Walter Cochran was born August 14, 1952 in Georgia to Col. Winston W. Cochran and the former Mary Dickson. His family is believed to have moved to Texas when he was still an infant. He married Nannie Dodson in the 1880s.
Walter C. Cochran came to Jal in 1883 from Palo Pinto County in North Central Texas. He moved his cattle from the JAL ranch in the spring of 1885. According to a 1939 article in the Jal Flare, his cattle were already branded with the Muleshoe brand, so he named the ranch the Muleshoe Ranch.
He had become acquainted with the area by hearing stories of his friends the Cowdens, also of Palo Pinto. When he first came to New Mexico, he set up his cattle ranching operation further east but relocated to what became the townsite of Jal.
Mr. Cochran lived in the area until 1893 after which he moved his ranching operation to around Midland, Texas. He was remembered as being a local favorite for his witty and droll demeanor. Considered to be very knowledgeable, he was sought out by younger ranchers for advice.
Mr. Cochran died of natural causes on October 31, 1934 while living in Midland, Texas and is buried there in Fairview Cemetery. His wife Nannie survived him until 1940 and is also buried there.