Biography of Fred H. Cotton
Audubon County, IA Biographies

The biographies of representative men of a county bring to light many hidden treasures of mind, character and courage, well calculated to arouse the pride of their families and the community. It is a source of regret that the people are not more familiar with the personal history of such men, in the ranks of whom may be found farmers, mechanics, teachers, lawyers, physicians, bankers, and men identified with other vocations and professions. Fred H. Cotton is distinctively one of the leading citizens of Exira township, and as such has made his influence felt among his fellow men, having earned a name for enterprise, integrity and honor as the proprietor of a grocery store at Exira, which has a large and liberal patronage from the people of Exira and vicinity.

Fred H. Cotton was born in Mitchell county, Iowa, on September 7, 1874, a son of Henry and Christina (Huyck) Cotton, natives of New York state. After his marriage, Henry Cotton located in Madison county, Wisconsin, where he took up a land warrant which his father had given to him. He broke the sod on this land and was very successful during the short time he remained there. He subsequently returned to the state of New York, but after remaining there a short time returned to Wisconsin, remaining there a few years, at the end of which time he came to Iowa, locating in Mitchell county, where he conducted a grist mill for many years, later moving to Vinton, Iowa, where he took up the agency for the sale of the Fairbanks scales. Henry Cotton and wife were the parents of seven children, namely: Charles E., who lives at Cheyenne, Wyoming; Edwin D., a resident of Exira; Dell, who married William Quinn; Anna F., who lives at Atlantic, Iowa; Fred H., the subject of this sketch; Earl, deceased, and George M., a resident of Auburn, Nebraska.

Fred H. Cotton attended the public schools at Vinton, Iowa, and after leaving school took up farming, later clerking in a general store for a time. When the Spanish-American War broke out he enlisted for service, in April. 1898, in Company G, Forty ninth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered out at the close of the war. Shortly afterward he came to this county, locating at Exira, where he clerked for his brother, Edwin, until 1908, in which year he started in business for himself. He has increased his stock and business each year, and altogether has been very successful.

In May, 1907, Fred H. Cotton was married to Catherine Crane, the daughter of John Crane, and to this union one child has been born, Christina. Mrs. Cotton was born in Exira, this county. Her parents were natives of Ohio and Tennessee, respectively, who moved to Audubon county, Iowa, during pioneer times. Her father followed farming pursuits all his life and died in 1907. John Crane and wife were the parents of five children, Harry, Catherine, Dell and two who died in early childhood.

Mr. and Mrs. Cotton are members of the Congregational church, and Mr. Cotton is identified with the Masonic fraternity and with the Knights of Pythias. He is an ardent Democrat, but has never held office, the cares of his business having been too great to permit his active participation in political affairs.

History of Audubon County, Iowa
Its People, Industries and Instutions
H. F. Andrews, Editor
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis - 1915

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