Image of the first words of the act creating the school along with early pics of buildings




picture of Neill-Cochran House


The Neill-Cochran House (originally just a home in Austin)  was occupied in 1856 by Washington L. Hill on 17.5 acres designated in the original survey of Austin. Abner Cook, the master builder, built several beautiful stone houses in Austin, including the Governor's mansion. The Neill-Cochran House is built of native limestone in the Greek revival style with two-story Doric columns across the wide, front veranda.

Because of her fear of the Indians, coupled with the family's financial difficulties, the owner settled closer to the center of town and never lived in the house. On January 1, 1857, it became the first home of the Texas Institute for the Blind. After the War Between the States, General Custer procured the house for use as an army hospital in 1865.

In 1876, Andrew Neill purchased the house. His family lived there for many years. After 1893, Judge T. B. Cochran acquired the property. His family was in residence until 1958 when it was sold to The National Society of the Colonial Dames (NSCDA) in the State of Texas.

In 1962, it was formally opened to the public as a house museum having been lovingly furnished by the Texas Society. The Centennial Garden was established in 1998 honoring the 100th birthday of The NSCDA in Texas.

The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.