COCHRAN, TEXAS. Cochran is on State Highway 159 at the edge of the Raccoon Bend oilfield, nine miles northeast of Bellville in far northeastern Austin County. Settlement on the west bank of the Brazos River in this section of the county began in the early 1820s, but Cochran itself was not founded until about 1850. The town was named for James Cochran, original grantee of a large tract of land near what became the Cochran townsite. William Lange established a gin there, and L. T. Henton operated a general store during the community's early development. A post office operated at the community from 1884 until 1908, after which mail was delivered over a rural route from Bellville. A Junior Red Cross chapter was organized at the Cochran school in 1918. In 1933 the town had four businesses and a population estimated at twenty-five. By 1952 its population had increased to an estimated forty, but the number of local businesses had decreased to two. Oilfields had been developed nearby by the 1960s, and the local population had grown to 440 by 1966. By 1972, however, the population had declined to an estimated 116, at which level it remained through 2000.