Biography of Augustus Cottrell
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





AUGUSTUS COTTRELL. - An identification with Humboldt county that began immediately after the arrival of Mr. Cottrell in California during 1865 has continued up to the present time to the advantage of both himself and the county; the former by reason of his stirring and profitable association with business enterprises; the latter on account of his energetic cooperation in developing projects for the material upbuilding. The most unwearied exertion had been his previous experience, laying the foundation of the rugged constitution and tireless energy that enabled him to work his way forward to prosperity and local prominence. His early life had been passed at Oak Bay, New Brunswick, where he was born February 7, 1840, and where he had worked during boyhood on farms and in lumber woods, earning only his board and clothes, but gaining an experience of the utmost importance to later efforts. When he came to the west via the Isthmus of Panama and landed at San Francisco, he determined to seek employment in the lumber woods of Humboldt county. At that time only two steamers sailed from San Francisco to Eureka each month. Few people had begun to seek the opportunities of Humboldt county, and the demand for transportation as a rule was slight, although at times the vessels were crowded to their utmost capacity and even beyond the limitations stipulated by law.

On his arrival in Eureka the young man from New Brunswick found a village whose entire business was concentrated upon one short street. Beyond in the forests there was considerable activity, for the demand for lumber had caused the erection of sawmills and shingle mills and the woods were resounding with the ring of many axes swung by stalwart young fellows. He had no difficulty in securing employment and engaged in cutting down trees or working in sawmills or scaling logs, also contracting logging for many years. Little by little he put by his earnings and finally he had saved an amount that enabled him to embark in business for himself. With George Connick as a partner in 1888 he established a grocery store and when later the partner sold his interest to Mr. Warren the title was changed to Cottrell & Warren, continuing as such through a considerable period of growing business. For some time, however, Mr. Cottrell has been the sole proprietor of the store, which he manages with the earnestness, energy and efficiency characteristic of him in every relation of life. To superintend a business of such importance leaves him little leisure for outside activities, yet he has proved himself a progressive citizen by the ready aid he gives to enterprises of merit and by his cooperation in educational, financial and commercial upbuilding. A service of six years as member of the city council and of four years as a member of the board of education impressed the people with his desire to promote the welfare of the city along worthy lines. At one time he owned valuable timber lands in partnership with Thomas Baird, to whom he later disposed of his interests in these great holdings. His principal fraternity is the Odd Fellows, with which he has been connected since 1867 and to whose lodge and encampment he has been a generous helper. He is an active member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Eureka and for many years has been a member of its board of trustees. With his wife, who was Martha Jane Brown, of Michigan, he has a high standing in Eureka society and a host of warm personal friends. By his first wife, Keziah (Young) Cottrell, who was born in New Brunswick and died at Eureka in 1901, he is the father of two sons, Emile L. and Charles C., and one daughter, Ida May. The sons are physicians of excellent education and recognized skill and have built up a growing practice in the village of Scotia, Humboldt county.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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