Cochran Chair Company (Indianapolis, Aurora: sale, to buy, beach)
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For those interested in Cochran Chair Company, of Aurora, IN, I've put together a few things that will get you started on your research (FYI: Sorry about the mess with the URLs, but it is the system here that has done this, not me. I've tried to correct it so you can read the links easier, but it keeps printing them with the formatting language attached, no matter what I do. I'll try to fix it one more time, but if that doesn't work, just cut-and paste what I've highlighted in red and you ought to be okay.):
I thought I'd begin with the most fun thing I've found. To see an interesting and informative copy of an ad, just go to the following link, then forward on to page 132:
[url=http://books.google.com/books?id=lG0oAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA26&dq=Cochran+Chair+Company,+Aurora,+IN&ei=YTc7S tG6J4uIkATx8ZC6BQ]The Grand Rapids furniture record - Google Books[/url]
For anyone who wants to borrow a copy of "Indiana, from frontier to industrial commonwealth," vol. 4, 1954, there is supposed to be a brief mention of the company in it beginning on page 429. Most importantly is that it clearly associates the company with Leland A. Stark. You can borrow it from a number of libraries, which can be identified here:
[url=http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1824975]Indiana from frontier to industrial commonwealth, [WorldCat.org][/url]
On page 428 of the following link, you can find a brief but interesting article on the subject of "Made in Aurora":
[url=http://books.google.com/books?id=XGkoAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA428&dq=Cochran+Chair+Co mpany,+Aurora,+IN&ei=Gzk7Soq5ConAlQSV15S6BQ]Furniture Worker - Google Books[/url]
Page 114 of the following link has a solid, simple bio of William E. Stark, who, at the time it was written, was Vice-Prez of Cochran. Most importantly is that it give a few other names that may provide further leads for research:
It should be interesting to note that the "National Directory of Addresses and Phone Numbers had a listing for Cochran Chair Co. in Aurora dated to 1903. The "International Cable Directory of the World" shows the same info., but for 1901.
The "Annual Report" filed by the Indiana Secretary of State of 1899 shows in the "Articles of Association" that Cochran Chair Company filed what I presume are the papers for incorporation, on Sept. 15, 1899.
If you can locate a copy of the 1931 edition of "Art Guide to Indiana: from an Art Survey," by the Indiana Federation of Art, on page 105 there is supposed to be nice little discussion of just what Cochran manufactures. All I could get, without actually paying for the guide, were the following words "The Cochran Chair Company, of Aurora makes dining-room furniture, cabinets, and chairs in attractive designs in period and modern styles. ..."
The cream of the crop, though, if you want to borrow it from Indiana State Library, is "Fine Casual Furniture, Country Groups, Traditional Groups, Executive Seating," actually written by Cochran Chair Company. Most interesting is what it states on the back cover of this booklet: "Cochran Chair Company, Inc., subsidiary of OPIC, P.O. Box 269, Aurora, Ind. 47001, since 1879." You can contact the library to borrow this booklet, or, since it really is short enough, maybe simply ask them to make a copy and have those emailed to you through following link:
[url=http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/33427937]Fine casual furniture, country groups, traditional groups, executive seating [WorldCat.org][/url]
So what or who the hay is OPIC? The only one I know is the governmental financial group, and I do not think they have subsidiaries...
Alas, more to be done!
Hope this helps someone in some small way!
Last edited by mizzllat; 06-19-2009 at 02:16 AM..
Reason: Trying to correct URL formatting
I am typing this at my desk at Stedman Machine Company in Cochran Indiana (Aurora's Oldest Industry).
The Cochran Chair company was started in 1879. The original owners were John Franz, Frederich Schmutte and Herman Leive. They were three German craftsmen and very skilled in their trade.
The Stark family came into the business 1885 when William Stark was hired as a bookkeeper, after a single year he was made general manager. In 1890 the company was turned over to Mr. Stark and the son of Mr. Schmutte, Harry Schmutte. In 1906 Mr. Stark bought out Mr. Schmutte. It continued in the Stark family until 1963 until Mr. Starke sold Cochran Chair. In 1977 the company had 40 employees and was marketed nationwide. The company held a permanent showroom in Chicago's Merchandise Mart.
Cochran Chair was one of three chair companies in Aurora. The others were Indianapolis Chair Company, and the Cobb Chair company formerly Indiana Chair.
Anyone wanting further information regarding the history is encouraged to go to the Lawrenceburg Library to the Genealogy department; there is plenty of useful information to be found.
As for individual pieces of furniture, you would be best served to meet an appraiser since in 1977 the Cochran chair company had over 150 models of furniture available, with 17 standard finishes and over 200 different color and pattern combinations, and no-one has the company records any longer.
As a side note Cochran Chair is also known to having several fires over the years.
I have come by this information while researching Stedman Machine Company for its 175th Anniversary.
One of the more interesting discoveries was that Stedman Machine Company was part owner of the Cobb Chair Company at a time in its history.
i was born and raised in Aurora Indiana and can tell reggie it does indeed have its own post office. further, the cochran chair company evolved into what is now Aurora Casket Company, making wood caskets in early years. FYI GALF
I have a table and six chairs that belong to my maternal grandparents. On the bottom side of one chair it had a label cochran Indiana. My 87 year old mother said it was a wedding gift from her dad to her mother probably around 1910 or so. T assume the table was made there too. It has 4 leaves ( 2 0n each side) that are stored under neath main table. A few years ago some one refered to it as a harvest table.
Cochran Chair Company was established in Aurora, IN which use to be Cochran, IN. If it is stamped Cochran, IN then it was made in the late 1800's or early 1900's. I also have a piece made by them with the same stamp. I know it has to be worth something but I am still researching. If I come across any info. I will get back with u.
all of my family is from southeast indiana. Cochran chair factory and the township was named after them. my grandma had a perfect table with lions feet. I wish I knew more. All I really know is my great-
grandpa used to own a lot of Dearborn, And Switzerland Counties. my dad and uncles lost their land to back taxes when grandpa died. Would love to know more. grandma said It burned down.If you know more.
Hello,I have a very old rocking chair that my grandmother purchased in the 1920s in Cochran Indiana.This chair has a hand carved black leather piece in middle of chair with an angel in the center,and very pretty carvings in the wood on the top of chair,Her chair still has the paper tag on bottom of chair that says Cochran Chair Cochran Indiana.This chair is original and has never been tampered with .The black leather in center that is held in place by brass nails or buttons is cracked in places from over the years.Does anybody have a chair like mine?I would like to get the leather in center replaced if possible?
I have 2 Chochran Westministre chairs/one chair has a lable under the seat/Auroa Ind./1864/not a date.
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