William Porter Cochran, a pioneer
settler of Dallas County, Texas, was the third son of
William M. Cochran and Nancy Jane Hughes.
This biography was published in
Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas (1892).*
Bracketed matter was added.

W. P. COCHRAN, of Dallas county [Texas], was born in Greene, now Polk, county, Missouri, in January, 1841, the third in a family of six children born to William M. and Nancy J. (Hughes) Cochran, natives of South and North Carolina respectively. The father went to Murray [Maury] county, Tennessee, at an early day, where he engaged in the mercantile business, at Columbia, and also clerk[ed] in a bank. He moved to Missouri in 1840, and three years later to Dallas county, Texas, where he took up a claim in precinct No. 2, and tilled the first prairie land in this county, also raising the first wheat. He took an active interest in the early history of the county, and was the first County Clerk and Representative of Dallas county. His death occurred April 7, 1853, and his wife survived him until about 1871. Grandfather John Cochran, a native of the north of Ireland, came to New York and participated in the Revolutionary war, after which he settled in South Carolina, and later in North Carolina, where he subsequently died.

W. P. Cochran, our subject, [was] reared to farm life and educated at the McKinzie [McKenzie] College. He came to this county March 27, 1843, and in 1861 enlisted in Company C, Sixth Texas Cavalry, and served until the close of the war. He was in the battles of Pea Ridge, Corinth, Iuka, Holly Springs, and in the forty-six days' fight before Atlanta. He was paroled in 1865 and sent to Dallas, Texas. He now owns the old homestead of 420 acres, which is in a good state of cultivation. Mr. Cochran takes an active part in politics, voting with the Democratic party, and has served as a delegate to the county conventions. Socially, he is a member of James A. Smith Lodge, No. 395, which was chartered in 1874, and has held the office of District Deputy Grand Master in his order. Religiously, both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Cochran Chapel, which was named in honor of Mr. Cochran's father, and of which the former is one of the trustees.

Mr. Cochran was married in Hill county, Texas, January 30, 1867, to Miss A. M. Lawrence, a native of Marshall county, Tennessee, and daughter of D. T. and Ann B. (Bachman) Lawrence, natives of North Carolina and Tennessee. The parents settled in Hill county, Texas, in 1857, where the father died in February, 1867, and the mother in 1872. Mr. and Mrs. Cochran have had nine children, seven of whom survive: Nanna A., John D., Archelaus, Mary A., James P., Willie L. and Ada M. Mr. Cochran has seen the full growth and development of Dallas from a cabin to a city of about 40,000 inhabitants, and has always taken an active interest in everything for its good and aided in all public enterprises.

*Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892), pp. 737–38. This book is available online here.