Elmer Cotton (center behind little boy) with his wife’s family, The Arnolds. Mamie Cotton is left of Elmer.



(1874 -1937)


Elmer K. Cotton, son of Dr. John Cotton & Eliza Knox. Born on 23 Sep 1874 in Eel River Township, Allen County, Indiana.1 Elmer K. died in Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, on 4 Nov 1937; he was 63.1 Buried in Nov 1937 in Eel River Baptist Cemetery- Section 9.2

Brief Bio: Recollection of Helen M. Cotton:

“Elmer Cotton ran a cigar store in Churubusco, Indiana.  Churubusco is in Whitley County and boarders Allen County Indiana where Fort Wayne is the County Seat.”

Note by Barry A. Cotton:

Churubusco seems to have been named after Churubusco, Mexico where a famous battle was fought during the Mexican War in which the San Patricios (St. Patick Brigade), a group of Irish deserters from the U.S. Army fought for Santa Anna and the Mexican Army, were defeated.   The U.S. Army hung those Irish that deserted after war was declared and sparked an international incident as a result. During the Civil War, the 34th Regiment of the Indiana Infantry fought in Texas and Mexico.  Elmer Cotton’s father Dr. John Cotton was in Company A of the the 34th Indiana Infantry along with his younger brother, Sylvester Cotton.


25 Apr 1898  volunteered to serve in the Spanish American War,

26 Apr 1898  mustered into Company G of the 160th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers

14 Nov 1898  appointed to the rank of Corporal

25 Apr 1899  mustered out of the Army


Obituary from the “Fort Wayne News Sentinel”, November 5, 1937, page 40, column 1


(special to the News Sentinel)

CHURUBUSCO, IN, Nov. 5- Funeral Services for Elmer Cotton, aged 63, who died Thursday at the home will be held Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Eel River Chapel.  Burial in the church cemetery.  The body was removed to the Sunday Funeral Home.


Letter found in papers belonging to Hugh Arthur Cotton that started Barry A. Cotton’s research into the Cotton Family:

June 18, 1928

Re: Cotton Genealogy

Dear Brother Elmer:

It has been some time since I heard from you and I wonder how you all are.  We are all well and have no reason to complain as to the way the world is using us.

I have recently become interested in the genealogy of the Cotton Family but find I am lacking in some information needed to complete the line. My brother, your Uncle Robert, knows more about it, I guess, than anybody else in the family.  Can you give me his present address?  I want to write to him but since his marriage have not heard from him and do not know at the present time his post office address.  Perhaps you or Otho can help me in respect to the following information.

As I understand it, our recent genealogy runs as follows:

Our great grandfather was John Cotton, who after the Revolutionary War, moved to Austentown, Ohio, where he died February 1, 1831.  His wife was Lucy Little, who died at Austentown October 9, 1835.

Our grandfather was Joshua T. Cotton, who was born at Plymouth, Massachusetts and died at Ossian, Indiana, in 1856.  I understand our grandmother was a Williamson, who was born in Ohio.  Do you know what her full name was; when she was born; and when she died?

Do you know when and where our father, John Cotton, was born?  I know that he died at Heller’s Corners, Allen County, Indiana, in January 1881.  I would like to know the exact date.

I know that your mother’s name was Eliza A. Knox and that she died in May 1922.  Otho W. and Lola (Mrs. A. W. Jackson) and you are the surviving children of that marriage.  I have not heard from Otho for years.  Does he live near you?  I would write him too if I knew his exact address.  Lola, I understands, lives in Fenville, Michigan.  If possible, let me have Robert Cotton’s addresses and give me as much of the above information as you can and as soon as possible.

With my cordial best wishes and kindest regards to you and your family and Otho and his family, and hoping to hear form you soon, believe me.

Faithfully yours,

signed Joseph B. Cotton

To-  Mr. Elmer K. Cotton, Churubusco, Indiana


On 24 Nov 1900 when Elmer K. was 26, he married Mamie F. Arnold, daughter of Henry Arnold & Catherine Mahan, in Allen County, Indiana.1,3,4,5 Born on 5 Jun 1880 in Allen County, Indiana.6,6 Mamie F. died in Churubusco, Whitley County, Indiana, on 24 Oct 1931; she was 51.4

They had the following children:

2            i.          Voyle (1905-1911)

3           ii.          Gerald Elmer (1913-1935)

4          iii.          Prof. Hugh Arthur (Twin) (1918-1990)

5          iv.          Helen L. (Twin) (1918-1919)

Second Generation


  1. Voyle Cotton. Born on 29 Apr 1905 in Eel River Township, Allen County, Indiana. Voyle died in Eel River Township, Allen County, Indiana, on 11 Aug 1911; he was 6.
  2. Gerald Elmer Cotton. Born on 1 Mar 1913 in Eel River Township, Allen County, Indiana. Gerald Elmer died in Eel River Township, Allen County, Indiana, in 1935; he was 21.
  3. Prof. Hugh Arthur Cotton. Born on 1 Jun 1918 in Eel River Township, Allen County, Indiana.7,8 Hugh Arthur died in Kansas City, Kansas, on 15 Dec 1990; he was 72.7 Buried on 19 Dec 1990 in Pioneer Cemetery on the Univ. of Kansas Campus in Lawrence, Kansas.On 1 Jul 1945 when Hugh Arthur was 27, he married Helen Mildred Rogers, daughter of Leslie William Rogers Sr. & Clora Beatrice Reed, in Elko, Nevada.10 Born on 7 Aug 1919 in Freedom, Osage County, Missouri.11 Helen Mildred died in Austin, Travis County, Texas, on 17 Mar 2001; she was 81.

They had the following children:

  • Judith Ann (1946-2016)
  • Barry Arthur (1947-)
  • Jeffrey Arnold (1952-)

5. Helen L. Cotton. (twin of Hugh Cotton) was born on 1 Jun 1918 in Eel River Township, Allen County, Indiana. Helen L. died in Eel River Township, Allen County, Indiana, in 1919; she was <1.


  1. “Standard Certificate of Death,” 11 4 1937, Fort Wayne Indiana Methodist Hospital, 33967, 1108, paper certificate, Indiana State Board of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics.
  2. Allen County, Indiana, 1980, Cemetery Readings of Eel River and Riverview Cemeteries, Stuart Harter, R.R. 2, Churubusco, Indiana.
  3. “Declaration for Pension (Act of June 5, 1920),” War with Spain, Philippine Insurrection and China Relief Expedition, Elmer K. Cotton, 6 19 1920, X C-2 443 41, Whitley County, Indiana, H. Waveland Kerr, Attorney at Law, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Department of Interior Bureau of Pensions.
  4. “Standard Certificate of Death,” 10 24 1931, Fort Wayne Indiana Methodist Hospital, 32641, paper certificate, Indiana State Board of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics.
  5. Allen County, Indiana, Index to Marriage Records 1824-1920 Inclusive, Volume I, Letters A – E Inclusive, Book 24; OS Page 305.
  6. “Standard Certificate of Death,” 10 24 1931, Fort Wayne Indiana Methodist Hospital, 32641, paper certificate, Indiana State Board of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, for Mamie F. Cotton.
  7. “Certificate of Death,” Dec. 15, 1990, Kansas City, Kansas, USA, 90-020329, University of Kansas Medical Center, Paper Form, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Office of Vital Statistics.
  8. “Record of Births for Allen County (Indiana) for Quarter Ending June 30, 1918,” April 1st – June 30th, 1918, Allen County Indiana, #223, Jesse H. Briggs, Churubusco, Indiana, Journal, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  9. Funeral Service Program from Warren-McElwain Mortuary Chapel, Lawrence, Kansas
  10. “Marriage Certificate,” July 1, 1945, Elko, Nevada, USA, 5298, Justice of the Peace, James William Baird, Paper Certificate, State of Nevada, Elko County.
  11. “State of Missouri Certificate of Birth,” Oct. 1 1919, Osage County, Missouri, USA, 36941, 59, Photocopied Negative, State of Missouri Bureau of Vital Statistics.