As I remember the conversation now in 2021, back around 2008 a lifelong friend of one of my deceased uncles said she had heard that one of her Coughenour ancestors was a Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith, and asked me to see what I could find. I wrote the question down, but after moving from Texas to Maryland, and then moving again, the paper is long gone. I never forgot the question though, because the name Coughenour (and its variations) is familiar to any student of Somerset County history.
I have looked from time to time over the years, and now I am on the far side of performing thousands of hours of intensive research on gunsmiths from Somerset and Bedford counties. Although my research identified several previously unknown gunsmiths, I never did find any information about a Somerset County gunsmith named Coughenour, Cochenour, Cochennour, Cohanhower, Cohenour, or Gochnour.
There is a Cochennour who is referenced in at least two gun collecting-related books, but he was in Illinois. A correspondent reports that Volume 1 of Curtis L. Johnson's 1997 book "Gunmakers of Illinois 1683-1900" references an advertisement by John S. Cochennour that was published in the September 9, 1874 issue of the "Olney Weekly Times" newspaper. The advertisement indicates that Cochennour's employee W. T. Wilson will make firearms to order. The correspondent also reports that Cochennour was born in 1840, died in 1918, and was a Captain in Company H of the 60th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers during the Civil War. The advertisement doesn't make clear whether John S. Cochennour was a gunsmith, or the proprietor of a store (such as a hardware store) that employed a gunsmith. Olney is the county seat of Richland County, Illinois.
From what I can find, I believe the John S. Cochennour in the newspaper advertisement was born in Ohio, and was the son of Pennsylvania-born Daniel. In the 1850 census of Richland County, Illinois, Ohio-born John S. Cokenhour is a 9-year-old child living in the household of Pennsylvania-born tailor Daniel Cokenhour. In the 1860 census of Richland County, Jno Cochenhour is a 19-year-old Ohio-born labor living in the household of 48-year-old of Pennsylvania-born D. Cochenhour. In the 1900 census of Olney, John S. Cochenour appears as a 59-year-old individual who was born in Ohio in December of 1840 to a Pennsylvania-born father.
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