Cottrell & Shields Moulding Mill
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





COTTRELL & SHIELDS. - The senior member of the firm of Cottrell & Shields, proprietors of the moulding mill on Broadway and Cedar streets, Eureka, is John Austin Cottrell, who was born in Charlotte county, New Brunswick, on the 4th of July, 1841, and began to earn a livelihood in the lumber woods at an age when most boys are in school. Throughout all of his life he has been identified with some form of the lumber industry. As early as 1864 he came via Panama to California, but instead of settling in the state at that time, he proceeded to British Columbia and became. one of the very first men to settle at Vancouver. With him to that frontier community went his wife, Rebecca (Wyman) Cottrell, and their second son, Howard A., was the first white child born in Vancouver. The first child of that marriage, James A., is a native of Victoria.

After having engaged in lumbering in or near Vancouver for twenty years, in 1884 Mr. Cottrell came to California to establish a home. The lumber interests of Humboldt county attracted him to this portion of the state and here he has since engaged in business. For four years he engaged as an employe in the old Lincoln mill at Eureka, after which in partnership with William F. Gibbard he rented the Richardson mill on Third and B streets. The firm of Gibbard & Cottrell carried on the mill for some five years. At the expiration of that time the senior member sold his interests to Mr. Cottrell, who continued alone up to 1901, and then erected the present modern and well equipped mill on the corner of Broadway and Cedar streets, Eureka. Since 1911 John E. Shields has been a part owner of the business and by his active, intelligent cooperation is proving of the utmost assistance to the original proprietor. After the death of his first wife Mr. Cottrell married Mrs. Margaret Ogilvie, a widow with one son, Kenneth Ogilvie. Of their union a daughter, Lois A., was born. In fraternal relations Mr. Cottrell is a Mason of the blue lodge affiliations and has maintained a warm interest in the work of the order.

The junior member of the firm, John Edgar Shields, was born at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, January 10, 1865, and during his teens learned the trade of carpenter, in which he became skilled to an unusual degree. After coming to California in 1888 he followed his trade in Eureka, where he erected the residences of A. S. Connick and Robert Porter, a substantial block on Fifth street, and numerous other buildings public and private. Since forming a partnership with Mr. Cottrell he has devoted his entire attention to the work at the moulding mill and has cooperated in every project for the benefit of the business. By his marriage to Alida M. Alexander, a native of New Brunswick, he is the father of five children, namely: Bertha, wife of C. E. Baldwin; Gertrude, who married Alexander Simpson and has one son; Edith. Mrs. John H. Bears; Ralph I. and John. Business in the hands of men like Mr. Cottrell and Mr. Shields means a straightforward enterprise requiring honesty of character, earnestness of purpose and energy of action, qualities which the partners possess in large degree and with which they have forged to the front as representatives of a department of the lumber industry in 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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