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          Thomas P. Cothran, lawyer and legislator was born in Abbeville, South Carolina, October 24, 1857. His parents were James S. and Emma C. (Perrin) Cothran. His father was a distinguished lawyer, who was solicitor of the eighth judicial circuit for several years, was subsequently elected judge of the same circuit, in which position he won the highest regard of the people for his ability and impartiality. While serving as judge he was elected to the United States house of representatives, of which body he became an influential member.

          Until his thirty-fifth year the home of Thomas Cothran was in the village in which he was born. After completing the prescribed courses in its high school, he studied law at the University of Virginia two sessions in 1877-78, and in 1882 he took the summer law course at this institution. He commenced the practice of law in Abbeville, January 1, 1879, and remained there twelve years. In 1891 he moved to Greenville, South Carolina and on January 1, 1892, became a member of the firm of Cothran, Wells, Ansel & Cothran, of which his father was the senior member. Subsequently, after the death of his father and of Captain Wells, he, with his younger brother, W. C. Cothran, formed a partnership with State Senator Dean, under the firm name of Cothran, Dean, & Cothran.

          In politics Mr. Cothran has always been a Democrat. In 1904 he was elected a member of the house of representatives from Greenville county for the term of 1904-1906, and soon won recognition as an able and conservative member. In 1906 he was re-elected and was one of the authors of the celebrated “Carey-Cothran Local Option Bill,” the passing of which destroyed the state dispensary. As a lawyer he has won a high reputation for ability, fairness, and skill. He was assistant division counsel of the Southern Railway Company.

          Mr. Cothran belonged to several orders, including the Masons, Odd Fellows, and Elks. His religious connections were with the Presbyterian Church. He enjoyed social life, close students, and was a discriminating reader. He married Ione Smith of Abbeville, South Carolina, on January 6, 1886. Mrs. Cothran died July 29, 1887.


Men Of Mark in South Carolina, Volume I


James Calvin Hemphill



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