Sam P. Cochran, businessman and civic leader, was instrumental in organizing the Dallas Scottish Rite Cathedral, a home for aged Masons in Arlington, and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children. He was also president of the Texas Scottish Rite Educational Association, which raised funds for a women's dormitory at the University of Texas, in Austin. For these and other activities a $25,000 bronze statue was erected in Cochran's honor on the lawn of the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Dallas in 1920.
He was born to John Carr and Samuella Tannehill (Dewees) Cochran on September 11, 1855, at Lexington, Kentucky. He attended elementary school in Cincinnati, Ohio, and high school in Covington, Kentucky, where he graduated as valedictorian of his class in 1873. On July 3, 1883, he married Sue Webb Higgins of Lexington, Kentucky. After she died, Cochran married Regina Urbish of Dallas, in 1934.
The following biographical sketch was written and compiled in 1936 by Mrs. John Kibbey Blackstone of San Antonio, Texas, in a limited edition of 500 copies. It was updated and amended by Wm. Harold Collum, Jr., PM, Sam P. Cochran Lodge #1335.
There is erected in the city of Paris, Kentucky, a bronze tablet, placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution. On this tablet is inscribed the names of the Pioneer citizens of that district, some of whom had fought in the colonial wars. Among them is to be found the names of James Wasson, John Baird, and Andrew Cochran, the last named being a direct ancestor of Brother Samuel Cochran. John Cochran, son of Andrew Cochran, was a prominent citizen of that locality, and was also a hero in the war of 1812. John Carr Cochran, Bro. Cochran's father, was a Colonel of a Federal division during the Civil War.
The history of Brother Cochran's birth, parentage and early education has been written into the many tributes to him, which have been issued by the many different organizations with which he has been affiliated during his Masonic Career.
But Masonry was not the only avenue through which Brother Cochran sought to further his service to his fellow man. His first church affiliation was with the Presbyterian Church. In 1887, he became a member of the Church of Christ Scientist, and together with his wife, lived by its precepts throughout their lives together. Both served as First Readers in the Christian Science Church at Dallas.
Before leaving his native Kentucky, Brother Cochran served as Deputy United States Marshal in the Eastern part of Kentucky for three years. It is well known what dauntless courage was required to fill that post, during the last quarter of the nineteenth Century. Brother Cochran also held a life membership in the Kentucky Society of Colonial Wars, to which he was doubly entitled, as his ancestors had participated in every war in which the United States was engaged in their generations.
Brother Cochran chose the business of insurance early in his business career, and followed it until his retirement shortly before he died. After being representative for the Springfield Fire and Marine Insurance Company, he became an associate of the firm of Dargan and Trezevant of Dallas, and in 1884, he became a member of the firm, which later became Trezevant and Cochran. He became the head of the concern, which position he held until his retirement, fifty years later. He brought honor and respect into the business, as he did in all things, and the firm of Trezevant & Cochran which was General Agents in the Southwestern Department for a number of large Eastern and Foreign Insurance companies, underwriting for fire, marine, and accident, became one of the outstanding concerns of its kind in the Southwest.
For forty-two years, Brother Cochran was president of the Mutual Building Association. He was also president of the Title and Guarantee Company in Dallas, and was a director of The First National Bank, and of the Dallas Railway and Terminal Company. His memberships included the Dallas City Park Board, the State Historical Society of Texas, and the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania. He belonged to The Sons of the American Revolution, and served as President of the Texas Society of that order for four years; and was at one time National Vice-president for the South Mississippi District.
He was a member of the Dallas Country Club, Rotary Club, Town and Gown Club, Koon Kreek Klub, and many other civic organizations which were founded for the healthful pleasure, education, or commercial advancement of their members.
Yet withal, he found time to be a good neighbor, a kind and indulgent husband and a steadfast friend. He qualified upon every point of Kipling's famous poem "IF", the last verse being particularly adaptable to an expression of his many attributes:
"If you can talk with crowds, and keep your virtue, or walk with Kings, nor lose the common touch if neither foes, nor loving friends can hurt you, if all men count with you, but none too much; if you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run, yours is the Earth, and everything that's in it, and what is more, you'll be a MAN, my son!"
Samuel Poyntz Cochran began his Masonic career, at Covington, Kentucky, early in his adult life. Starting in the community in which he was born and reared, he attained the first degrees of Masonry, up to and including the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason, in Golden Rule Lodge, Number 345, A.F. & A.M. at Covington, from which he demitted April 4, 1898, to identify his membership with Dallas Lodge, Number 760, which membership he held to the day of his death.
In this Lodge, he pursued his chosen medium of benevolent expression to a full completeness; occupying all of the stations both appointive, and elective, and became Worshipful Master of Dallas Lodge Number 760, in June of 1902.
He was appointed to the duties of District Deputy Grand Master for the Nineteenth District of Texas, December 3, 1903; and in 1911, he was elected to the office of Grand Master of Masons in Texas; serving the usual one year term of office, with efficiency and honor.
Following is the text of a letter which he wrote to Brother James C. Jones, now Secretary of the Scottish Rite Bodies in Dallas, Texas, which reflects the richness of his character, in giving due credit to every one who participated in his enterprises. Brother Jones acted as private secretary -and confidential friend to Brother Cochran for a number of years. This letter from Brother Cochran at the conclusion of his tenure of office as Grand Master, is one of Brother Jones' most treasured possessions. It is dated December 7, 1912, and is written in Brother Cochran's strong and legible handwriting upon official stationery of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
"J. C. Jones, Esq.,
Dear Mr. Jones-
If my administration as Grand Master has been successful, you have contributed, in no small degree to that result, by your able assistance in keeping my records in fine shape, and in aiding me to handle the work promptly.
For your ever ready willingness, and courteous co-operation, I thank you sincerely....
Sam P. Cochran,
Past Grand Master"
Brother Cochran was appointed as the Representative of the Grand Lodge of Maryland, in Texas, April 5, 1905; and in 1933 he was appointed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Texas, Honorable Wallace Hugston, as associate appointee with Brother Alonzo A. Ross, Past Grand Master of Texas Masons, to represent the Grand Lodge of Texas at the Dedicatory Ceremonials of the Masonic Peace Memorial Temple in London, England, acting upon an invitation from the United Grand Lodge of England, that the Texas Grand Lodge be represented upon that notable occasion.
Circumstances prevented Brother Ross from accompanying Brother Cochran upon the journey. Brother James C. Jones accompanied Brother Cochran as co-traveler upon a tour that took them to other countries as well as to England, their first destination. The representatives of Foreign Jurisdictions were the guests of the Grand Lodge of England, beginning July 17, 1933, which date marked the arrival of Brother Cochran and Brother Jones. The first function was a Reception Dinner extended by the Grand Lodge to the visitors, at the Savoy Hotel in London; and was the first of a number of dinners, and public functions planned for the Foreign Representatives throughout the week.
On July 18, 1933, the Especial Grand Lodge of England was convened by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, which was conducted in the elaborate and strict ritualistic form of the United Grand Lodge of England, and took place in historic Royal Albert Hall. In Brother Cochran's official report of this ceremonial may be found a complete description of this impressive and colorful occasion; its ritualistic, and regimental pageantry.
It is interesting to note in passing, that it was within this Royal Albert Hall, in London, England, that Brother Cochran attended a Peace Jubilee, a few days after the signing of the World War Armistice, November 11, 1918. On the occasion of the Peace Jubilee it was estimated that there were fifteen thousand people in the Hall, including their Majesties, King George V and Queen Mary, their family, ministers, and distinguished officials of the Realm.
The Duke of Connaught filled the office of Most Worshipful Master of the Grand Lodge of England for more than a quarter of a century. The imposing ceremony of the dedication of the Masonic Peace Memorial Temple, to which Brother Cochran was an accredited representative from the Grand Lodge of Texas, gave the impressive realization of the dignity of the occasion, and of the very high esteem and appreciation in which Masonry is held in Great Britain.
The dedication ceremonies took place Wednesday, July 19, 1933, in the New Building, in full ritualistic form. A telegram of profound felicitations was sent to his Majesty, the King, by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, to which a gracious and feeling response from the King was read in the Grand Lodge, just prior to the ceremony of dedication. It is a source of deep satisfaction to all Texas Masons that so courtly and gracious a personality as that of Illustrious Samuel Poyntz Cochran stood as their Representative upon that occasion which was of such tremendous international Masonic import.
There were many commissions of responsibility and trust placed upon Brother Cochran during his Masonic Career, all of which he discharged with efficiency and exactitude.
Brother Cochran did not attain the high places, which he held in many branches of Masonry, by sudden and easy elevation, but by years of service and attention to the smaller details of the Order.
In the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas, he served on the Committees of Grievances and Appeals, Credentials, Bylaws, Revision of Constitution, Masonic Jurisprudence, besides filling, with distinction, all of the offices which came automatically in his advancement.
He was complimented with membership in the Quatour Coronati Lodge Number 2076 of London, England.
Brother Cochran was made a member of the Order of the Eastern Star in Dallas Chapter Number 1, February 9, 1899; installed Chaplain September 17, 1909; Worthy Patron May 21, 1910.
He was entered as Associate Grand Patron at Houston, Texas, October 12, 1911, and became Grand Patron in 1912 which is the highest office of the Order of the Eastern Star.
The Order of DeMolay, founded by Brother Frank S. Land, of Kansas City, Missouri, is the vanguard in the American Youth Movement, and its possibilities for the conservation and idealization of American Young Manhood appealed strongly to the idealistic and patriotic nature of Brother Cochran. He endorsed the movement, and threw into it a measure of his great organizational resources, not only for its Masonic aspect and possibilities, but because of the citizenship value of its objective. F or ten years h e was an active member of the Grand Council of the Order of DeMolay, and was Executive Officer of Texas DeMolay from 1921 to 1931. His interest in the Order, which enlarges its membership from the boys of Masonic and non-Masonic families, was unfailing.
Brother Samuel Poyntz Cochran was created a Noble of the Mystic Shrine April 15, 1898, in Hella Temple, at Dallas, Texas.
He was installed Chief Rabban, December 20, 1900; and attained the high position of Potentate, January 3, 1902 and the following year was elected honorary member of Sphinx Temple of Hartford, Connecticut. He attended the Imperial Council Session at Niagara Falls, June 20, and 21, 1905, as official representative of Hella Temple, and from 1911, to 1920, he attended all Imperial Shrine Council sessions, often carrying official commissions from other Temples. He assisted in the Organization of Texas State Shrine Council at Waco, in March, 1920, of which he was the first President. He carried a Life Membership in Maskat Temple of Wichita Falls, Texas, and also in Khiva Temple, located at Amarillo. Both of these honors came to him in 1920.
Brother Cochran was helpfuI to Brother Walter C. Temple while Brother Temple was Potentate of Hella Temple, at Dallas, in founding and arranging for the maintenance of the Crippled Children's Hospital, located in Dallas; and afterward became its enthusiastic patron, and personal attendant. His activities extended to the Imperial Council Hospital Association for the erection and maintenance of Hospitals for the care of Crippled Children. He was repeatedly elected to serve as Chairman of that Board. The good accomplished for underprivileged humanity is past the power of the mind to fully estimate. It is fitting that Illustrious Samuel Poyntz Cochran's name should be at the head of its list of exponents.
Encompassed within the three years, 1898, 1899, and 1900, Brother Cochran arose from the initial degrees of the Royal Arch Chapter, to the eminence of High Priest, in Dallas Chapter Number 47, at Dallas, Texas.
He was examined by the committee on work of the Grand Chapter, and was awarded a certificate to teach the work, which certificate he held for the remainder of his life.
From 1902, to and including 1905, Brother Cochran advanced to the highest office of Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons in Texas, that of Grand High Priest. In that exalted capacity he presided over the fifty-seventh Convocation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas, which took place at Waco, Texas, December 4th and 5th, 1906.
He was appointed Grand Representative, in Texas, of Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland; and he was also appointed to represent, in Texas, the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons, of Indian Territory.
In 1905 he organized, and served as chairman of a voluntary committee which raised funds, mainly by contributions from Royal Arch Chapters, with which a neat and substantial auditorium building was erected on the grounds of the Widows' and Orphans' Masonic Home, near Fort Worth, Texas.
Brother Cochran submitted a report to the Grand Chapter of Texas, in December, 1906, which contained a proposition for the Grand Chapter to erect and operate a home for aged Masons. This suggestion was referred to a committee, of which Brother Cochran was made Chairman. The following year the committee report was adopted by the Grand Chapter, the building was erected on a selected site near Arlington, Texas, and named "Home For Aged Masons". Its successful operation has proven the wisdom of its Illustrious Founder, who served on the Board of Directors, and as President of the institution from 1906 to 1916.
Brother Cochran received the degrees of Royal and Select Master at Dallas, Texas, November 25, 1898, in a Council appendant to Dallas Chapter Number 47. (The Council degrees were at that time under the jurisdiction of the Grand Chapter, R.A.M.) By appointment of Illustrious Companion, Robert M. Elgin, surviving Grand Master of the Grand Council of Texas, on December 3, 1907, Brother Cochran presided as his proxy at a meeting of Royal and Select Masters at Dallas, for the purpose of rehabilitating and restoring said Grand Council to activity. He opened the Grand Council in ample form, and installed the first officers-elect.
He was commissioned as the Grand Representative of the Grand Council of Ohio, April 21, 1908, and was appointed Grand Captain of the Guard in December of 1909.
He became Grand Master of the Texas Royal and Select Masters in 1912; and again served as Grand Captain of the Guard through the years of 1914, 1915, and 1916.
Brother Cochran was dubbed and created a Knight Templar in Dallas Commandery Number 6, at Dallas, Texas, on March 12, 1898; and was appointed Master of Infantry during the same year.
Within the following three years he was elected to the offices of Captain General; Generalissimo, and Eminent Commander, which latter he attained February 7, 1901.
At the forty-ninth Annual Conclave, Grand Commandery Knights Templar, at El Paso, Texas, April 17, 1902, Brother Cochran was appointed Grand Warder, which was followed by his appointment to the office of Grand Sword Bearer, at Austin, Texas, and Grand Standard Bearer at Paris, Texas. He was elected to the offices of Grand Junior Warden, Grand Senior Warden, at Waco, and Grand Captain General at Dallas.
He was appointed Grand Representative of the Grand Commandery of New Jersey, near the Grand Commandery of Texas, October, 1904.
At San Antonio, April 24, 1908, he was elected and installed Grand Generalissimo; the following year, at El Paso, he was installed Deputy Grand Commander; and on April 8, 1910, at Houston, Texas, he became Grand Commander, Knights Templar of Texas.
The following year, in 1909, he presided over the fifty-eighth Conclave of the Grand Commandery, Knights Templar of Texas, at Fort Worth, on April 19 and 20.
Brother Cochran attended Triennial Conclaves of Grand Encampment, Knights Templar, U.S.A., at Louisville, Kentucky, 1901; San Francisco, California, 1904; Saratoga, N. Y., 1907; Chicago, 1910; Denver Colorado, 1913; Los Angeles, California, 1916; and Philadelphia, in 1919.
During the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, U.S.A., in 1916, a plan was formulated and adopted which had for its object the alleviation of some of the suffering following the tragedies of the World War. It was proposed that any member who desired to assume the responsibility for the maintenance and education of a child made fatherless by the conflict in France, would be assigned to that task.
Brother Cochran, true to the precepts of his life, readily consented to assume the responsibility of one war orphan. A little five year old girl residing with her widowed mother in the city of Fontainebleau, France, was assigned to the guardianship of Brother Cochran. He saw her only a few times afterward, but he never swerved from the path which he laid out for himself, or in the discharge of this duty which he had voluntarily assumed. The years in which she developed from a small child into young womanhood, brought a rich and satisfactory result of the funds and care which he had expended, to the end that she might find happiness and self support. Her name was Mademoiselle Reine Lanthoinette, and she thereafter took a position at a bank in her home city.
The last of the few visits Brother Cochran paid to her and her mother was in 1932 when he and Brother James C. Jones made an extended trip to England, Scotland, Ireland and France. Brother Cochran's first objective was to attend the meeting of the International Law Association, which met at Oxford, England. Of this experience, he wrote later to a kinswoman: "It was quite a profitable trip to me, in the way of instruction and information and I feel repaid for going so far to attend the session."
Many interesting places in England, North Scotland, and Ireland were visited on this trip, crowned with the satisfaction that in holding steadfast to the plan for the education and care of one little girl, that he lived to see her safe from the hardships which fell to the sad lot of so many.
Brother Cochran was a charter member of Saint Mark Conclave Number 13, Red Cross of Constantine, which was organized at Dallas, March 10, 1906. He was installed as Most Puissant Sovereign, and was appointed Intendant General for the Division of Texas.
He was appointed Grand Marshal of the Grand Imperial Council at Chicago, June 14, 1906, appointed Grand Orator at Duluth, Minnesota, August 14, 1907, and Grand Almoner, at Kansas City, Missouri, May 15, 1908.
He assisted Most Illustrious Sir S. E. Bliss, Grand Sovereign and Sir G. W. Warvelle, Grand Recorder in organizing St. Justin (Martyr) Conclave at Atlanta Georgia, December 15, 1908.
He was elected Grand Cross Knight by the Supreme Grand Chapter of the Grand Cross of Constantine of the United States of America, at Boston, Massachusetts, on September 24, 1909. He received the Order at the hands of Illustrious Sir E. F. Hartzell, at Dallas, Texas, on the 20th of November of the same year.
On May 28, 1910, Brother Cochran assisted Most Illustrious Sir E. F. Hartzell, Grand Sovereign, to constitute Saint Luke Conclave, U.D. at McAlester, Oklahoma.
He filled the elective offices of Grand Junior General and Grand Senior General, and Grand Viceroy during the succeeding three years; and was elected Grand Sovereign on June 7, 1912.
Brother Cochran received the 4th to the 14th Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in the Lodge of Perfection, at Dallas, Texas, in April and July of 1898.
He received the 15th to and including the 18th Degrees on November, 11, 1898, in L. M. Oppenheimer Chapter Number 2, Knights Rose Croix, Galveston, Texas; the 19th to the 30th Degrees were conferred upon him in Pike Tucker Council No. 1 of Knights Kadosh, on November 12, 1898. At the same date and place, the 31st and 32nd Degrees were communicated to him by Dr. A. B. Chamberlain, who was at that time, the Illustrious Sovereign Grand Inspector General for Scottish Rite Masonry in Texas. He later demitted from all of his Galveston affiliations, and became a charter member of Dallas Consistory No. 2, at its organization. He was installed as Senior Warden of the Dallas Lodge of Perfection No. 7, on March 24, 1899; advancing in unbroken progress until he had become Past Master of all four of the Scottish Rite Bodies in Dallas.
He was elected Knight Commander of the Court of Honour by the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction at Washington, D. C., on October 22, 1901, and was coroneted Inspector General - Honorary, 33 o in the Supreme Council, at Washington, D.C. exactly two years later.
Brother Cochran was appointed Deputy of the Supreme Council in the state of Texas, on June 24, 1911, by Illustrious James D. Richardson, who was at that time, the Sovereign Grand Commander. On Saturday, October 21, 1911, at the regular biennial session of the Supreme Council, in Washington, D.C., he was elected to active membership in the Supreme Council with the office of Sovereign Grand Inspector General of Scottish Rite Masons in Texas.
The first communication which he made carrying his official signature as Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Texas, was addressed to his treasured and faithful friend, Brother James C. Jones. It was in answer to Brother Jones' telegram of congratulations on Brother Cochran's election to the office.
Because of Brother Cochran's impressive personality, and of his unquestioned ability, he was the recipient of a great many commissions, and was appointed to many extra duties which came within the province of his Masonic realm.
After he became an active member of the Supreme Council he served on the committee of Jurisprudence and Legislation; and on the Committees of Finance, Executive, Fund for Fraternal Assistance, Peace and Arbitration, Foreign Relations, Education, Visitations of Councils, Music and Program, Reception, and Ritual.
In 1912 he was appointed Representative of the Supreme Council of Greece; in 1919 he was appointed the Representative of the Supreme Council of France, and in 1928, he was appointed to represent the Supreme Council of Chile, at the Supreme Council whose seat is at Washington, D. C. In 1921 the office of Grand Orator was first created, and Brother Cochran was elected to fill that place.
The offices of Grand Chancellor, Grand Prior, and Lieutenant Grand Commander were attained by him in the years 1923, 1929, 1931. For a season, at the time Sovereign Grand Commander Cowles made a world tour of Masonic inspection, Brother Cochran in his office of Lieutenant Grand Commander filled that Supreme office with full authority of Grand Commander.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of the Royal Order of Scotland for the United States holds its odd year meetings in the same city as the Scottish Rite Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction; and in the even years in the same city in which the Supreme Council for the Northern Jurisdiction holds its sessions; and no city is designated for such meeting except by vote of the Supreme Council.
At the meeting of this distinguished body on Thursday, October 20, 1927, Illustrious Brother Sam P. Cochran, 33°, then Grand Chancellor of the Supreme Council, and Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Texas, was chosen as Provincial Grand Master for the American Jurisdiction of the Royal Order of Scotland.
Brother Cochran had received the degrees of the Royal Order of Scotland at Washington, D.C. on October 19, 1903, and his election to the office of Provincial Grand Master placed him in the highest position within the gift of the Order. The Grand Mastership was vacant because of the death of Brother George Edgar Corson, who had held it with honor for a number of years. Brother Cochran's election was unanimous, and brought long and enthusiastic applause in the assembly.
Brother Perry W. Weidner, Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Southern California at the time, was next in line for the office of Provincial Grand Master, but voluntarily declined the nomination in favor of Brother Cochran; at the same time paying a personal tribute to Brother Cochran in these words, "Having served with Brother Cochran in the Supreme Council for many years past, and holding that fraternal love and devotion for him that all men do who know him, I ask the privilege of the Royal Order to be permitted to step aside, and allow this honor to be bestowed upon my friend, and co-worker, Brother Sam P. Cochran." Brother Cochran accepted the place with due Masonic courtesy and appreciation. It was at a sumptuous banquet served in the evening that the announcement of the election was made by Brother Weidner, which came as a pleasant surprise to Mrs. Cochran, and the many Texas members present. Brother Cochran, the newly elected Grand Master, presided at the banquet, making an eloquent and appropriate address.
The Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (Rosicrucian Society of the United States) was formed on September 21, 1880, by three Colleges that had been formed within the previous ten months by the Society in Scotland. It is entirely autonomous and in no way connected with any other institution. The Society in the United States is in amity with the only other similar societies in the world - Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (England), Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia (Scotland), and Societas Rosicruciana in France. The S.R.I.C.F. is not in amity with Societas Rosicruciana in Canada.
The records of the Supreme Magus of the High Council note that on April 4, 1918, a Charter was issued by the High Council to Samuel Poyntz Cochran to form Texas College of the S.R.I.C.F. The Charter, according to the records of the High Council, was lost in transit, but Texas College was set to work on February 2, 1919. A duplicate Charter for Texas College was later issued, as the original had been lost in the mails.
On April 4th, 1918, Sam P. Cochran was advanced to the VII° and VIII°, and to the IX° on September 17, 1918, at a Convocation of the High Council in Boston, Massachusetts. At this same Convocation of the High Council, Brother Cochran was appointed Chief Adept Ad Vitam (For Life) of Texas College of the Society, and selected as Seventh Ancient of the Society. On September 20, 1921, he was advanced to Fourth Ancient (see The Rosicrican FAMA, Volume III, No. 2, Fall-Winter 1968 at page 19), and on December 27, 1933, at another Convocation of the High Council in Boston, Massachusetts, Frater Cochran was advanced to Primus Ancient (LUX, Volume II, Id. at page 69).
Samuel Poyntz Cochran, Texas College - Membership Number 1
Chief Adept: 1918 to 1935
Primus Ancient: 1933 to 1935
Fourth Ancient: 1921 to 1933
Seventh Ancient: 1918 to 1921
Grade Date IX° (No. 19) 9-17-1918 VIII° 4-04-1918 VII° 4-04-1918
Following the death of Mrs. Cochran, which took place December 14, 1928, Brother Cochran took up the technical study of law, thus pursuing an ambition which had been in his mind for a great many years, but had been crowded back, to make room for the exigencies of his Masonic and business duties. This remarkable procedure was followed with the same singleness of purpose, which had marked every program of his entire life; and was brought to a full completeness. He stood his examinations and was made Valedictorian of his class in July 1932.
A remarkable connection with his graduation from Covington, High School, in 1873, was the fact that his graduation from Dixie University of Law, in Dallas, (now no longer in existence) and his High School graduation fell on the same date, and he was Valedictorian of the graduating class in both instances, fifty-nine years intervening.
In recognition of this remarkable accomplishment, Chief Justice C. M. Cureton convened the Supreme Court of Texas, July 14, 1932, in special and unusual session for the sole purpose of honoring Brother Cochran, by admitting him to the bar, and himself administering the oath of office. He was assisted by members of his court, T. B. Greenwood, and William Pierson, and three members of the Commission of Appeals.
In response to Brother Cochran's expression of appreciation for the very great honor that had been done him by this high tribunal, Justice Cureton said: "It is a very great pleasure to this Court, Mr. Cochran to assemble for this occasion. We think that what you have done, both in this occasion and all through your life, should be an example to the youth of this state for many years to come. In your late years, you come here and pass these examinations, as an ordinary student comes...The only man in history of whom I am reminded at this time, as a parallel case, is Cato, the Great Senator who, after he was eighty years old, took up the study of the Greek language." Brother Cochran's answer was: "I feel gratified if anything I have done may have attracted the favorable attention of this Court." This dignified, courtly reply carried with it a tribute to the Court, and an appreciation of its potency.
Studying at the same law school with Brother Cochran and graduating in the same class was a young lady, whose name was Miss Regina Urbish. Brother Cochran was married to Miss Urbish, in Durant, Oklahoma, in 1934.
After a long and illustrious life, Samuel Poyntz Cochran died at his home in Dallas on February 11, 1936. Mrs Regina Cochran survived him.