Owen Cochran inherited land near Bear Creek and for many years ran the grist mill that his father, Cheadle, had built. His brothers expanded the operation around the end of the 19th century. With the coming of electricity to rural Georgia, water power was no longer desirable and the mills were abandoned. Over time, ownership changed, the mills eventually were burned and the dams partly destroyed by vandals. Ruins of these structures remain along Bear and Little Bear Creeks.