Southern Methodist University

Miriam Welty Cochran and George C. Cochran, Jr. papers

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Cochran family
Title: Miriam Welty Cochran and George C. Cochran, Jr. papers
Dates: 1847-1998
Abstract: Miriam Welty Cochran (1898–1966) was a professional pianist and organist who performed as a soloist, accompanist, and in musical ensembles. Additionally, she served as a choir director and music teacher. Her husband, George C. Cochran, Jr. (1897-1961) was a Dallas attorney and patron of the arts. Through personal and business records, photographs, and genealogy research files this collection documents the lives of two notable Dallasites. The Miriam Welty Cochran and George C. Cochran, Jr. papers were originally part of the Calloway and Jerry Bywaters Cochran family archives at The Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library at Southern Methodist University.
Accession No: 2013.03, Collection BridArch 3.121
Extent: 7 boxes (4 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

Historical Note

Miriam Welty (1898–1966) was born in Fredonia, Kansas to Walter J. Welty and Cordelia Lines Welty. The family moved to Neodosha, Kansas, where Walter worked in the post office. Miriam began piano lessons at age five. At the age of fourteen, Miriam became the regular organist for the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Neodosha, Kansas, while taking weekly train rides to Independence for organ lessons. She studied music at Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in 1924 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1929. Later she continued her studies at the American Conservatory in Chicago and at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

Welty taught in Neodosha briefly before joining the music faculty of Kansas State Teachers College at Pittsburg (currently Pittsburg State University). During the 1920s she also performed at Chautauqua assemblies as a soloist, accompanist, and as part of the Premier Artiste Quintette.

Upon marrying Baker University classmate George C. Cochran, Jr. on June 15, 1929, she moved to Dallas, Texas. In Dallas Miriam Welty Cochran served as organist at First Methodist Church, then as organist and choir director at Munger Place Methodist Church. She also was the staff organist at the George A. Brewer Funeral Home in Dallas for more than twenty years. Cochran was an active member and frequent guest performer for the Musical Arts Club of Dallas for over thirty years.

George C. Cochran, Jr. (1897-1961) was born in Cameron, Texas and reared in McAlester, Oklahoma. After serving in World War I, he studied at Baker University (A.B.) and the University of Michigan School of Law (LL.B 1926). After practicing law briefly in Abilene, Texas, Cochran moved to Dallas in 1927 to work in the law office of Payton A. Ellison. His career included employment with two other Dallas law firms: E. B. Muse & Cavin Muse and Touchstone, Bernays & Johnson.

On August 29, 1932 the Cochrans had a son, George C. Cochran III. In 1946 twelve-year-old George (known as Calloway) and his mother both studied piano for eight weeks at Juilliard School of Music. Arts patron Calloway Cochran earned degrees from Southern Methodist University and Harvard Law School. After serving in the JAG Corp of the US Airforce, Cochran worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He married professional dancer and dance educator Jerry McLarry Bywaters in 1961.


Connelly, William Elsey. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, Volume 4. Chicago: Lewis, 1918.

“Daisy Polk to Lead Musical Arts Program.” Dallas Morning News. November 10, 1943.

“Funeral Planned for G. C. Cochran.” Dallas Morning News. December 30, 1961.

“Group to Hear Original Music.” Dallas Morning News. January 11, 1966.

Obituary, George Calloway Cochran III. Dallas Morning News. March 12, 2009.

“Organist, Pianist Son Return from Juilliard.” Dallas Morning News. August 30, 1946.

“Organist to Celebrate Her Twentieth Year.” Dallas Morning News. October 31, 1954.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection comprises photographs, letters, yearbooks, news clippings, certificates, contracts, church bulletins, concert programs, diplomas, and other items documenting the lives of Miriam Welty Cochran and George C. Cochran, Jr. and the history of the Welty and Cochran families. Items of special interest include the score of Cochran’s composition, “Romance,” a 1960 letter from author Eudora Welty, and materials by and about Confederate Navy Captain Robert T. Chapman (1831-1905).

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection comprises four series of personal, professional, and family papers.
Series 1: Miriam Welty Cochran, circa 1898-1966
Series 2: George Calloway Cochran, Jr., 1918-1962
Series 3: Cochran and Welty families, 1847-1990
Series 4: Photographs, circa 1880-1965


Access to Collection:

The collection is open for research use. Patrons must sign the Acknowledgement of Legal Responsibility and Privacy Rights form before using this collection.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Head of Special Collections of the Bridwell Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which Bridwell Library assumes no responsibility.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Cochran, Miriam Welty.
Welty family.
Munger Place Methodist Church (Dallas, Tex.)
Church musicians -- Dallas -- Texas.
Organists -- Texas -- Dallas.
Cochran, George Calloway, Jr.

Related Materials

Jerry and Calloway Cochran family papers, Jerry Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Miriam Welty Cochran and George C. Cochran, Jr. papers, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from Bywaters Special Collections, The Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University, April 17, 2013.

Processing Information

Arranged and described by Kelly Baxter and Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2014-2015.

Encoded by

Ada Negraru, 2015.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Miriam Welty Cochran, circa 1898-1966
28 folders

The first and largest series comprises materials documenting the life of professional musician and music educator Miriam Welty Cochran.
Box Folder
1019A 01 Childhood, circa 1898-1918
02 Sixth grade notebook, circa 1908
03 Neodesha Public Schools, 1912-1922
04 Neodeshan Neodesha High School yearbook, 1915
05 Baker University, 1917-1925
06 Itineraries and diary, 1921-1923
07 Worship bulletins from various churches, 1921-1925
08 Certificates and contracts, 1921-1929
09 Lyceum, 1921-1923
10 Pittsburg High School, 1924-1959
Box Folder
1019B 01 Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg, Kansas, 1925-1929
02 The Kanza, Kansas State Teachers College yearbook, 1927
03 Wedding scrapbooks, clippings, letters, and marriage license, 1929
04 Performances, 1931-1959
05 First Methodist Church, Dallas, 1933-1944
06 Munger Place Methodist Church, Dallas, 1938-1955
07 Piano teaching, circa 1920-1960
08 Piano student recital programs, 1933-1965
09 Sheet music, circa 1910-1940
10 “Romance” composition by Miriam Welty Cochran, circa 1960
11 Newspaper clippings, circa 1930-1960
12 Incoming correspondence, 1925-1966
Box Folder
1020A 01 Outgoing correspondence, 1930-1942
02 Outgoing correspondence, 1943-1963
03 Obituaries and letters of condolence, 1966
04 Memorial record book, 1966
Box Folder
2010 05 Oversize: Baker University diplomas, 1924-1929
06 Oversize: United Daughters of the Confederacy membership certificate, circa 1930

Series 2: George C. Cochran, Jr., 1918-1962
8 folders

The second series comprises materials documenting the life of attorney George C. Cochran, Jr.
Box Folder
1020A 05 World War I and other military papers, 1918-1942
06 University of Michigan Law School, 1926
07 Myrr Libby, 1927-1928
08 Business records, 1926-1966
09 Correspondence, 1914-1960
10 Obituaries and letters of condolence, 1961-1962
11 Memorial record book, 1961
Box Folder
2010 07 Oversize: Professional credentials, 1915-1931

Series 3: Cochran and Welty families, 1847-1990
12 folders

The third series consists of family correspondence, historical documents, and genealogical research files.
Box Folder
1020B 01-02 Robert T. Chapman, 1847-1998
03 Calloway Cochran correspondence, circa 1940-1965
04 Cochran and related families, 1892-1984
05 Lines and Livezey families, 1924-1945
06 Stone, Martiau, and related families, 1930-1990
07 Eudora Welty, 1960
Box Folder
1021 Welty family genealogy, 1889-1972
Baker University Wild Cat (Walter Ralph Welty), 1923
Box Folder
2010 08 Oversize: Robert T. Chapman Lieutenant commission, Navy of the Confederate States of America, 1861
09 Oversize: Maria Chapman Alabama Normal College for Girls diploma, 1888

Series 4: Photographs, circa 1880-1965
7 folders

The fourth series contains Cochran and Welty family photographs.
Box Folder
1021 04 Miriam Welty Cochran photograph album, 1921
05 Miriam Welty Cochran photographs, circa 1910-1950
06 Miriam Welty and George C. Cochran wedding photographs, 1929
07 George C. Cochran photographs, 1897-1961
08 Cochran family photographs, circa 1890-1940
09 Welty family photographs, circa 1880-1965
10 W. J. Welty family photograph, April 1, 1907