Laura A. (Hopper) Wall Cochran was born on August 6, 1892 in Fort Stanton, Lincoln County, New Mexico, the daughter of Robert Monroe and Elizabeth (Russell) Hopper.  She grew up at Camp Verde, Arizona Territory where her father conducted a mercantile business. She graduated from Northern Arizona Teachers College in Flagstaff and took a course at Lamson’s Business College in Phoenix before teaching.

Starting in 1920, she was elected Yavapai County Superintendent of Schools four successive times.  In this position, she inspected schools, helped to fill vacancies on school boards and conducted exams for teaching certificates.  In 1924, Laura and ten other women held the position of county superintendent in eleven of Arizona’s fourteen counties, reflecting women’s leadership in education.

In 1932, she married Lex Wall. They lived on their V Seven Quarter Circle Ranch on Clear Creek, five miles south and east of Camp Verde. James Lexington died August 2, 1942.  Laura remained on the ranch, directing its operation until 1944.  She married J. N. Cochran in 1944, and they lived on the V Seven Quarter Circle Ranch.

Laura was a member of the Yavapai County Cowbelles. She died August 3, 1955, with her funeral being held at the Verde Methodist Church where she was an active member throughout her life.  She was buried in the Cottonwood Cemetery. Her newspaper obituary, published in the Prescott Evening Courier and dated August 4, 1955 stated: “With Camp Verde always regarded as her home, Mrs.Cochran was esteemed throughout the state for her civic activities and a widely-recognized desire to assist other.  Prominent as a Yavapai Cattle Growers Association member, she was given a number of awards by that group for her untiring endeavors and the same applies to her affiliation with the Arizona Farm Bureau.  Her interest in the Cowbelles was constant each one connected with the county organization regarding her as a personal friend….Prescott will remember Laura Hopper best for her devotion to duty during the eight years a county school director.  Exercising keen judgement cooperative in extreme and governed by an exceptional sense of understanding, she left the post with a fine record of efficiency and economy and without an ill-wisher among those with whom she came in contact.  She could have remained in the position indefinitely but yielded to the urge of domestic felicity which was too strong to evade.”

Her mother, Elizabeth Wine, is also represented in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden.

Donors: Yavapai Cowbelles; Mrs. Olive Haisley
Photo Located: Digital Format Only - I-Drive>Rose Garden Photos & Bios>RG TIFF Portraits>Cochran, Lauara (Hopper)
Updated: 5/5/2015; D. Sue Kissel