Cochran

Frances “Geri” Geraldine Cochran Wheatley (b: Sep 15, 1948 Bunkie, Louisiana; m: August 9, 1969 Thomas Edward Wheatley)

Frances Geraldine Cochran was a Baby Boomer born in Bunkie, Louisiana to Jack Bachman Cochran and Reta Winona Ormsby Cochran after Jack returned from serving in Italy in WWII.  Early years were in a rent house, but around the age of 3, the family moved to 1010 West Marshall Dr. (later West Dr McConnell) when there were still cotton fields across the street.  At three years old, Frances Geraldine went to see a movie called “Frances the Talking Mule” and she could not sit still.  Later when she went to grandfather Papoo’s house later, he greeted her with a “HEEHAW” which prompted her to reply “my name is Geraldine”!  Geraldine attended Bunkie elementary and remembers spending time after school at grandmother Clarice Calloway Ormsby’s house (Tattie), which was across the street from school, eating cookies with sister Jane.  Geraldine remembers a strict principle, Mr. Snotty, being afraid to go to the bathroom because of 8thgrade girls hall monitors patrolling the hallways, and being afraid of “the dare” to go to the cemetery next to Tatties and school.  Mother Winona always had the Cochran girls dressed in matching dresses, like blue poodles on red felt poodle skirts…typically older sister Dianne was appalled, younger sister Janie was excited, and Geraldine was just caught in the middle. Janie was always excited to hang with older sister and frequently Geraldine would play “dolls” when she was technically older than she should have been playing “dolls.”  Around 15 years old, Geraldine rescued 13 years younger brother Bert when he got stuck in the bayou behind the house…parents Jack and Winona were so thankful they offered any reward she wanted…which was ballet slippers.  At the age of 15, Geraldine wanted to be a ballerina, which in retrospect seems old to be considering.  Interestingly, other professions Geraldine considered as a kid were a magician (parents bought her a cape and tricks to practice her magic shows) and a scientist (given a biology kit with microscope, bug catchers, chemicals, etc.).  Geraldine loved Frances Geraldine Cochran 6th Gradeher 6thgrade teacher, Ms. Hinson, who planted the seeds to be a teacher, her eventual occupation.  Starting at age 15, Geraldine earned nice money during summers teaching Bunkie kids to swim with great friend and neighbor, Donna, who had a swimming pool. All age and ability kids could come for an hour and Geraldine would take the crybabies in the shallow end while Donna took the deep end lessons.  At the end of lessons for the day, Geraldine and Donna would pour bleach in the pool and then swim in the pool to mix it up.  At Bunkie High School, Geraldine was very studious and made great grades.  High school dress code was long dresses, but miniskirts became the fashion so Geraldine and other girls would wear bulky sweaters and rolled their skirts up and could easily pull back down when passing school officials.  Another trend was wearing bobby/knee socks and saddle oxford shoes and penny loafers (a penny could make a phone call at that time).  Geraldine tried out for the Bunkie High School basketball team and found out she had a heart murmur from Dr. McConnell meaning she couldn’t play, so she was the team manager (Another Dr. McConnell story…one night he made a house call and prescribed some medicine and Nonie asked if she should wake up Joe, the pharmacist and the Dr.’s response was “Hell yeah you better wake up Joe, you woke me up didn’t you?”).  Geraldine was co-editor of the Bunkie High School newspaper, even once wrote a nasty editorial about the teachers and got in trouble with principle.  Sara Beth Eakin was a good friend and co-editor, as well as competitive with class grades as they were pushing each other for valedictorian of the class. Ultimately, they were both co-salutatorians as a new guy snuck in his senior year from a bad school and they felt didn’t have the same quality education.  It was the senior year that Sara Beth Eakin gave Geraldine her new nickname, “Geri.”  In addition to a high school diploma, she earned a high school diploma in piano from the American Guild of Piano Teachers after taking piano lessons most of her life from Ms. Deer in Alexandria (Julliard prodigy who played organ for Baptist church).  For a high school graduation present, Tatee took Geraldine and Donna on a trip to Europe summer of 1966 where they spent their swim lesson earnings on souvenirs.  The trip was essentially an old person bus trip where they spent one day in a major Europe cities like London, Amsterdam, and Paris while seeing the rest as the bus sped across the continent.  The young tour guide was cool and would take Donna and Geri to cool sites after old person bed time or while they were gambling.  One such time at the French Riviera, Geri bought a green with flowers bikini and when brought home, mother Winona would not allow to wear unless in back yard and no one around (later used as pregnancy suit).  Fall of 1966, Geri enrolled at LSU as that is where her parents went and it was the only serious school in Louisiana, although Donna went to SMU and Sara went out of state too.  Her freshman year was at Evangeline Hall where her first roommate quit school after a week, second roommate was a devil worshiper thus prompting a transfer request, and third roommate physically moved Geri down the hall to room with Marilyn Daigle thus becoming a fourth roommate.  Geri missed out on freshman sorority rush and playing the flute in the LSU marching band because she came back from Europe with mono.  Giving up on a music degree, she studied social studies which was an interesting time as LSU was integrating with possibilities of an African American roommate or class mate.  These were intriguing times as Geri was getting away from the controlled environment created by white Bunkie families.  Geri even dated a guy from Africa for a couple of dates (can’t remember his name) who had a whole apartment of suits and appliances he was taking back to Africa.  Every football game was a different date.  One such was Jerry Polk who was not at LSU and asked Geri to marry because he had volunteered for service in Vietnam as a Marine, but it was much too early to talk marriage.  Sometime in March or April 1967, Geri was setup on a blind date by roommate Marilyn Daigle with Thomas Edward Wheatley.  Marilyn was doing Tommy a favor by going to the ROTC ball with him, but made the arrangements with Geri because Marilyn’s fiancé, Butch Lee and good friend of Tommy, was coming in town.  Soon after, Tommy and Geri started regular dating, even having pet names of “Dee” and “Charlie” for each other.  Sophmore year, Geri joined Delta Zeta (otherwise known as easy dzs), but got disillusioned because they just wanted her for her grades and she had other friends and the liberal arts/anti-establishment/independence attitude was kicking in.  In August 1968, Tommy asked Jack Cochran for permission to marry Geri who asked, “how are you going to support her?”  Jack liked Tommy because he was working his way thru school and could appreciate that, but just wanted both to finish school before getting married. The answer was that he had a Tommy and Geri Wheatley 2018cashier job at A&P grocery so Jack said…”why don’t you wait a bit…” but eventually Tommy proposed in December 1968.  Tommy and Geri married in August 1969 at hometown Bunkie, Louisiana and Mother Winona gave a trousseau of clothes, including a sewing machine to have a more professional look for teaching…these were going to be the last clothes mother Winona was going to buy.  Geri graduated from LSU December 1969 (only 3.5 years) with a major in German, Social Studies and minor in English.  While Tommy remained in school, Geri started teaching spring semester 1970 across the Mississippi River in Donaldsonville area at Lowrey Middle School. Lowrey was a newly integrated school, but the one white girl in her class did not feel like integration. Geri’s parents wished she would teach at a white flight school, like the one brother Bert had started going to as the quality of students would surely be better, but Geri believed in integration and felt it was right…she was a liberal arts degree after all.  Geri’s classes were challenging as she taught remedial reading and language as the kids couldn’t read the assigned books. She helped bust up a drug ring who were sleeping/crashing in her class (6-7 were expelled).  The Principal was an African American and wouldn’t let young white teachers meet alone with African American parents to protect and ensure they knew how to communicate with the parents.  Both Tommy and Geri were attending Southern Methodist Church in Brownfield, Louisiana with friends, when Geri made a commitment to Christ on Easter of 1970 while talking with Mamma Kolb (Tommy’s grandmother).  At this point, both started attending a Church of Christ at the LSU student center.  Fall semester of 1970, Geri moved to teaching at Port Allen’s E.J. Gay Middle School for one semester and then Tommy graduated winter of 1970. Because Tommy had accepted a job in New Orleans with AA Harmon and Company, she gave notice to school principals.  When he didn’t go to work with AA Harmon and instead accepted a job with Cosmar in the Baton Rouge area, it was too late, the principal had found a replacement at E.J. Gay.  So, she found work as a secretary at Baton Rouge Church of Christ, and ultimately ended up quitting that when getting pregnant with Daniel Aaron.  Around 1977, they designed and built a one story, white brick house on Miller Road in Prairieville, Louisiana on ~2 acres of land.  The house had a big sand pile, long curvy driveway, lots of trees for planters and woods and treehouse, large garden, burn pile, bamboo groves, etc. and had great spaces for young children Daniel Aaron, Anna Elizabeth, Deborah Ruth, Abigail Joanna, and Rachel Susanna.  Somewhere around 1978 or 1979, both Tommy and Geri were asked to leave Baton Rouge Church of Christ as Geri had received the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.  The church leadership led a six-week study with Tommy and Geri where they tried to convince them it was female emotions. Tommy was mostly there to defend Geri because he knew she was not emotional, but both became more convinced by the “study” and were ultimately asked to leave.  They started attending Victory Bible Fellowship (later named Victory Harvest Church) off Flannery Road as they had been listening to tapes of services sister Jane Cochran shared as attending (was living with them between marriages).  Tommy and Geri moved the family in April 1985 to 14701 Avalon Ave. off of Millerville Road to get closer to church and school activities.  This was a brick, one-story, ranch style home with a swimming pool where Geri taught swimming in the summer and family gathered for BBQ and swimming parties.  Leroy Ash helped renovate by enclosing the carport into an office/bedroom/bathroom/laundry/shed which kept Danny on that wing of the house and the four girls in the original wing. In 1985, most of the Wheatley kids were going to private school at Victory Academy and not happy with the quality of teaching from Danny’s 7th grade English teacher (who was really a coach/weight lifting teacher for the planned high school expansion), Geri complained to then Principal Lew Hall who hired her to finish the year teaching 7th- 9thgrade language arts for half the day.  Youngest child Rachel started pre-school at Victory.  In 1986, Geri started teaching English at Victory Academy full time for 15 years, eventually teaching all Wheatley kids at some point. One or two years afterFrances Geraldine Cochran Wheatley youngest child Rachel graduated from Victory Academy to Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Geri retired from Victory and worked as a docent at Magnolia Mound Plantation House and some light substitute teaching, mostly in English.  In January 2001, Baton Rouge Magnet High School had an opening as a full-time substitute civics teacher with the departure of Ms. Ochman who because a teacher lobbyist and ultimately hired on permanently. Geri enjoyed the subject of civics, often using current events as a backdrop to learn.  She felt the 10thgrade students did not yet have senioritis, while also having more maturity and experience than middle school or 9thgrade students.  She was teacher sponsor for BRMHS mock trial, ball room dancing, Vietnamese, Abstinence, and cloud watching clubs.  Tommy and Geri downsized homes during retirement to 4312 Blue Ribbon Dr. between Baton Rouge and Central, Louisiana.  Tommy and Geri survived the August 2016 Louisiana Flood where they had 4’ of water inside their Blue Ribbon house, losing most contents, and taking 7+ months to rebuild back from studs and concrete with the help of family, friends, and contractors.  She continued teaching civics at Baton Rouge Magnet High School and retired December 31, 2017 with 17 years there after teaching 15 years at Victory Academy.  Tommy and Geri are extremely generous with time and money, putting their beliefs in action with the Pro-life movement and housing several un-wed mothers until they could support themselves, hosting French exchange students with France teacher Marie Moirignot, leading as elders of the Victory Bible Fellowship and youth group Dayspring with Mike Cooper and Ron Ericson (who they eventually help plant church Future Hope in Central, Louisiana).  Activities that they enjoy include serving Christ in fellowship at Victory Bible Fellowship and Future Hope, supporting and loving their family, travelling by cruise boat, gardening and eating raw fruit and vegetables, ball room dancing, crocheting, and watching movies.

Jack Bachman Cochran (b: Feb 2, 1921 Wichita Falls, Texas; m: Reta Winona Ormsby Dec 4, 1943; d: Jun 21, 2005)

Jack Cochran at age 12School Years: When his mother found it necessary to continue her teacher studies each summer after his father’s death in 1930, Jack at age 9 and the other young children were taken care of by the Bachman and Cochran relatives. Jack graduated from Throckmorton High School in 1938.  During a high school junior/senior play, Jack recalled not fulfilling his assigned role as a “crazy man,” however he did mention the fact that he had such a beautiful teacher and when asked "didn't you want to act foolish for the teacher?"...a huge grin came over his face.  Jack was also part of a quartet in school although he didn't know what part he sang…he just followed.  So Jack’s real high school talent was not the arts, but rather football where he was co-captain of the football team his senior year second string all district as a center. The center role was much different than today as the QB was several yards back where he had to correctly pitch and then look ahead for the block.  He said he was too small for A&M ball..."Those guys were BIG down there!".  Jack first attended Texas A&M University in 1938 and served for 2.5 years in the schools Field Artillery.  He then transferred to Louisiana State University and served 2.5 years at that University in the ROTC as a Captain in the Field Artillery and where he first met Reta Winona Ormsby from Bunkie, Louisiana who was studying Accounting in the Department of Commerce.    

 

WWII: After the Pearl Harbor attach on December 7, 1941, Jack, likeJack Cochran 1940 most young men wanted to join the movement to serve his country, but was strongly encouraged to stay and develop as an officer as they were needed and the war would be long.  Still, before graduating from LSU, Jack was drafted into the US Armed Forces as a Corporal in April of 1943 and sent to Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma to attend Officer’s Training School, graduating from there as a Second Lieutenant in September of 1943.  Jack invited Winona to Fort Sill for his graduation and to pin his Second Lieutenant Bars on his uniform.  It was there that they became engaged to be married.  The marriage took place at the David Haas United Methodist Church in Winona’s hometown, Bunkie, on December 4, 1943.  After a week long honeymoon that started the first night in Baton Rouge and then New Orleans, they returned to Fort Sill where Jack was serving in the 349thField Artillery School Group under Colonel Charles Boyle.  The Colonel was of the “old school” and ran his regiment under pre-war standards. One of his requirements for newly arriving officers was a formal call to the Colonel’s home, and as usual, Jack and four of his classmates were invited for the customary visit.  The custom was that the Colonel would offer them a cigarette, which they were to take, and then later they were to be offered a second cigarette, which they were to refuse because that would indicate that the interview was over, and they were expected to leave.  All went well, until one of the young men made a mistake and took the second cigarette.  The Colonel was angry and so were Jack and the other classmates because of the social blunder.  The unit that Jack was serving in was an all African American regiment with white officers.  The Colonel decided that his enlisted men needed entertainment and decided that his troops would enjoy an Easter egg hunt, so he ordered his officers to hide the eggs and his “boys,” as he called them, would hunt the eggs.  Jack was assigned bugle duty while at Fort Sill despite never having any music instruction and could not read a note of music.  After one parade, the Colonel came up to Jack and told him to pick up the tempo of the bugle group.  Having no idea what tempo meant, he just saluted the Colonel and said, “Yes Sir.”  The bugles continued to perform with no change in direction from Jack. Another area that Jack served in while at Fort Sill was officer in charge of motor parts.  One job that he had while in that capacity was painting the kitchen area.  While painting one day, the paint can turned over with the heater too close and the paint caught fire.  He kicked the paint bucket out of the door, thereby saving the building, and ordered his men to take the burning bucket down to the Motor Parts building. Thus, he got rid of the evidence and his men did not get reported to the Colonel’s attention.  Jack and Winona enjoyed Fort Sill, but living conditions were not always for the best.  Their first home was a one car converted garage.  There was a living/bedroom area, small bath, kitchen, and closet…all small.  One of their entertainments was to sit in the living area and watch the mice run from the stove to the refrigerator and back again.  They did enjoy going out to the base to eat at the officer’s club, the dances, and going to church.  Winona had two courses of study to complete to graduate from LSU and it was while they were at Fort Sill that she completed her courses by correspondence and received her degree by mail.  After Fort Sill, Jack and Winona were moved with the troops to Fort Hood.  Winona was pregnant with their first child, so she was allowed a chauffeur to make their trip to the new assignment.  They bought a blue 1941 Chevrolet in Lawton for $3000 (later sold it in Bunkie for the same amount after Jack was sent overseas and Winona returned home to live with her parents).  The entire convoy had to make frequent stops for Winona to take a “comfort break”.  The housing situation at Fort Hood in Jack and Winona CochranGatesville, Texas was even worse. The town was very dusty, and roaches were everywhere.  You couldn’t walk the sidewalks or enter the stores without seeing roaches running around.  Finding housing was difficult and the only place Jack and Winona could find was the front room in a small house, which also had another couple renting there. They had to walk through the bedroom of the owners to go to the bathroom and had to buy their share of rationed ice to have kitchen privileges.  Winona had to take her ration book to the local icehouse, stand in line for her allotment, and haul the ice back to the refrigerator.  After several months, they secured a room in the local hotel.  Winona finally went to Throckmorton, Texas to stay with Jack’s mother for the remaining duration of their stay in the states, with Jack commuting on the weekends and furloughs. Jack spent his time at Fort Hood as an officer in charge of training troops for overseas assignment.  In November Jack was assigned as a replacement officer for overseas assignment, traveling by troop convoy to New Orleans, and on to Maryland by troop train.  Before leaving the states, he was given leave to visit Washington D.C. and then left by ship for assignment in Italy.  His last act before leaving the states was to have his picture made to send to his wife and mother.  He didn’t even have time to select the print, but left that decision to the photographer.  The trip across the Atlantic Ocean took nine days because the ship traveled a zigzag course to avoid submarines hidden beneath the waters.  The weather was rough, the ship rocked and rolled, the dinner plates on the table slid from side to side.  The motion made most of the men seasick, Jack included. He took to his bunk and there he stayed for the nine whole days until the ship finally landed in Naples, Italy staging area to await further assignment.  They had arrived in Italy during the winter months and supplies were sometimes short and the troops would have to make do with whatever was available, but not Colonel Boyle’s regiment.  One of the items in short supply was regulation boots, and the Colonel being “old school” would not let his men “make do” and sent his troops into battle barefooted.  After that episode, the Army decided to demote the Colonel to a Captain and send him back to the United States.  Jack remained in the staging area for several months where he took advantage of the time and visited Rome, Florence, Venice, and the surrounding territory.  During this time, the Red Cross informed him of the birth of his first daughter Sandra Dianne, eight days after the birth.  The name had been settled on long before overseas shipment, but the name she was to be called took a bit more time.  Jack had assumed that his daughter would be called Sandra and Winona thought they would call her Dianne.  So, he wrote about Sandra and Winona described his beautiful daughter as Dianne.  It took about a week for mail to arrive and when he got his first letter from Winona, he changed to the name Dianne, and Winona got her first letter, she changed to Sandra.  Then they got letters again and so the names were once again switched. This went on back and forth for several months, and Jack finally wrote back that he was going to call his daughter Dianne and not make any more changes, and thus she remained from that day on.  One problem with the time in staging waiting for an assignment was the boredom, which led to card playing and gambling.  Jack initially was very lucky and started wiring money home, but before long, he was requesting money back.  That’s when he realized that gambling was a losing proposition and wisely occupied his time in other ways.  Finally, his assignment as an officer came through and he was assigned as a Motor Transport Officer to the 913 Field Artillery Battalion of the 88thInfantry Division, spending 14 months in the European African campaign in the Northern Apennines of the Po Valley in Northern Italy as a Second Lieutenant in the C Battery and as a Forward Observer in the Gorsier area in Northern Italy.  He supervised the operations, maintenance, and repair of the wheeled motor vehicles as well as training and supervising the work of the drivers and mechanics.  They were shipped from the staging area near Naples by boat to their unit somewhere in Northern Italy.  There they were issued a pair of socks and marched to join their unit somewhere in the Po Valley arriving there by foot in March 1944.  Traveling with him was his radio sergeant whose duty was to carry the radio equipment.  Jack took turns carrying this equipment to give his sergeant rest along the way.  They traveled light with only the clothes they wore upon their back and their extra pair of socks in their helmet.  The troops would travel by day and confiscate a town by night where they would sleep in deserted buildings.  Their clothes were grimy and dirty when they finally arrived at their designation.  Portable showers were set up and the men walked through these showers and were assigned new outfits to wear.  Jack arrived in the Po Valley area of Italy during the final hours of contact between the German, Italian, United States and ally armies.  By that time, the Germans were a defeated nation and they were retreating, and trying to get back to their home base, Germany. The 88thDivision was in pursuit of the enemy and was pushing them back as fast as they could.  As Jack and his men advanced, truckloads and carloads of Germans met the Americans and begged to be allowed to surrender.  Jack and his regiment took their weapons, money, and other valuables from the enemy and used them as pack animals to carry their equipment and do menial chores.  The men were allowed to keep what they wanted from their prisoners and that is where Jack got his German 9mm Luger, an Italian Beretta, and some coins.  The coins he used during leaves and furloughs in Switzerland and Northern Italy, but he brought home the Luger, Beretta and a carbine rifle he carried while overseas (gave the Beretta to his father-in-law Francis, and the Luger and Carbine to his son, Bert).  Prisoners not assigned to work areas, were put in prison compounds behind barb wire.  As Jack and his men marched to the front line of the German army, his assignment was to observe the movement of the enemy and report to headquarters so the Artillery would know which direction to fire their guns.  After walking many miles during the day, they came upon a fairly populated area and decided to spend the night in one of the buildings of a small town.  Somewhere during the march that day, Jack lost his only extra pair of socks, but a very nice sergeant under his command loaned his only extra pair to Jack, thus keeping Jack’s feet from getting blisters and frost bitten during the next day’s march.  As the 88thregiment passed through the small towns on their way to the front, the people in these towns would come out to greet them with great relief and joy, offering the Americans sausage and wine. The men, however, were under strict orders not to accept any of this food in fear that it might be contaminated, which put a real strain on the troops because of their extreme hunger. Jack was never in real battle, but the German guns fired in their direction as they approached.  At such times, the men would seek shelter in buildings along their way.  One such time, Jack and his men found shelter upstairs in a barn along the road.  The people in this area built two story barns, keeping the animals in the downstairs area and living in the second story.  When Jack awoke, he found that everyone had left and he was all alone in the barn.  He quickly made haste, and joined his troops a few miles up the road.  The troops never knew exactly where they were, but they did cross the Po River in a jeep, so they knew they were somewhere near the border of Northern Italy.  The rest of his experiences involved finding out that the war was over, and serving 18 months in the Occupational Army.  The news of the surrender of the German troops came down from headquarters to the men on the field and there was much rejoicing in the small communities that surrounded the area that Jack and his troops were located in…and it wasn’t long before the Germans began to arrive and surrender their arms.  Our men collected all possessions that the German soldiers carried and placed the surrendering men into the prison compounds that had been set up earlier.  Then American troops no longer needed for combat started receiving orders to return to the states.  The order of discharge was first for the sick and wounded, then length of service, and number of months served overseas.  Since Jack had arrived at the end of the war, he spent the balance of his service time with the occupational troops guarding the border of Yugoslavia and Italy near Gorizia.  Jack’s Battalion confiscated a school building in that area to live and work in. For rest and recreation, the men were given furloughs to Trieste on the northern end of the Adriatic Sea as well as visits to Switzerland, Milan, and Venice in Northern Italy.  While serving with the occupational troops in Northern Italy, Jack was put in charge of a Battalion and was promoted to first Lieutenant.  When he left Italy to return to the United States, he was up for promotion to Captain, but had not yet served the time required for the promotion.  The majority of his work as Battery Commander was involved with guarding the border, but other incidences also occupied some of his time.  One incidence involved a soldier who would not take a bath and his fellow soldiers went to Jack and asked what could be done about it.  Jack ordered them to forcibly take the dirty soldier down to the bathhouse, manually soap and scrub him down with germicidal soap, and make no reports of the deed.  Other work included deal with emotional problems of people ready to go home, but not yet given orders.  The Army offered Jack and opportunity if he would remain an extra year in service overseas and he and Winona took it into consideration, however, turned the offer down because wartime conditions for living overseas was not good and it would have been hard to take a young child into such a situation.  They also felt that it was in Jack’s best interest to return home, fulfill his education, and settle into his chosen career, Forestry.  Jack’s orders to return to the United States and be discharged finally did arrive and he was convoyed to Leghorn where he boarded a ship for New York City.  Returning home took nine days and this trip was a lot more pleasant than the trip over as there were no blackouts, the weather was calmer, and Jack did not get seasick.  This time, he remained on deck and looked out across the waters in search of the beautiful symbol of America, the Statue of Liberty.  He said that no sight has ever been more beautiful than his first sight of the lady with the light in her hand welcoming him home. After landing in New York City, the men were given a few days leave, and then Jack was sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he received a new set of clothes and his release from the Army of the United States of America.  A friend recommended an elderly family near Fort Bragg and Winona left Louisiana by bus and joined him there.  The family was very nice to Jack and Winona and would not take any rent for the use of their room.  Jack’s mother was a four-star mother and flew her four, white star family flag very proudly, which represented her four sons serving for their country.

Family and Career: Jack had one semester left in Forestry Science to graduate when he was drafted, so heJack and Winona Cochran finished his studies after he was released from the Army after the war in 1946.  Jack pursued a business career with his father-in-law and brother-in-law in the hardwood product industry at Bunkie’s Louisiana Hoop Company, forming a third generation of the company.  Along with Gerald Edson “Tim” Ormsby, they successfully managed the company for 45 years through four product changes: wooden barrel hoops, furniture dimension stock, jobbing lumber products, and wooden pallets.   Their faithful commitment to the business was the principal reason the company is still in business after 95 years. They were able to support not only their own families, but also numerous Bunkie families were touched by their leadership in giving them a new start in life and career.  Jack Cochran, as the lead sales manager, was particularly known as a man of his word, characterized by trustworthiness, integrity, and honesty in the lumber industry.  Jack used the sawmill to teach grandkids the value of hard work and getting an education where holidays and summers were spent where the day started early (breakfast and Bible reading and drive to mill before daybreak), clock in at the time clock, huddle around a fire barrel for a couple of moments of warmth, shift whistle would blow, and off to work slinging/tying furniture rounds and squares into bundles and loading onto a pallet…all “justification for a higher education.”  Jack and Winona raised their family (Sandra Dianne, Frances Geraldine, Jane Alice, and Bert Francis) at 1010 West Marshall Dr. (later 1010 West Dr McConnell…side story, Dr. McConnell was the doctor for all of Bunkie, both whites and African Americans but he had a separate, back door entrance for African Americans.  Once Jack had an employee injured at the sawmill and rushed thru the front door to the horror of the nurses, but Jack was not wasting any time with back door formalities in dire situations) in Bunkie where they were active with the family and community.  They had a life long commitment to Christ through membership inJack and Winona Cochran the David Haas United Methodist Church where Jack served with the Methodist Men’s Breakfast Group, Methodist Youth Fellowship, Sunday School Superintendent, Treasurer, founding the David Haas Scholarship for students seeking a profession as Christian leaders, as well as volunteering on several mission trips.  Jack and Winona loved to travel around the world with trips to China, Greece, Egypt, Canada, much of Europe, USA, etc.  They encouraged family to travel by taking kids and grandkids on trips and owned RVs for road trips around Louisiana and USA with family members and Methodist Camping Group.  Jack and Winona bought property in 1973 on Indian Creek Reservoir and built “Camp” which transitioned over the years from an Airstream RV, to shell with living space and upstairs sleeping around the Airstream RV, to a full functioning lake house.  Camp was a gathering place for family, friends, church groups, etc. for many years for good, clean fun (boating, fishing, swimming, camp fires, holiday celebrations, sipping coffee on the porch rocking chairs, etc.) and hard work (building docks, boat sheds, yard work, etc.).  Jack was Grand Master Mason of Bunkie Masonic Lodge, Rotarian of the Bunkie Rotary Club, President of Quarterback Club of Bunkie High School, volunteered as a literacy instructor in the community, served on school Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) for all his children, Chairman of the Board of the Central Louisiana Academy, and member of the Louisiana Forestry Association, Old Camp Beauregard School of Cadets, the Silver Society, and Baptist Keenagers. Jack’s later years of life were with limited mobility due to strokes and blood clots and Winona faithfully encouraged and served until his death in Bunkie, Louisiana in 2005.  Siblings of Jack Bachman Cochran were:

  1. Bert Carlton Cochran (b: Jul 29, 1912 Throckmorton, Texas; m: Virginia Alice Parrott Feb 6, 1933 and Edythe F. Jacobson Aug 14, 1960; d: Mar 13, 1986)  Carlton attended school in Wichita Falls, Seymour, and Throckmorton.  He graduated from Throckmorton High School and attended Texas A&M for one year.  After his father’s death in 1930, Carlton worked to help support the family, at Sam Donnell’s service station up to 1931, then going to California in 1931, and returning to Throckmorton in fall of 1932 with a job as a salesman for Sam Donnell electric appliances; however, he soon switched to a similar job with the West Texas Utilities Company.  Carlton and Virginia Alice Parrott were married February 6, 1933, at Frederick, Oklahoma.  Her parents were Tom and E.F. (Davis) Parrott, both members of early Throckmorton County settler families.  In 1934, Carlton and Virginia and their baby son, Tom Carlton, moved to Cisco, Texas where Carlton had accepted a job as salesman for West Texas Utilities Company.  With this move, he began a business career of selling which he was to pursue thereafter.  The family lived in Cisco, Odessa, Houston, and Minneapolis.  Additions to the family were Ann Marie, Janet, and Patrick Francis II. Carlton served for a short period in the U.S. Navy in World War II.  Following a divorce, Carlton moved to Los Angeles and established a real estate broker business.  He married Edythe F. Jacobson on August 14. 1960, and they have two sons, Timothy Alan and Sean Paul.
  2. Psalm Brown “Sam” Cochran (b: Jun 28, 1915 Olney, Texas; m: Margaret Nan “Nancy” Casebier Apr 7, 1938 and Ruth Lyon Dec 29, 1948; d: Aug 9, 1990) Following the family’s move to Wichita Falls in 1918, Sam was almost a casualty at the age of 4 of the influenza epidemic that swept the United States in 1919.  Sam attended schools at Wichita Falls, Seymour, Canyon and Throckmorton where he lettered in football (halfback) and eventually graduated from Throckmorton in 1933.  During high school at Canyon in 1931, he enlisted in the Texas National Guard and participated in training exercises on weekends where he received $6 per day as pay for the exercises.  With the great depression in full force, Sam could not find a job when graduating from Throckmorton High School in May 1933, so he enlisted in the CCC and was stationed in Farmersville, Texas.  Later, Sam succeeded in finding a permanent position as warehouseman with Texas Power and Light Co. at Palestine, Texas.  Sam and Margaret Nan “Nancy” Casebier were married April 17, 1938, at Waxahachie, Texas.  Sam entered the U.S. Army in July 1942 and received his commission as 2nd Lieutenant in 1943.  He served two years in the Assam-Burma theatre and was discharged as a Captain. Nancy died October 31, 1946 leaving a baby son Philip Michael.  Later, Sam married Ruth Lyon on December 29, 1948 and they had a son, John Milton.  Sam retired at Cleburne, Texas from Texas Power and Light Company in 1980, after a forty-six-year career ending as an Assistant Divisional Manager.
  3. Patrick Francis Cochran (b: Feb 19, 1917 Olney, Texas; m: Roma Jean Nagler Oct 1, 1951; d: Mar 12, 2010) Patrick Francis Cochran was named for his great grandfather, Patrick Jack Cochran, a North Carolinian, who moved at the age of 25 to the East Texas area of the Republic of Texas in 1840.  Pat attended school in Seymour, Canyon, and Throckmorton.  Run-in with a Car: In the spring of 1923, when Pat was 6 years old, he was hit and run over by a car driven by a lady. The incident occurred at the 9th Street crossing near the Alamo grade school. Mary Jane and Pat were returning home from the Piggly Wiggly grocery store where Lorena had sent them to buy a loaf of bread. Pat stepped into the street and was hit by the car and knocked unconscious while Mary Jane had stopped on the curb. After Pat was hit, Mary Jane ran home screaming that Pat had been killed.  School had just been dismissed for the day and Carlton and a friend were walking home. The lady driver had stopped her car and Carlton and his friend picked Pat up and put him into the lady’s car, and she carried to the nearby Wichita General Hospital. The lady paid all expenses incurred.  In the meantime, Lorena had phoned Bert to come home, and then they came to the hospital. The examining doctor’s diagnosis was that Pat had a fractured skull, a broken collarbone, and a damaged left ear.   Pat was kept in the hospital about two weeks to undergo observation and x-ray examinations. The ear injury damaged the inner ear, which made Pat deaf in the left ear for the rest of life. Lorena kept Pat near her for a long time after the accident…when she was doing housework, Pat would sit in the kitchen window seat which is where he learned to read and write.  High School:  One story from Pat’s early high school years in Canyon, likely in the fall of 1931, was that at the church school, Pat met Margaret Seay, his first girlfriend. Margaret went to the teacher training school and not the city school, thus would only have time with her only on Saturdays and Sundays.  One occasion where they spent time together was when the Sunday school teachers had a sleep over for the class at the teacher’s house. The other occasion was a Sunday school class outing to visit the canyon of the Red River (for which the town of Canyon was named) where Pat and Margaret rode in an open bed truck and came home with a sunburn. On this ride, a funny incident occurred where Margaret turned to Pat and said, “Ego amo te”! (Latin for “I love you”) after which he quickly replied, “Certe, et ego amo te”!  At 110 pounds, Pat played on the 1932 Throckmorton high school football team as a defensive end, but did not letter.  In the fall of 1932, Mr. Lewis Howsley offered Pat a training job in the Texan Theatre where he learned the duties of a motion picture projectionist and where “talking” pictures had just been introduced. Pat was not paid, but all members of the family could get in to shows free.  Pat became great friends with one of Mr. Howsley’s sons, L.A., as they were in the same grade at school, played football together, and double dated girls.  When the football team played in neighboring towns in the afternoon, the local cheer squad members would hang around the dressing rooms and “greet” the Throckmorton players.  After a game in Seymour in November 1933, L.A. was so attracted to one of the girls that he arranged a date the following weekend after Pat and L.A. closed the movie theater on Saturday night.  The girl agreed to have a friend for Pat.  Pat and L.A. drove up in L.A.’s Model A Ford, met the girls, drove around, found parking spots, and stopped to get better acquainted (naturally, some amorous exchanges occurred).  This type scenario happened more than once and the boys would take the girls home by midnight and then return to Throckmorton where Pat would stay at the Howsley home for the night.  Regardless of how late the boys got in at night (one, two, or three o’clock), Mr. Howsley would awake the boys by 3am to milk the cows as Mr. Howsley operated a dairy where milking was done by hand (no electric milking machines).  In school year of 1933, Pat was elected to be president of the senior class, played on the football team and finally earned a “T” letter sweater. Pat also played on the basketball team, but never made a score.  Pat recalled frequent occurrences of “dust storms” in 1930s (strong winds sweeping the central plains in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas causing severe soil erosion with sand and dust in black, smothering clouds over everything) like one on Senior Day, in May of 1934, when the class went on an outing to Lake Cisco (75 minutes+ away), but we were forced to pack up and return to Throckmorton.  Pat graduated from Throckmorton High School in spring of 1934.  Randolph Junior College in Cisco: The summer after Pat graduated from high school, his mother, Lorena, went to North Texas State Teachers College (NTSTC) in Denton and took Mary Jane went with her. While Jack stayed in Throckmorton with Uncle Madison and Aunt Maud Bachman, Pat, and the family cow, moved in with Carlton, Virginia, and their baby son, Tom Carlton.  Pat worked with the George Wright threshing crew as a bagger, the one who bagged the grain as it was dumped from the threshing machine. A three-man team loaded the bags into a truck and unloaded it at the granary barn.  He worked about two weeks until forced to quit because of a recurring nosebleed caused by the extreme heat.  Subsequently, Pat found employment in several grocery stores, Jim McKnight’s Grocery and Calvin Whitaker’s Mid Way Grocery.  On July 4, 1934, when Carlton moved his family to Cisco, Texas for a job with the West Texas Utility Co. as an appliance salesman, Pat and the cow, moved to Aunt Mattie Wright’s.  In August, Pat was employed by Mrs. Valda Brown, who married into the R.A. Brown Ranch, to work as a driver and general helper on a trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado along with her mother Mrs. Hettie Thomas, a two-year-old daughter, and her niece Margie Parrott.  Staying in an apartment in Colorado Springs, they toured Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods. Eating breakfast in the apartment before going out on tours, Pat learned to drink coffee without cream or milk. Upon return to Throckmorton, Lorena and Carlton arranged for Pat to attend Randolph Junior College in Cisco, living with Carlton and Virginia and paying tuition with a scholarship grant.  Pat studied English, Spanish, History, Biology, Zoology with laboratory work, Bible (Randolph was a church-sponsored school and all students were required to take Bible) while also participating in sports by playing on the basketball team.  Pat became close friends with Mary Jane Morehart (married name was Borman), Marion Watters, and Norval Barnhill, students at Randolph who lived in southwest part of Cisco where Carlton and Virginia rented a house (The area was covered with live oak trees).  Pat had a very pleasant relationship with Mary Jane Morehart, and they frequently went out on dates when Carlton permitted use of his car.  For Christmas of 1934, Pat gave Mary Jane a gold necklace with a small cross.  Pat found funny that a job interviewer mistook Mary Jane as Catholic while wearing.  Marion Watters was handicapped, having lost the fingers on one hand, however, he could participate in sports, such as baseball, basketball, and swimming. Norval Barnhill lived next door to the Marion Watters’ home and had large, tall father and mother less than five feet in height.  A favorite pastime of the group was playing contract bridge, frequently playing with Carlton, Virginia, of the neighborhood postman on Saturday afternoons after his deliveries were completed for the day.  Often Pat would babysit Tom Carlton when Virginia went shopping on Saturday afternoons and Pat would read and listen to the radio hour of Texaco musical program, mostly operas and symphonies.   Young Adult: When the school year ended in late May 1935, Pat returned to Throckmorton and took a job as grocery clerk and Western Union Telegraph operator with the Bachman Brothers Grocery, which was owned by my Uncle Madison Bachman.  The job had opened up because his daughter, Doris, quit working in order to get married and leave Throckmorton.  Pat was paid $1/day and often worked from 6am to 9pm where his daily duties included sweeping the floors, operating the teletype, bagging beans, potatoes, and sugar, arranging displays, and posting accounts.  On one occasion when Pat wrote a check in payment of a bill, he purposely wrote his signature above the Bachman Bros stamp and was later informed by the bank personnel that this was a “no-no.”  Bachman Brothers was a grocery and general merchandise retailer but had several unique features. Near the front entrance on the right side was a tobacco display with a long bench next to it where Uncle Madison and his long-time cronies would sit and spend most mornings visiting, smoking, and chewing. When the weather was cold, the group moved to the rear of the store and bunched around a huge, hot, potbelly stove. In the fall months, there would be an open sack of pecans nearby so that the friends could readily take the pecans and peel them with their pocket knives and enjoy the kernels which Pat often did the same (there was an abundance of native pecan trees along the creeks and rivers).  In October 1936, Pat was approached by Mr. R. P. Lee and asked to work at the First National Bank as bookkeeper at a salary of $50 per month. Over the next few years, Pat became acquainted with the many town, county, and area people through their banking activities. One of these who became a good friend was Miss G. W. Reynolds (married name Whitmire), who was a few years older than Pat and had finished college work and was employed as a teacher in Vernon, Texas.  G. W. was named after her father, who died shortly before her birth. Her mother later married Henry L. Smith who owned the Smith Dry Goods Store in Throckmorton.  In 1937, Pat purchased, with a loan from Barney Davis (First National Bank President), a new Ford V-8, two-door car. With the new car, Pat’s social activity increased and he would call on G. W. at her home, where they would visit and play card games.  Pat would drive G.W. to Vernon (about 75 miles away), would join others on picnics and on one occasion, in 1939, they drove from Vernon to Wichita Falls to see the newly released movie, Gone with the Wind.  In addition to Pat’s bank job, he was also employed by the R. A. Brown and Barney Davis ranch interest to keep their financial and registered cattle books with duties included naming and applying for the registration of the cattle. Their office was on the second floor of the Throckmorton bank building and he would work for them after banking hours to earn extra money.  A golf club was organized, and Pat and Sam Massey often played after banking hours on the nine-hole course that was laid out in the Mattie Wright pasture off the east side of the Albany highway to the south of town. The holes were in the middle of oil-soaked sand “greens.”  Tennis was another favorite activity with the only courts on the west side of the school grounds. Mary Jane, Jack, and Pat played with the Baptist minister and Miss Samie Bird, a school teacher.  Pat was elected to be a Steward for the Methodist Church and was charged with banking the church funds and paying the minister and bills. Pat also assisted Samie Bird with Sunday evening Epworth League Classes at the Methodist Church which had frequent picnics and parties for the group.  In the summer of 1939, Pat drove alone to visit the World’s Fair in New York City. En route, he visited Nashville, Tennessee, to visit President Andrew Jackson’s The Hermitage and the burial site of President James K. Polk in the old cemetery.  In New York, Pat found lodging in a private home and would have breakfast at the house (first taste of honeydew melon) and then walk to the nearby fairgrounds. The television exhibition left the biggest impression and Pat made one trip by subway to the Rockefeller Center and saw the Radio City Rockettes dancers.  Also in 1939, Pat made a trip to Houston to visit brother Carlton and family, who was now living in the Village community west of Rice University and doing very well in real estate business.  Pat dated several schoolteachers during this time and would play bridge with other people or go to picture shows. On one occasion, Pat, a date, and another couple drove to Fort Worth to see the Texas Centennial activities.  The schoolteacher Pat liked the most was Margaret Williams, from Abilene, Texas, where she had attended Hardin-Simmons College. Margaret came to Throckmorton in September of 1940 and was chosen as the Senior Class sponsor and was involved in all the senior activities. Pat frequently drove her to and from these activities to spend time with her. She would later give me the book, The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran, on Christmas 1941, after I had been drafted for military service.  WWII: In 1939, World War II was underway between the Axis powers and the Allied powers. The U.S. was a neutral nation but giving much aid to the Allies and was on the verge of being drawn into the conflict.  In September 1940, the U. S. Congress enacted a law requiring all men between ages 21 and 35 years to register for a military draft and Pat registered with a draft number of 125.  Pearl Harbor was attacked Sunday, December 7, 1941, and the draft was expanded to include ages 18 to 45 years.  Monday, December 8, 1941, Pat was called up for service and joined the group of men from Throckmorton County and other nearby counties that were taken by bus to Lubbock, Texas, for medical examinations.  Except for a bad head cold at the time, Pat was in good health, but thinking that he would not pass the examination because of the deafness in left ear. However, Pat was passed by the doctors despite being deaf in one ear, which they attributed to the head cold.  During the return trip home, there was much discussion among the men about what they should do and Pat chose the U.S. Navy.  To achieve Navy enlistment, Pat asked the local draft board for approval, which they gave.  Next, Pat went to Abilene, Texas, the nearest Navy enlistment station, and applied. They required proof of citizenship, but Pat did not have a birth certificate so returned home to secure one, where he learned that his birth had never been registered.  Pat secured the form, which Lorena helped filled out, and then went to find the doctor who had delivered, who was still living in Olney.  The doctor signed the form and Pat took to Graham, Texas, the county seat and filed it with the County Clerk, who finally gave a certified copy.  The time to secure the certified birth certificate included Christmas and New Year’s Day and Pat returned to the Naval Recruiting Office in Abilene and was accepted for enlistment January 14, 1942.  Pat was transferred by bus to a Dallas Naval receiving station the same afternoon and was examined by medical personnel and again, passed despite my hearing defect. Pat was sworn in as a SK3c V-6 (store keeper 3rdclass) USNR on January 14 and along with a group of other recruits, was sent by the Southern Pacific Railroad to the Naval Training Station in San Diego, California, where we reported January 24.  After debarking, Pat received another medical inspection with shots and then issued a hammock, bedroll, pillow with slip-over covers, a gunny bag, a ditty bag for storing small personal items, underclothes, shoes and socks, a white sailor cap, and two pair each of  dress blue and dress white (dungaree pants and shirts) uniforms. We were instructed how to pack the items in the bags and how to swing the hammock. Personal clothing was returned home.  Before being allowed to bed down that first night, they were assembled into groups or companies of recruits where Pat was with Company GG.  By 4am, they were marched to tents where bunked for the night with an assembly planned for 7am.  Pat served in both California (San Pedro Naval Base near Long Beach) and Pearl Harbor, and was on the U.S.S. Ramsay for part of that time. The U.S.S. Ramsay was a destroyer that was used as a mine layer among other duties during the war where it is believed Pat was in charge of the ship "store.” In March 1946, Pat was discharged from the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer.  Petroleum Engineer: AfterPat and Roma Cochran WWII, Pat entered the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1950.  Pat’s professional career took him to Chicago, Illinois, Dollarhide and Fort Worth, Texas; Newark, Ohio; Olney, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Casper, Wyoming; Arvada, Colorado; and Houston, Texas.  While working in Chicago, Pat met Roma Jean Nagler, who lived in the Chicago suburb of Evanston and worked at the First Methodist Church doing clerical work. They met at a YMCA dance in Chicago, but neither danced, so they played ping pong!  With his very Irish sounding name, Roma was a little concerned Pat would be a strong Catholic man and was pleasantly surprised when she found out he was Methodist, too.  Before their wedding, Roma got marriage jitters, sent the gifts back, and left Chicago with her sister Dorotha who was moving to San Diego to begin a new teaching job. After a few weeks of letters back and forth with Pat trying to convince her to return, Roma finally returned when he said he was going to start dating others again.  Upon her return to Chicago, Pat quickly married Roma before she changed her mind on October 1, 1951 in Chicago, with just Roma’s father and step-mother, Dr. Arthur Wilford and Edna F. (Morehouse) Nagler, as their witnesses.  Arthur was a Methodist seminary professor at Garrett Seminaryin Evanston who wrote a book, The Church in History, that was used in classes for many years.  Their honeymoon was spent in their little apartment as Pat was working on a paper he needed to present at work. Pat and Roma lived in the Meyerland area of Houston after retirement from Union Oil Company as Manager of Acquisitions.  Pat enjoyed learning and documenting family history (recorded many stories and genealogical facts about the Cochran, Bachman and related families), loved watching the Houston Astros play baseball (even when his eyesight started failing late in life, Pat would still faithfully watch on TV…very close and very loud), and loved playing card games like Skipbo and Uno.  Pat and Romalastly moved in his later years to daughter Sharon Ullah’s home in The Woodlands, Texas where he died in 2010.
  4. Mary Jane Cochran (b: May 18, 1919 Wichita Falls, Texas; m: Joe Bently Curtis Feb 28, 1950; d: July 23, 1984) Surrounded with four brothers, Jane became a tomboy and excelled in tennis and baseball at school.  She graduated from Throckmorton High School in 1936 and received a degree from Texas State College for Women in 1939.  After teaching school for one year at Kirkland, TX, she was employed as a bookkeeper in 1942 by the First National Bank in Throckmorton and remained there until 1950.  Jane and Joe Bently Curtis were married February 28, 1950, but divorced in 1957, at which time Jane moved to California where she pursued a career as a bank clerk for a few years.  In 1962, she took employment with a manufacturing firm of tools and machines for the electronics industry in Los Angeles as a Sales Coordinator.

Bert Clarence Cochran(b: Aug 22, 1883 Ora, Angelina County, Texas; m: Lorena Bachman Dec 30, 1910; d: Jun 22, 1930)

Bert Clarence Cochran was born in Ora, Texas and was the local postmaster and proprietor of the P.J. Cochran and Son General Store when he met Lorena Bachman who teaching at Spring Creek in 1909 (born in 1882 at Paige, Texas, moved in 1890 and graduated from Throckmorton).  They married in the Throckmorton Methodist Church December 20, 1910 after falling in love and they lived in Throckmorton where Bert was employed as clerk and bookkeeper by the John E. Morrison Co., General Merchandising Store (retail chain founded in 1881 by early Graham, Texas, resident John E. Morrison, and incorporated in 1907. The company dealt in dry goods, groceries, furniture, undertaking, hardware, and implements. In addition to the store in Graham, there were branch stores in the Texas towns of Loving, Newcastle, Throckmorton and Olney).  Their first son, Bert Carlton Cochran was born in 1912.

Bert Clarence CochranOlney:  In 1913, the family moved to Olney where Bert continued for a few years with the John E. Morrison Company until he became the owner of the Olney Garage and Oakland automobile agency. Psalm Brown “Sam” Cochran was born in 1915 and Patrick Francis Cochran was born in 1917.  One of the kids first remembrances are associated with an event at Olney.  One Sunday, his father who often served as a lay preacher in small communities such as PadgettTrue, and Profit, loaded the family into the buggy along with a full lunch basket.  That day, the drive was rather long and Carlton (first son), become bored and restless while seated in the rear of the buggy, amused himself by dropping the noonday lunch piece by piece on a back wheel without attracting his parent’s attention.  Upon arrival at the meeting place, the empty basket was discovered and Carlton’s amusement was ended, severely.

Wichita Falls: In October 1918, the family moved to Wichita Falls and Bert established the Cochran Motor Co., Chevrolet Agency and also speculated in oil field activities.  The car selling business boomed as oil was discovered in the nearby Burkburnet and Bert became known as “Chevrolet Cochran” throughout the area. Mary Jane Cochran was born in 1919.  During this time from 1919–1920, the Cochran family also consisted of Lorena’s sister, Aunt Florence Bachman (a math teacher in the high school), and a fox terrier dog.  Lorena was a homemaker, but also had an African American woman who came in to do heavy household chores. This woman would bring her small boy to the houseChevrolet Cochran Storefront and the Cochran kids would play with him, but Lorena stopped using the woman when some items began to be missing.  The family lived on 9th Street in a one-and-a-half story house where the outside was covered with red cedar shingles. Aunt Florence occupied the top-floor bedroom where the children were not permitted to go.  In that time, automobiles were moved from factory to dealer in railroad boxcars and propped in place with two-by-four timbers. Bert would bring the timbers home and stack them off the ground in the back yard which was a great place for the kids to play and hide and seek.  Stretching beyond the back yard was open pastureland for some distance to the Wichita River. There were pecan trees on the river banks, and the family was permitted to pick the ripe pecans. Also in the pasture was a ground water tank filled with catfish. On one occasion, the owner drained the water from the tank and invited the neighbors to take all the fish where Carlton and Sam made a great haul.  As the owner of the Chevrolet agency, Bert sometimes stored cars in the garage at home.  On two remembered occasions, Sam, with the assistance of his little brother Pat, investigated the mechanical works of the dashboard gauges and of the timing gear.  Frustrated with first efforts to look behind the enclosed instruments, the two discovered that a hammer was a reliable opener, but it spelt trouble for the autos and eventually the boys.  Another incident stands out was the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) expanding from Houston, Texas in the fall of 1920 and chartering other communities, where Wichita Falls was number 78 in spring of 1921 and the family remembers a meeting in the country outside the city one evening where Bert loaded the family into his car, and drove out to see the burning cross and the many white-robed, masked participants.  On another occasion, Carlton came down with measles and was isolated in the back bedroom. Nevertheless, Sam and Pat caught the measles too, and were put in a front bedroom. To entertain themselves, Sam and Pat would sit on the pedal of a sewing machine creating a movement like that of a rocking boat.  Another time, Sam and Pat were permitted to take a train trip alone to Grandma Cochran’s home (Mary Adella Easter Cochran) in Newcastle, Texas. There they met many aunts and uncles and first heard of the army service of Uncle Cone Walker. The days on the trip were hot and humid so the train windows were open. This allowed smoke, soot, and ashes to enter the cars and to cover the passengers. What a dirty mess!  Jack Bachman Cochran was born in 1921 and then the economic panic of 1921 hit…business failures were the norm and Bert Cochran was not immune. On May 13, 1922, Bert filed a petition of bankruptcy in the Federal District Court.  He lost the Chevrolet agency and other assets, yet was allowed to retain an old used car and sundry papers believed to be of no value. (Note: One of these supposedly worthless papers was a partial mineral interest in a tract of land in Jack County, Texas. In 1963, it was proven to be productive of oil and gas. Subsequently the interest generated several thousand dollars in revenue for Lorena and the five children. (Pat claimed they continued to produce even up to 2005, Jack had Louis 1 & 2 & 3 and Henderson 1 & 2 managed by Jay Management which do not appear to be producing in 2018)  After the bankruptcy, the family lifestyle underwent a drastic change and moved to a Britain Street house.  Jack remembered that he grew up on sweet potato milk cause the family couldn’t afford real milk. Bert acquired a newspaper stand on a street downtown and Lorena would bake a variety of candies for sale at the stand while Carlton sold newspapers. Sam entered the first grade at Alamo School in September 1922. South of the Britain Street house was a vacant lot that soon became a neighborhood playground.  There was a cave dug in the ground that the kids would crawl into through a tunnel…a great adventure!  For a while, the family had a white bulldog whose tail had not been amputated, but eventually gave him away.  Uncle Jack Cochran (Bert’s brother) lived with the family for a few months while he had a job driving a truck and hauling oilfield equipment around the leases.   Eventually, Bert became a car salesman and gave up the newspaper stand business.

Seymour:  In the summer of 1924, Bert accepted the position of manager for Cooke Chevrolet Company where they had acquired the agency in Seymour, Texas, and built a new display room, office space, and a shop.  So, the Cochran family moved to Seymour in August 1924 where their new home was on a corner lot a few blocks north of the County Court House with the lot facing east. There were screened porches on the south and west sides and a half-porch on the front or east side. The house had a drawing room, a family room, two bedrooms, a bathroom with no toilet, and a kitchen with a pantry. Between the drawing and family rooms was a double sliding door.  The backyard had two large mulberry trees and an alley were the garage, trash barrel, and the privy stood. A wooden fence beginning at the back of the house extended to the alley. Carlton was in the sixth grade, Sam in the third grade, and Pat started schooling in kindergarten, but was promoted after two weeks to the first grade because he could already read and write. On weekends, Carlton worked for Bert in the auto shop as a mechanic’s helper and car washer. Sam got a job at the grocery store (he was given a small silver cup as the best helper). The family attended Sunday school at the Methodist church and in the spring of 1925, Pat was baptized and joined the church. About this time Pat saw his first picture show (movie) and was amazed by the action thinking all the action was on the stage behind the screen. Pat also recalls his first memory of a dental visit around this time too. During the summer of 1925, Pat studied second-grade work with Lorena’s guidance and skipped second grade for third grade while Mary Jane entered school for the first time in September 1925. The summer of 1926, Bert took the family on a tour of East Texas, South Texas, the Gulf Coast of Texas, and Central Texas visiting many historical places and Cochran/Bachman relatives. The trip was made in a Buick, packed full on the top, back, and running boards and they would camp out at nighttime.  The day the family left Seymour, Bert and Lorena stopped at the courthouse and voted in the primary elections, the first-time women had been permitted to vote.  It was a long road trip that took them to Dallas, Teague, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Huntington, Ora, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Houston, Galveston, Corpus Christi, Padre Island, San Antonio, and Austin. When they finally returned home to Seymour, they were surprised that Mr. Cooke had sold the Chevrolet agency in Seymour and Bert was without a job. 

Throckmorton: Quickly Bert negotiated with the Chevrolet Company and Mr. Cooke concerning the situation and completed a deal to open an agency in Throckmorton, Texas. Thus, in August 1926, the family packed and moved in with Grandma Bachman (Martha Jane Huff Bachman) in Throckmorton while looking for a house (but ended up living with Grandma until after Christmas and the New Year).  Grandma’s house was set on the side of a forty-acre piece of land, in a wire-fenced yard. West of Grandma’s home was where her son Madison and his family lived. Ten acres on the west side of the land was a cultivated field, to the north of which was a washed-out ravine that had been dammed to form a water tank. Water from the tank was pumped to the houses. The rest of the land was mesquite covered pasture.  In September 1926, the children were enrolled in the Throckmorton school…Carlton was in the ninth grade, Sam was in the fifth grade, Pat was in the fourth grade, and Mary Jane was in the second grade.  Going to school, they walked a mile of dusty (or muddy when it rained) road as there were no paved streets in Throckmorton in 1926. The Throckmorton schoolhouse was a three-story high building constructed of limestone rocks with a basement level on the back or north end. On the East side was the two-story Rankin Hotel (burned down about this same time).  Between the school and hotel was an open, mesquite-covered area where children who rode horses to school could tie them. To the north of the building, about 100 feet, were separate privies for boys and girls. To the east of the privies was an eroded gully known as “Big Ditch.”  Metal fire escape slides extended from the top floor on the west and east sides of the building.  Early in 1927, Bert rented the Berry house located on the schoolhouse hill. There were six rooms (three bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen) and the front and rear of the house were long half-porches. The backyard was surrounded by a shed and pen for a cow, a fenced chicken yard and house, a privy, and a garage. A dirt cellar was in the yard near the house.  The Berry house had electricity, so Bert bought an electric stove and with the stove, Lorena received a set of china dishes.  On hot, humid nights, the family would move their beds into the backyard and sleep with mosquito netting placed over. On May 4, 1928, Throckmorton celebrated the Cisco and Northeastern Railroad Co. (C&NE) completion of railroad into Throckmorton with many events scheduled throughout the day. Bert was the master of ceremonies for the speeches held on the court house lawn and since 1928 was an election year, the speakers were prominent candidates for state and national political offices.  Indians from an Oklahoma reservation came and held a buffalo hunt with bows and arrows. There was also a horse race. A barbecue was held and the community ran out of food because of the large crowd that attended. Carlton, Mary Jane, Jack, and Pat mingled with the crowd, but Lorena and Sam could not join the festivities because Sam was sick with scarlet fever.  After a few months in the car business, Bert sold the Chevrolet Agency and opened a real estate/crop insurance business. He purchased and moved a building to a location on the west side of the main street, Minter Avenue, leasing the front room to Ben Franks for use as a barber shop and using the rear room as an office.  Mr. Franks arranged to pay the monthly rent by giving Bert daily shaves and cutting the children’s hair.  In 1928, Bert purchased the Richard lot and house and moved the family once again. The house was a two-story frame building set in an iron-fenced yard. The yard was set back about one hundred and fifty feet west of the street. Back of the fenced yard was a lot in which there was a wood pile, a chicken yard, a privy, a cow lot, a two-story barn, and a chicken house. A parcel of land, approximately 75 feet wide, extended from the road to the back of the barn lot.  The Richard house had nine rooms. On the ground floor were the master bedroom, living room, front parlor/bedroom, dining room, kitchen, utility room, a cloak closet, and a cistern of water and the upper floor contained four bedrooms. There was no running water as the house level was too high to be served by the city water system.  While looking at an antique claw foot tub much later in life, Jack remarked that wasn't an old tub...he remembered the #4 galvanized washtub.  Since he was the youngest, he always had the cold/used water from everyone else's baths.  The house was heated with wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. Bert had the parcel-strip plowed and sown with maize corn and Sam and Pat were required to hoe out weeds, milk the cow, feed the chickens, and chop wood. Carlton worked for Bert in the office while sharing the house chores with Sam and Pat when at home.  The Cochran’s were strong and active supporters of the Throckmorton United Methodist Church during these years and in early 1929, the church made plans to build a new church building.  Bert was on the church’s Board of Stewards that raised the necessary funds and the new building was completed by March 1930.  The family paid a part of their annual pledge by contracting to do the janitorial work in the church (Sam and Pat would sweep and clean the building weekly).  Bert taught a young men’s class and sang in the choir.  Bert’s real estate business required him to make sales trips to the upper Texas plains and eastern New Mexico.  After one such trip, he awoke Sunday morning, June 22, 1930 with a bad headache and did not go to church.  By mid-afternoon he must have felt better because he drove over to Grandma Bachman’s house to take Sam and Pat there to wash Uncle Charles and Aunt Mary Hoge’s car (visiting from Weslaco, Texas).  Bert parked at the fence gate, and Sam and Pat got out of the car.   As they walked up the path to the screen porch where the family group was gathered, someone noticed that Bert did not drive away. Instead he had slumped, unconscious in the seat of the car. The uncles on the porch went to Bert’s car and lifted and carried him to a spot in the shade on the yard.  (An alternative story is that Bert slumped in the seat of the car while driving and Jack had to stop the car.)  Dr. Berry was called and made his examination and said that Bert had died of apoplexy. Bert’s body was taken to the family house where the undertakers prepared him for burial. On Tuesday afternoon, funeral services were held in the Methodist Church, and he was buried in the Bachman plot in the Throckmorton Cemetery.  Lorena was faced with settling Bert’s financial affairs and earning a livelihood, just as the Great Depression had begun. To relieve things, Aunt Florence and Uncle R. D. Robinett took Mary Jane and Jack with them to Amarillo, Texas, for the remaining summer months.  Bert had no life insurance and there were mortgages on the Richard house, the office, and the car. Carlton helped as he was employed at Sam Donnell’s gasoline station for $1 per day and Ben Franks hired Pat to clean the barber shop and shine shoes at 10 cents per shine of shoes and twenty-five cents for boots. Lorena would rent rooms and small apartments to school teachers and couples so as to get income. Lorena having taught school before her marriage, logically decided to re-enter the education profession. 

Psalm Cochran (b: Mar 9, 1857 Angelina County, Texas; m: Mary Adella Easter Nov 3, 1881 and Nancy Ann Shofner Nov 10, 1891; d: Mar 29, 1913 New Castle, Young County, Texas)

Occupation indicated as a farmer.     

Patrick Jackson Cochran (b: Apr 4, 1815 Montgomery County, North Carolina; m: Mary Elizabeth Thompson Jan 21, 1850; d: Dec 6, 1862 Ora, Angelina County, Texas)

Patrick Jack Cochran arrived in Texas in March 1840 and bought 320 acres of land in Nacogdoches (county?) on September 7, 1841.  A census listed his occupation as Teacher-Farmer. 

David Bruton Cochran (b: Aug 9, 1779 Montgomery County, North Carolina; m: Catherine “Katie” Butler Aug 4, 1801; d: Jan 21, 1819)

David Cochran married Katie and built his home about a mile down, and on the opposite side of the river from Abraham Cochran’s home. Their house was a story and a half and was large and comfortable.  Here, they reared a large family of eleven kids.  David served in the legislature, or House of Commons, in North Carolina in 1807 and 1808.  He was a planter, surveyor, architect, and engineer.  He mapped the town of Lawrenceville, the county seat of Montgomery County.  It is said that he built the Lawrenceville Court House, which burned later burned with only foundations remaining.  Seventh child of David and Katie, David Randolph (born March 7, 1812), never married and was a legendary fighter.  David Randolph went to southwest and spent his early years fighting Indians.  He came home at the beginning of the Civil War and enlisted as an officer. Had a fight with his Commanding Officer and David resigned from this Company, came home and organized another Company.  He was put in command of Camp Shafter near High Point.  David Randolph was a fiery red-headed Captain who loved to fight, the hotter it got the better he like it, and his men adored him and would have followed him to the ends of the earth.  He died in 1864 and is buried in the Cochran cemetery four miles north of Troy. 

Abraham Cochran (b: Mar 24, 1757 Anson County, North Carolina; m: Tamar Bruton about 1778; d: Oct 8, 1818 Montgomery County, North Carolina)

Abraham Cochran was described as red-haired and easy to get along with.  He served in the Revolutionary War (moved his family to Charleston, South Carolina where he enlisted as a patriot and took a bullet left in shoulder for rest of life) and the War of 1812 (at age 57 in the 7thRegiment of NC Detached Militia). Abraham surveyed land with the help of a bound boy (orphan taken as an indentured servant), named Munn, who carried his chain for him.   Abraham and Tamar built a beautiful plantation on a large tract of land about eight miles from the present town of Troy, North Carolina (near Candor and Pekin) where they reared their children David, Mary and Elizabeth. The one and a half story home was built in a lovely wooded area and had typical features of a breezeway, wide porches, and a large kitchen away from the big house.  The framework of the house was put together with wooden pegs.  The ceiling and walls were dressed as smooth and satiny as any machine could make them now. The doors gleamed with the patina of age.  The house burned and all that remains to mark the site is the chimney to the kitchen, with a tangled mass of vines, with rock pillars showing through.

Jacob Cockerham (b:1730 Anson County, North Carolina; m: Mary Ingles; d: 1790 Richmond County, North Carolina)

Jacob Cockerham owned property in Anson County, North Carolina on the northeast side of the Pee Dee River. Records show he was active in the affairs of the day, as a member of the Regulators in 1769 (an association which protested the oppression of "excessive taxes, dishonest officials and exorbitant fees" under the royal governor and colonial government), helped build roads in Anson County in 1771 and again in 1775, and served as a member of Grand Jury.  It is believed that sometime in late 1700’s, the Cockerham spelling was changed first to Cockran and finally to Cochran.