Bissell) Church-in Lamoni, Iowa. Of the "over sixty relatives" in attendance that day, all could point to "Uncle" Justus Morse as the common denominator in coming to their RLDS faith. Seated in the wicker chair on left is Almira (Barnes, Cochran) Morse, aged 95, the last of Justus' nine probable wives. Asa and Mabel Cochran are seated next to each other on the right side.
63. Almira's first husband's name was George Cannon Cochran. The Cannon and Cochran families arrived in Aurora, Portage County, Ohio, as early as 1804-05. The Aurora Story, 13.
65. Almira Cochran Morse" obituary January 1, 1917. Lynn Smith papers, Community of Christ Library-Archives.