John Joseph Taylor (1855-1917) was for many years the leading businessman in Cochran. He started with a general store and later became president of the Cochran Banking Company and a cotton mill; he also built Cochran’s opera house. Taylor, who lived in the house next door, built Hillcrest as a present for his daughter Alice when she married John Augustus Walker on 12 January 1910. Walker was also involved in the Cochran Banking Company and served as Postmaster from 1933-1941. The house remained in the family until 1965. Dr. Virlon Griner, pastor of Cochran First Baptist Church, purchased it in 1970 and began a restoration that returned it to a single family dwelling, which it remains today.
The National Register nomination form calls the house “Hillcrest” but also notes it was known as Cedar Hall. After hearing from one of the Taylor granddaughters, Lady N. Hodges, I’m going with Cedar Hall, since that is what the house was known as for most of its history. Apparently, “Hillcrest” was a later name. She also clarifies other facts about the house, in her comments following the post.
National Register of Historic Places