DAVID DAVIS COCKRELL, ex-Treasurer and Assessor, was born in Alexandria, Alexandria County, Va., March 5, 1836, being the son of Jesse and Nancy (Davis) Cockrell. Our subject's father was born in Virginia. The Cockrells located in the United States in the early Colonial days and the name is now familiar through many States, they having always been people of influence in any community where they resided. Our subject's grandfather was Moses Cockrell, and his great-grandfather was Peter Cockrell, both of whom were elegant, courtly gentlemen who were well and favorably known. His father lived in Virginia until about the year 1837, when with his wife and child (our subject) he removed to Kentucky, making the trip across the mountains with a team and locating in Jefferson County after reaching the Blue Grass State. He had learned the trade of a wagon maker, and established a shop in which he carried on his trade for several years. He next removed to Jeffersonville, Ind., where he worked at his trade until 1856. At that date he returned to Kentucky, locating in Hickman, Fulton County, continuing to devote his attention to his trade at that place up to the breaking out of the war, when he removed to Obion, Tenn. He died soon after settling in that place.
Our subject's mother was previous to her marriage, Miss Nancy Davis. She was born in Virginia and breathed her last in Jeffersonville, leaving a devoted husband and loving children to mourn her loss. Of the children born to her, four attained maturity, viz: David, the subject of our sketch; William P., whose sketch appears elsewhere in our Album; Anna Maria; and Jessie, who now is deceased. After her death her husband married again and has two daughters who were born of this second marriage.
Mr. Cockrell began to work with his father when quite young, and continued to do so until he reached his twentieth year at which time he started out to make a career for himself, going first to St. Louis, where he engaged in a rope and bag factory and where he soon rose to the position of foreman. At the end of two years he came to Calhoun County and worked by the month for others. August 12, 1862, he enlisted in the Ninety-seventh Illinois Infantry. Among the most important battles in which he participated were the following: Chickasaw Bayou, first battle of Vicksburg, Champion Hills, Arkansas Post, siege and capture of Vicksburg, Jackson, Miss., Mobile and Blakely. At the latter named place he captured his distinguished kinsman, Gen. Cockrell, of Missouri. Our subject served with his regiment until the close of the war, being honorably discharged in August, 1865. When peace was once more fully restored he returned to Calhoun County, purchasing a tract of land that is now embraced in his farm on section 7, Richwoods Township, one mile west of Batchtown. Since that time he has devoted his attention chiefly to agricultural pursuits.
Our subject was married in 1858 to Miss Sarah Groves who was born in Lancaster, Ohio, November 14, 1841. Of this union were born fifteen children, seven of whom are living, viz: William H., John, Ellen, Charles, Elizabeth, Walter and Meredith. Mr. Cockrell is a Democrat and a strong supporter of the principles of that party. From time to time he has been elected to fill offices of trust and responsibility, being a highly respected and prosperous citizen of Richwoods Township. He is specially interested in educational matters, being for many years a member of the District School Board. He was elected Treasurer and Assessor of Calhoun County in 1886, an office that he held for a period of four years. Indeed, there are few men accorded a greater amount of personal friendship or general admiration than has always been given our subject.
Extracted 23 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 669-670
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