Biography of William C. Cottrell
Rensselaer County, New York Biographies





Cottrell, William C., was born in the town of Greenfield, Saratoga county, October 23, 1858, and is a son of James who was born in Poestenkill in February, 1814. Samuel Cottrell, the great grandfather of William C., was a resident of Roxbury, Mass., and though not a soldier he rendered great active service to the Revolutionary army and participated in some of the skirmishes; it is said he hauled the first load of earth used in building the embankment at Bunker Hill; a portion of his house was used as a barricade. John Cottrell, the grandfather of William C., settled in Poestenkill about 1809. He cleared the farm and made him a home, did an extensive lumber business and owned an interest in a saw mill; in 1810 he married Sarah Davitt; they reared five sons and four daughters; he was born December 15, 1776, and died August 10, 1842; his wife was born in 1788 and died September 8, 1869; their children were George, born May 6, 1812; James, born February 13, 1814; Mary J., born January 13, 1817; Sally A., born November 14, 1818; John C., born January 26, 1821; William L., born October 26, 1823; Amasa, born June 6, 1825; Eleanor M., born July 26, 1831. The early life of James, the father of William C., was devoted to farming and lumbering; he kept a store a short time during the late war; he has served his town as highway commissioner, collector and held other offices; his wife was Betsey A. Simmons, born in Poestenkill and daughter of Jacob Simmons; to them were born children as follows: Mary, born September 28, 1837, died January 29, 1889; John J., born July 29, 1839, died April 6, 1843, Lewis J. and Lois J. (twins), born Sept. 11, 1843; Sally A., born Sept. 1, 1848, died July 3, 1857; William C., born Oct. 23, 1858. Mr. and Mrs. Cottrell are now residing near the village of Poestenkill; he oversees his own farm and is very active. William C. Cottrell received a common school education and began life for himself when twenty two as a farmer, which business he has followed successful to the present time. In 1880 he purchased his present farm of 100 acres and conducted a milk and dairy business for some years. In 1893 he engaged in the general mercantile business in Poestenkill village, in connection with which he superintends his farm. In March, 1895, he received his appointment as postmaster of Poestenkill. In politics he is a Democrat and served his town as collector for three years. He is a member of the Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 704, of which he has been secretary. In 1887 he married Mary E. Snow, who was born in Batchellorville, Saratoga county, and daughter of Winslow E. and Cordelia M. (Jones) Snow; to this union were born three children: Bessie, born November 30, 1889 (died December, 1895), Raymond W., born June 14, 1891 (died March, 1892), and Erwin Judson, born August 6, 1895.

From:
Landmarks of Rensselaer County
BY: George Baker Aaderson
Published By: D. Mason & Co. Publishers
Syracuse, NY 1897


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