Podcast #6– Reflections by former Mrs. Evelyn Griffis Cochran, 1991 – AUDIO
(TO PLAY THE CLIP, SEE MEDIA LINK AT BEGINNING OF THE POST, OR CLICK HERE) RECORDED AS PART OF A COLLECTION CREATED FOR THE FIRST ANNUAL PICKIN’ AND GINNIN’ FESTIVAL, ENTITLED “A GREAT PLACE TO CALL HOME” (ORIGINALLY COMPILED BY AMELIA GRACE JORDAN)
Blogger’s note: Remembering Evelyn Griffis Cochran, Richland’s First Official Historian
As I began to research and study the history of Richland Parish and surrounding areas, I became quickly acquainted with the names of many wonderful historians who came along well before me. Mrs. Evelyn Cochran DEFINITELY was a trailblazer in recording so much priceless history, and we owe her and her family much gratitude for all they contributed through the years. Sadly, I did not personally know Mrs. Evelyn, but I cherish the work she did over the course of her life. She also wrote many columns for the Beacon, and I look forward to sharing those in future posts as well. – Luke
Newsclips covering the life of Mrs. Evelyn Griffis Cochran
Mrs. Evelyn Cochran Wins Essay Contest, ca., 1952
The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana. 05 Jan 1952, Sat • Page 1
Mrs. Evelyn Cochran Wins Essay Contest Mrs. Allen Frost, of Mangham, Is Second Place Winner Announcement made in the Monroe News-Star and Morning World on January 1st and 2nd listed winners of the News-Star-World MJO. Century Progress essay contest.
The News-Star-World had asked for historical essays on sixteen parishes of this section .of the state, offering prizes to the two best essays from each parish. Essays were submitted by ‘the middle of last October. A later announcement stated that thrree essays had been received from Richland parish, but announcement of winners was not made until this week.
The essays will be compiled in publishing of the big Mid-Century edition to be put out by the News-Star-World publishing corporation. First prize winner from Richland parish was Mrs. Evelyn Cochran, who, through her own personal efforts, has done an enormous amount of research into the history of this section. She has examined old documents, studied early record books of the parish, and has talked with numbers of the parish’s oldest settlers Resulting from this research was her paper which was declared first prize winner, and which will appear in the special edition.
Mrs. Allen Frost of Mangham was announced as second prize winner, with the statement issued by the paper that the essays submitted were splendid historical writings. The essayists were highly complimented on their wonderful pieces of work. First prize was a $50 bond, which Mrs. Cochran states will go to the Presbyterian Church building fund. Second prize was a $25 bond.The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana. 05 Jan 1952, Sat • Page 1
Evelyn Cochran Named Richland Parish Historian, ca., 1981
The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana. 22 Apr 1981, Wed • Page 4
An honor was bestowed upon Mrs. Evelyn Cochran when she was officially named Historian of Richland Parish by the Police Jury during their Tuesday, April 21st, meeting in the parish courthouse. The honor was accorded Mrs. Cochran for the fine work she has done in compiling historical facts for the Oral History Project of the Richland Parish Library about the period of the 1927 flood.“
“Police Juror Charles M. Noble offered the motion to appoint Mrs. Cochran as parish historian with the second offered by Juror Ernest Greer. The jurors voted unanimously in favor of the appointment. Librarian Church Branton presented a resolution which had been adopted at the latest meeting of the Richland Parish Library Board recommending the appointment of Mrs. Cochran. Juror Boughton offered a motion to adopt the resolution with a second by Juror Curtis Marshall. The resolution was unanimously adopted. Police Jury President A. J. “Bob” Chapman and Mrs. W. D. Cotton, president of the Library Board, made the presentation of a framed copy of the resolution to Mrs. Cochran at the meeting.
Mrs. Cochran accepted the honor of becoming Richland Parish’s first official historian and spoke of her great love for the parish which had led her to undertake most of her research into its history. She said that the Richland Police Jury had a “rich heritage and she wants to help preserve the history of this parish.” She concluded by expressing her appreciation for the honor bestowed upon her.
The resolution that was officially adopted jointly by the parish Library Board and the parish Police Jury is as follows: RESOLUTION WHEREAS, Mrs. Evelyn Cochran has enriched the lives of parish residents with knowledge of parish history, and WHEREAS, she has contributed! her knowledge of parish history’ freely for the betterment of the parish, and WHEREAS, Richland Parish does not have an official parish historian, and WHEREAS, Mrs. Evelyn Cochran is uniquely suited for this honor, now THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED; BY THE RICHLAND PARISH POLICE JURY, IN REGULAR SESSION, this 21st day of April, In the year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Eighty One, that Mrs. Evelyn Cochran be officially designated as the official Richland Parish Historian. A. J. Chapman, President. Virginia Cavineas, Sec.-Treas; Mrs. Cochran is the wife of Horace Greely Cochran, Jr., Rayville businessman. They have four children, Walter Cochran and Cooper Cochran, both of Rayville; Miss Jenny Lou Cochran, of Natchitoches; Mrs. Steve Chenoweth (Lillian. Cochran) of Denton, Texas and six. grandchildren.The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana. 22 Apr 1981, Wed • Page 4
Cochran Tractor Serving Richland Parish, ca, 1993
The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana. 11 Feb 1993, Thu • Page 18
…Mrs. Evelyn G. Cochran has been and continues to work with the company in a management capacity. Located at 508 North Benedette St., Highway 80, Rayville, the company in addition to the Ford New Holland tractors, handles bush hog equipment and Lilliston cultivators. Others employed at Cochran Tractor & Implement Co., include Donald Letlow, service manager; Georgia Osborn, parts manager; Sherman Ash- Recently Walter Cochran was elected to the Ford New Holland National Dealer Council.The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana. 11 Feb 1993, Thu • Page 18
Evelyn Griffis Cochran
Remembering Evelyn Griffis Cochran – Obituary – 1996
The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana. 26 Sep 1996, Thu • Page 1 & 3
Services conducted for Mrs. Evelyn G. Cochran Services for Mrs. Evelyn Griffis Cochran of Rayville were held at 2 p.m. Sunday, September 22, 1996, in the Rayville Presbyterian Church. Graveside services followed in Athens, La., at the Atkins Family cemetery. The Rev. W. L. Strong and Rev. Archie B. Faires together with the Rev. Fa. Thomas Flynn officiated at the services, which were under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home of Rayville. Mrs. Cochran, widow of the late Horace G. Cochran Jr., died Thursday, September 19, in Rayville.
She was born on October 3, 1919, to Charles B. and Lena Atkins Griffis in Winnsboro and moved to Rayville in 1921 with her family at the age of two. Her father and mother owned and operated Griff’s Sales Store in Rayville for many years. After graduating from Northeast Louisiana University and Louisiana State University, Mrs. Cochran taught school in Collinston and Rayville. She was always a teacher, as well as a lover of words and books. She was the official Richland Parish Historian and loved to relate stories about the area. Mr. and Mrs. Cochran founded Cochran Tractor Company, where she became bookkeeper, parts-man and when needed, mechanic. Although she retired several times, she continued to work in the business until her death. She was an active Red Cross volunteer and supporter for many years. She also was an active member of the Rayville Presbyterian Church.
Survivors include two sons, Walter Cochran and Cooper Cochran, both of Rayville; two daughters, Mrs. Lillian Chenoweth of Denton, Tex., and Mrs. Jenny Lou Bird of Houston, Tex.; eight grandchildren, Renee Cochran Dearman, Jesse Alvin Cochran, Mary Ellen Cochran Brown, Jimmy Cochran, John Cochran, Ellen Louise Chenoweth, Ben Chenoweth and Lee Bird; nieces and nephews, and great-grandchildren. Pallbearers were Joe T. Reeves III, Sam D. Reeves, James M. Griffis, Edward A. Griffis, Charles B. Griffis, III, Langston Yancey, Robert W. Calvert Jr. and A. C. Clark, III. Honorary pallbearers were Dr. J. E. Ball, Gene Holtzclaw, L. Yancey Sr. and Bernard Waite. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Rayville Presbyterian Church, American Red Cross or the Richland Parish Library.The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana. 26 Sep 1996, Thu • Page 1 & 3