1939-1948 Orville Deville Cochran

 O.D. Cochran witnesses Governor Gruening signing the anti-discrimination act of 1945. Photo: Alaska State LibraryNome

Orville Deville Cochran was born on March 10 1871 in Virgil City, Missouri, to James W. and Susan E. When O.D. was sixteen his family moved to Parson, Kansas, where he completed high school. At the age of nineteen he began work for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. In the spring of 1890, he started to head west and settled in Huntington, Oregon, where he obtained a position as car inspector of the Union Pacific Railroad. He later went to work for the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company.

In 1895 he began to take courses in the law department at the University of Oregon. In 1897 he graduated from the University of Oregon, and a year later he opened a law office in Portland and represented railroad men. Cochran came to Nome along with others during the gold rush, and practiced law in 1900 until his death for the Hammon Consolidated Gold Corp.

On November 11, 1908 he marries Inez Hontoon in Nome. Cochran becomes mayor of Nome from 1910 – 1911, as well as City Attorney. He was a member of the House Territorial Legislature, 5th regular session, 1921, and a member of the Senate at the 13th to 18th inclusive, regular sessions and special session of 1946.

He was appointed to the Board of Regents by Governor Troy to succeed John Henry Kelly. He was reappointed for an eight-year term beginning in February 1947.

On January 30, 1948, Orville Deville Cochran died in Nome.

Leo F. Rhode was appointed to take his place on the Board after his death.

Orville Cochran is also mentioned in this article

Notable People: Elizabeth Peratrovich


In Memoriam O.D. Cochran, Board of Regents, 1948

*Orville Deville Cochran was one of the few senators in favor of Equal Rights for all Alaska residents, especially Alaska Natives. A Senate hearing in regards to the Anti-Discrimination Act in 1943 was defeated, but passed in 1945 by 11 to 5. An article regarding the Senate hearing can be read here. The Act can be read here.


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