R. H. COTTON, a capable and successful lawyer, of Wellsburg was born in Washington county, Penn., September 1856, the son of James and Nancy J. (McElroy) Cotton, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. The father, whose business was the buying and selling of stock died in 1886, aged seventy years and his widow now a resident of Washington county, Penn., is aged sixty-five years. Of their six children, five are living. The subject of this sketch received a thorough education at Washington and Jefferson colleges, Bethany college and the Ohio state univeristy at Columbus. During the last year (1879) of his literary studies he read law and continuing his reading with Holmes & Nash (ex-Atty. Gen. Nash) of Columbus and was admitted, upon examination to practice before the supreme court of Ohio, December 7, 1880. During the following year he practiced with Judge Stanley Matthews, at Cincinnati, Ohio and then engaged with W. J. Gilmore, Esq., late of the Ohio supreme court, as assistant in preparing briefs, etc. with whom he remained five years. He then went to Washington county, Penn., in the interest of the Pittsburgh, Canonsburg & State Line railroad, of which he is a director and in March 1889, he came to Wellsburg, which has since been his home. He also holds the position of secretary of the Pittsburgh Fas Coal company, Pittsburgh, Penn. He is one of the vigorous, capable and successful attorneys at law of the state and is held in high regard as a scholar, lawyer and business man by the community. He has been a member of the Ohio State Bar association since its organization, is a Mason of the thirty-second degree, of the Ohio consistory of CIncinnati and politically is a republican. Mr. Cotton was married in September 1882, to Florence M., daughter of George W. and M. A. Freshwater, of Brooke county and they had two children: Gilmore and Flossie, the latter of whom died October 26, 1889, aged three years.
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