|Trudy Cochran Coltrane (1915-2000)|
Trudy, as our grandmother preferred to be called, was a native of western Pennsylvania, transplanted to Kernersville, North Carolina when she was a young girl. She was the second youngest of four surviving children of Dr. Ira Lee Cochran and Luella Coral Farmer..
In 1929, Trudy's father, Dr. Ira Lee Cochran, Sr., died of a stroke at fifty-six years old. Trudy was fourteen years old. Dr. Cochran left each of his children $1000; a sum equivalent to about $14,000 in 2017.
Trudy appears to have used her inheritance well. She graduated from Guilford College and taught school in Greensboro public schools for decades, enriching the lives of hundreds of students.
Trudy's mother, Luella Farmer, was born September 15, 1878, in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, the eldest daughter of Frank Farmer and Martha Bankert. After Ira died in 1929, Luella and her children supported themselves by selling produce and flowers they grew on the small farm Ira had established before he died.
Luella was born into relative wealth, in the home of Frank A. Farmer and Martha Jane Bankert, and her marriage to Dr. Cochran kept her in relative comfort well into her forties, when Ira and Luella, their children, Ira Lee, Jr, Trudy, Jean, and Aline, who was a young adult with small children of her own, as well as Ira's sister Jesse, and her husband, James McCorkle, migrated south together to Kernersville, North Carolina.
A small a collection of watercolor paintings made by Luella Farmer Cochran exists today. She was a skilled watercolorist with a keen eye for detail and a steady hand. She died on July 1, 1967, at eighty-nine years old.
Trudy's grandfather, Luella's father, was Frank Anson Farmer, a mercantilist and "farmer". Unlike most of our other ancestors who farmed for a living, Frank Farmer was an industrialist; he owned a large farm where many people were employed. In later life he helped establish the Jersey Flakes Food Company, and served as treasurer for a time
"The Jersey Cereal Food Co. was organized there in 1903 with $200,000 capital for the manufacture and distribution of a breakfast cereal called "Jersey Flake." A three-story brick building was erected about a mile south of Irwin near Hahntown at what became known as Cereal, Pa., production began the following year. Before the cereal plant was built, the area was farmland and was known as Lindencross.
|Luella Farmer Cochran|
Ira's father, Robert John Cochran, was born near Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 27, 1846, and enlisted in the Confederate army during the Civil War. How he ended up married to Mary Evangeline Fleming, Ira's mother, and living out his days in Pennsylvania has been the subject of much speculation.