Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y. 1897
This wonderful history of the Cotton Family was
published by the Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Lawrence
THE COTTON FAMILY.
The ancestors of this connection came
from Ireland at a very early day. They were the parents of
WILLIAM COTTON, SR.,
and had seven children: WILLIAM,
Sr., HUGH, JOHN, SAMUEL, MOLLIE, MATTIE and RACHEL.
HUGH never married, but became very
rich, and died aged.
JOHN married Peggy Stoglen. His children were Robin,
Henry, Hugh, Samuel, William, Polly, and Peggy.
Henry became a physician, and
married a gay, rich girl, and is now dead.
SAMUEL COTTON, brother of William
Cotton, Sr., died young.
MOLLIE COTTON, his sister, married Isaac Vance, of
Washington county, Pa. His children were Samuel, Isaac, Iby, Polly; Hannah,
Mattie, and Peggy. The family live in Washington county.
sister of William Cotton, Sr., married Patrick Scott. Their children were
Polly, Mattie, and Francis.
WILLIAM COTTON, SR. Beverly's 4th
Son of the American immigrants,
was born in Washington county, Pa., July 16, 1762. His wife was Mary Scott,
daughter of Josiah and Violet Scott, who emigrated from Scotland very early.
Mary Scott was born in Scotland.
Very early in this century, Mr. Cotton
became one of the first settlers of Pulaski township. He purchased some four or
five hundred acres of land from the United States Government, spent his days
upon the soil, and died in December, 1841, in the eightieth year of his
The children of William Cotton, Sr.,
VIOLET, born August 16, 1787; married
William Williamson. Both deceased. Had a large family.
September 2, 1788; died October 3, 1803.
MARY, born June 19, 1790. She had a
cancer on her breast when she was a young girl, and went through the painful and
hazardous operation of having the entire breast cut off, and recovered!
Became the wife of John Morehead, and died upwards of eighty. She always looked
on the dark side of life, borrowing trouble when it came in no other way. She
was, however, a good, Christian woman.
JOSIAH, born May 26, 1792; died
September 1, 1796..
JANE, born October 15, 1793.
WILLIAM, Jr., born
December 13, 1795; married Betsy Black.
HUGH, born September 10, 1797; married Diadema
JOSIAH, Jr., born March 13, 1799.
ALEXANDER, born February 4, 1801;
died October 22, 1840.
JOHN, born January 20, 1803.
RACHEL, born June 30,
JAMES, born May 6, 1807; died July 26, 18--.
SARAH, born December
27, 1809. She is now widow of Lucas Alexander.
Josiah, Jr., married
Catherine Harris, daughter of Barnabas C. Harris.
Rachel was a school teacher
for awhile, and married James Breden, of Mercer county, a widower with two
sons. She had nine children. Both parents are now dead.
Mrs. William Cotton, Sr., -- whose
maiden name was Mary Scott - was a woman of medium size, and of very fine
appearance. She had black eyes, and hair of the same complexion. She brought
up her children under the most strict, Puritanical rule. When the Sabbath
morning came, there was profound silence in the household. Not a work was
spoken, only of necessity. It was a sin to laugh or even smile!
All that could go, went to church, the young folks waling, while the parents
rode on horseback. The distance was eight or ten miles. The girls walked in
their bare feet, carrying their cowhide shoes in their hands, and putting them
on (the shoes) just before entering the church.
Mrs. Cotton's daughter, Polly (Mary),
had a head of beautiful, black, and naturally curly hair, but her mother would
not allow her to curl it (or allow it to curl!), but required her to comb it
straight back, and as plain as possible. She (the mother) did not approve of
such vanity as "flowing locks!"
What would this good woman say, could
she but return to earth and take a seat in the velvet-cushioned pew of some of
our present fashionable churches, and see the rich attire and costly jewelry
that decks the persons of some of the devout worshipers of her sex!
Mr. Cotton was a tall man, with
commanding appearance, and black piercing eyes, and was a great
WILLIAM COTTON, Jr.,
Was born in Mercer county, Pa.,
December 13, 1795. His wife was Elizabeth Black, born in Washington county,
Pa., November 5, 1797. They were married October 28, 1819. Their children
JOHN, born in 1820; died at the age of
JAMES, born June 20, 1822.
MARY S., born January 9, 1826.
C., born August 31, 1828.
JEMIMA, born November 15, 1830. Beverly's 2nd
PHEBE L., born January 6, 1832.
AUSTIN D., born May
Also, ELIZABETH, MELISSA and WILLIAM, who all died in
Mr. William Cotton was one of the
most industrious and active men of his time, and from a youth was a consistent
member of the Presbyterian church. He died March 20, 1843.
Mrs. Cotton died April 7, 1864.
She also was a woman of many Christian virtues, and a member of the Presbyterian
church. She was very smart and industrious, and at the age of seventy-five,
made her great-grandson, Thomas C. Wilson, a fine shirt in most excellent style,
and also cut and made for her grandson, H. H. Wilson, a nicely fitting pair of
pants. She was a remarkably, sprightly, mirthful woman for her age, and her
society was much enjoyed by the young folks.