Cochran Family Photograph Collection
An Inventory of the Collection
Thomas Beauford Cochran (1858-1913) and Elizabeth Henley (“Bessie”) Rose (1860-1953) were married in Burnet, Texas, in November 1881 and had five children, three daughters (Frankie, Mary and Bessie) and two sons (Thomas Jr. and James). A native of Williamson County, Tom Cochran served as County and District Clerk in Williamson County before his admission to the bar in 1891. The daughter of Presbyterian minister Henry Bates Rose, Bessie Cochran moved to Texas from Virginia in 1873 with her family.
In 1892 Tom Cochran served as Judge of the 26th Judicial District of Texas, appointed by Governor James S. Hogg to fill an unexpired term. Following his brief service on the bench, Judge Cochran moved his family to Austin where he practiced law with the firms West & Cochran, Cochran & Penn, and then Cochran & White until his death in 1913. The Cochran family lived in the Greek Revival home at 2310 San Gabriel Street, commonly known today as the Neill-Cochran House. Bessie Cochran, a member of the Austin Women's Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution, continued to live in the home until her death in 1953.
54 black-and-white photographs dating from as early as 1886 through circa 1933 document the Cochran family, friends and acquaintances, their house, and other sites in Austin and Georgetown, Texas.
The bulk of the collection features undated snapshots of the Cochran family in the yard or on the porch of their home and near Shoal Creek, affixed to photo album or scrapbook pages. Family members depicted include Thomas B., Mamie (Mary), Bessie (daughter), Frankie, James, and Tom Jr. Cochran. The snapshots consist of informal portraits, the children playing and the sons playing baseball. There is also a formal group photo of the Covenanters baseball team which includes James and Thomas Jr. It is presumed these photographs date from the period following the family’s move to 2310 San Gabriel Street in 1892 and were taken no later than Judge Cochran’s death in 1913. The Franzetti store at 24th and San Gabriel streets is visible in the background of some of these photos.
In addition to the family snapshots, the collection includes images of people and places in Georgetown and Austin. Photo #001 was identified by the donor as the unveiling of the Volunteer Firemen monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol which was erected in 1896. Two photographs of the Neill-Cochran House (#002 and #004) appear in the collection; #002 bears a date of 1899. Photo #003 of the Old Main Building and the Littlefield Fountain on the University of Texas campus is estimated to have been taken circa 1933, the year the fountain was dedicated; by 1935 the Old Main Building had been razed so the photograph cannot have been taken later than that. The oldest dated image in the collection is that of the Martha Washington Tea Party in Georgetown, dated 1886 (#005).
Identifications were primarily made by the donor on Post-it notes affixed to the album pages. The album pages were photocopied with the Post-it identifications, and then the notes were removed from the album pages for preservation purposes. The copies with identifications are stored with the original photographs.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
The collection was a donation to the Austin History Center from Martha James Parten, a great-granddaughter of Thomas B. and Elizabeth Cochran.
Cochran Family Photograph Collection (AR.2016.055). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1991/098
Donation Date: 1992-01-16
Finding Aid created and encoded By/Date: Frances Rickard/March 2017
Detailed Description of the Collection