"Aileen and Roy" is the story of the author's parents: Roy Cochran, who rose from a sod house on a hardscrabble farm in western Nebraska to the state house in Lincoln as governor, and Aileen Gantt Cochran, a pioneer teacher and superintendent of schools in the Nebraska Sandhills. Roy Cochran's three terms as governor (1935-41) covered the most critical years in the history of the West, when the population was ravaged by drought and the Great Depression, and new state-federal programs--social security, the WPA--were coming into being. Aileen Gantt grew up in the small town of North Platte at the end of the nineteenth century and supported her widowed mother and siblings as a teacher and county school superintendent. Their story, drawn from unpublished memoirs and family letters, provides a unique and intimate picture of life in a small western town around the turn of the century. It is also the story of two remarkable people who faced the challenge of governing in a time of despair and change.
"While the author chronicles her parents' admirable qualities and accomplishments, she is also candid about some of their flaws... For those who want to better understand Nebraska, it is helpful to learn more about those who have left their mark on the state. Despite her intimate connection to her subjects, [Mary Cochran Grimes] has used her training as a historian to tell her parents' story in a balanced way." Nebraska History
1: Daniel Moves West; 2: T. Fulton Returns West; 3: Edith and Aileen; 4: Lincoln and the University; 5:Adventures in Teaching: Wyoming and Tecumseh; 6: A New Job and a New Friend; 7: Aileen Learns More about Roy; 8: Roy at the University; 9: Adventures on the Road: Aileen as Superintendent; 10: Roy Goes to War; 11: The Wedding; 12: Wedded Life; 13: State Engineer to Governor; 14: Governor's Mansion; 15: Recovery Endnotes; Sources