Cochran, Georgia
Cochran Municipal Building
Cochran Municipal Building
Flag of Cochran, Georgia
Official seal of Cochran, Georgia
Official logo of Cochran, Georgia
Motto: 
Your Southern Home
Location in Bleckley County and the state of Georgia
Location in Bleckley County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 32°23′12″N 83°21′2″W / 32.38667°N 83.35056°W / 32.38667; -83.35056
CountryUnited States
StateGeorgia
CountyBleckley
Government
 • MayorBilly Yeomans
 • City ManagerRichard Newbern
Area
 • Total4.86 sq mi (12.58 km2)
 • Land4.69 sq mi (12.14 km2)
 • Water0.17 sq mi (0.44 km2)
Elevation
341 ft (104 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total5,026
 • Density1,072.56/sq mi (414.16/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
31014
Area code478
FIPS code13-17328[2]
GNIS feature ID0355210[3]
Websitewww.cityofcochran.com

Cochran is a city in Bleckley County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 5,026. The city is the county seat of Bleckley County.[4]

Cochran is named for Judge Arthur E. Cochran and was incorporated on March 19, 1869. Judge Cochran was largely instrumental in developing this section of Georgia through his work as president of the Macon and Brunswick Railroad, now the Southern Railway (a component of Norfolk Southern Railway). Once known as Dykesboro, Cochran was settled by B. B. Dykes, who owned the site on which the town is built. The earliest settlers located here to work in the turpentine industry.

Cochran is home to Bleckley County High School and Middle Georgia State University. Three properties in Cochran are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the Bleckley County Courthouse in Courthouse Square, the Cochran Municipal Building and School at the junction of Dykes and Second streets, and Hillcrest at 706 Beech Street.

History

Cochran, originally known as Dykesboro, was settled in the 1850s by B. B. Dykes. It was renamed Cochran in 1869 after Arthur Cochran, a railroad official who brought the Macon and Brunswick Railroad to town. In 1912, Cochran was designated seat of the newly formed Bleckley County.[5]

Geography

Cochran is located at 32°23′12″N 83°21′2″W / 32.38667°N 83.35056°W / 32.38667; -83.35056 (32.386646, -83.350684).[6]

The city is located in the central part of the state along U.S. Route 23, which runs from southeast to northwest to the northeast of downtown, leading northwest 40 mi (64 km) to Macon and southeast 18 mi (29 km) to Eastman. Georgia State Route 26 runs from southwest to northeast through the center of the city, leading northeast 21 mi (34 km) to Dudley (after meeting U.S. Route 80), and southwest 11 mi (18 km) to Hawkinsville, concurrent with U.S. Route 129 Alternate.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.3 km2), of which 4.6 square miles (11.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 3.63%, is water.[7]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
19001,531
19101,6387.0%
19202,02123.4%
19302,26712.2%
19402,4648.7%
19503,35736.2%
19604,71440.4%
19705,1619.5%
19805,121−0.8%
19904,390−14.3%
20004,4551.5%
20105,15015.6%
20205,026−2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
Cochran racial makeup as of 2020[9]
Race Num. Perc.
White 2,612 51.97%
Black or African American 1,854 36.89%
Native American 3 0.06%
Asian 112 2.23%
Pacific Islander 4 0.08%
Other/Mixed 133 2.65%
Hispanic or Latino 308 6.13%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 5,026 people, 1,406 households, and 814 families residing in the city.

Education

Bleckley County School District

Bleckley County students in kindergarten to grade twelve are in the Bleckley County School District, which consists of a primary school, an elementary school, a middle school and a high school.[10] The district has 151 full-time teachers and over 2,355 students.[11]

Middle Georgia State University

Middle Georgia State University is a public university with its main campus in Macon, Georgia. It was founded in 2013 through the merger of Middle Georgia College and Macon State College. Middle Georgia College's campus in Cochran is now one of the multiple campuses of Middle Georgia State University.

Government

Cochran operates under a Mayor-Council system of government, with the day-to-day business being handled by a city manager. The city manager is Richard Newburn. The Mayor is Billy Yeomans. The Police Chief is Jeff Trawick, and the fire chief is Brock Wilcher.

In 2016, at a City Council meeting held on October 11, Mayor Michael Stoy resigned from office, alleging that certain City Council members had participated in an illegal meeting. Since there was more than a year remaining in his term, a special election was held to elect another Mayor.[12]

In 2013, the city manager decided to terminate the employment of the police and fire chief, and replace them with a public safety director in order to save money, but rescinded his decision days later amidst public disapproval, and announced the appointment of a task force to look at the budget and advise him on choices.[13]

In 2011, Mayor Cliff Avant was charged with felony theft for allegedly donating city-owned PVC pipe to a local church. He admitted the donation and the mistake of not having it declared surplus property by the city council.[14] On the day of the trial, as a result of a plea deal, Avant resigned as mayor, and pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal trespass.[15]

In 2008, some of the Cochran Police Force came under scrutiny for various acts of misconduct, which included child molestation charges. One officer was charged and another resigned after being investigated for interference with custody.[16]

Tourist attractions

Notable people

References

  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  2. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ Hellmann, Paul T. (May 13, 2013). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 224. ISBN 978-1135948597. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Cochran city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  10. ^ Georgia Board of Education[permanent dead link], Retrieved May 31, 2010.
  11. ^ School Stats, Retrieved May 31, 2010.
  12. ^ "Cochran mayor discloses reason he resigns; council fires city clerk/election superintendent". macon.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  13. ^ "Cochran Backs Off on Public-Safety Changes". 13wmaz.com. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  14. ^ "Cochran's Mayor Defends Himself On Theft Charge". 13Wmaz.com. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  15. ^ "Cochran's Mayor Resigns After Guilty Plea". 13Wmaz.com. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  16. ^ "Second Cochran Georgia Police Officer Morris Ross Arrested, Quits, Charged In Child Molestation Case - Officer Brent Powell Arrested Last Week". Bad Cop News. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
  17. ^ "Amberle L. Husbands".
  18. ^ "Danny Mathis' Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved March 6, 2021.