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August 29, 2009

Famous Warrensburg Residents - General and Senator Francis Cockrell of Warrensburg, Missouri Johnson County.

Senate Years of Service: 1875-1905
Party: Democrat
Library of Congress

COCKRELL, Francis Marion, (brother of Jeremiah Vardaman Cockrell), a Senator from Missouri; born in Warrensburg, Johnson County, Mo., October 1, 1834; attended the common schools; graduated from Chapel Hill College, Lafayette County, Mo., in July 1853; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1855 and practiced in Warrensburg, Mo.; served in the Confederate Army as captain, brigade commander, and brigadier general; captured at Fort Blakeley, Ala., in April 1865 and paroled in May 1865; at the close of the Civil War resumed the practice of law; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1874; reelected four times and served from March 4, 1875, to March 3, 1905; chairman, Committee on Claims (Forty-sixth Congress), Committee on Engrossed Bills (Fifty-first through Fifty-eighth Congresses, except for Fifty-third), Committee on Appropriations (Fifty-third Congress); appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt a member of the Interstate Commerce Commission 1905-1910; appointed in 1911 a United States commissioner to reestablish the boundary line between Texas and New Mexico; civilian member of the board of ordnance in the War Department, which position he held until his death in Washington, D.C., December 13, 1915; interment in Warrensburg Cemetery, Warrensburg, Mo.

205 East Market Street, Warrensburg, MO
Senator  & General Francis Marion Cockrell Home

The End to the famous Missourian in his 82nd year.

Served thirty years in the Senate, from which he retired in 1905, since when he has been in Government Work in Washington.
Francis Marion Cockrell, Thirty years a United States senator from Missouri, died Monday in his room in the Buckingham Hotel, Washington.
The body will be taken to Warrensburg, Mo. the old Cockrell home at 206 E. Market. He had read the morning papers and was eating a light breakfast when he fell back in the chair dead.
Senator Cockrell was 81 years old Oct. 1. He was elected to the Senate in 1875 and retired in 1905, when the Republican landslide for Roosevelt swept the state.
Roosevelt gave him a place President Roosevelt immediately offered Senator Cockrell a place either on the Panama commission or the Interstate Commerce Commission. Senator Cockrell chose the latter. He served one term. Upon the election of President Wilson he was made a member of the commission on ordinance and fortifications.
For seven years Senator Cockrell had made his home with a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Bessie Cockrell, at the Buckingham.
Only Sunday he asked her to take over his money affairs and handed her several cheeks. She replied: "it's Sunday, and I'm superstitious about doing business on Sunday."
Senator Cockrell laughed, and said: "Well, we will straighten these matters up tomorrow."
Wanted to be buried in MissouriA few weeks ago when a friend had died, Senator Cockrell expressed a desire to be taken back to Missouri for burial when he died.

"My heart is back there in Missouri and when I die I want my resting place to be in that grand old state." he said.

"It won't make any difference to the dead, but I will have my friends around me."
Sort prayer service was held at the Confederate Soldiers' Home in Washington Tuesday, where many of the old comrades of Senator Cockrell live.
Forty years in Office
Senator Cockrell was born on his father's farm in Johnson Co., Missouri, Oct 1, 1834. His father, Joseph Cockrell, was the first sheriff of the county. He was a well-to-do man who had come from Kentucky. The name, Francis Marion, was suggested by an old slave of the family who had been much impressed with the story of the great Revolutionary hero. The boy went first to a log school-house, then to Hocker's Hill Academy near the Cockerill home and then to Chapel Hill College in Lafayette Co. He was graduated when he was 18 and the following year he was teacher of Greek and Latin there. At the close of that year Cockrell went to Warrensburg and read law in the office of C. O. Sillman and in 1855 was admitted to practice law and became a partner of Sillman.
Wounded Several Times
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Cockrell gave up his law practice and took sides with the Confederacy. He organized a company in Warrensburg, was made its captain, took part in a number of the hardest engagements of the war and rapidly rose to the rank of brigadier general. He served during the entire war.
At Franklin, General Cockrell came out of the battle with bullets through one arm and both legs, one leg being broken, but he was not unhorsed.
He was blown into the air by the explosion of the General Grant's mines of Vicksburg and severely wounded. He was wounded in other engagements, but remained in the service. But no one ever heard Cockrell talk about his wounds or his service for the lost cause. The only wound later in evidence was a crooked finger on his right hand as a result of a wound from a shell, a fragment of the bursting shell striking his hand and breaking the finger at the joint. The surgeon dressed the wound told Cockrell the finger would be stiff ever after, and the general directed him to so set it that the finger would fit to his sword hilt, and also be in proper position when he held a pen or an apple.
Other notes:
He was the chairman of the committee on appropriations of the Fifty-third Congress; director of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. In 1874 he was the leading candidate for governor of Missouri but was beaten by Charles H. Hardin "that it would be bad politics to put an ex-Confederate at the head of the ticket." He was elected Senator the following year.
There is another rather long article about him. Don't know if something has already been submitted.

Col. Jeremiah V. Cockrell.
A photograph of Jeremiah V. Cockrell. By August 15, 1862 he was colonel of a Missouri Partisan regiment which he lead into battle at Lone Jack. Jeremiah Cockrell was born in May 1832 near Warrensburg, Missouri. He joined the Missouri State Guard when the Civil War began, and served as an officer in the 8th Division at the battles of Carthage, Wilson’s Creek and Lexington. He was commissioned a captain in the 5th Missouri Battalion in early 1862, but retired when that unit was reorganized. Cockrell joined Missouri Partisan regiment and was elected colonel. After fighting at Lone Jack the Missouri Partisan regiment reorganized and Cockrell was not reelected. He recruited a force of Confederates and accompanied General Sterling Price on his raid through Missouri in 1864. Cockrell was wounded in the arm during a skirmish in Jasper County, Missouri. Following the war, he moved to Texas, but was unable to use his arm for several years until the “Minie” ball was finally removed. He kept the bullet in a snuff box as a souvenir until his death on March 18, 1915.

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