Rev. John A. Cotter. - One of the prominent figures in the educational life of St. Lawrence County is Father
John A. Cotter, who is principal of St. Mary's Academy in Ogdensburg. He was born at Ticonderoga, Essex County,
N. Y., Jan. 10, 1894, the son of James and Catherine (Quirk) Cotter.
James Cotter, who died in 1928, was a native of St. Lawrence County, born at Stockholm. His wife was born in Denver,
Colo., and died in 1902. He was a machinist by trade and was also interested in general farming. The ancestors
of James Cotter came from Ireland and the original homestead in this county was owned by members of this family
until 1928, when it was disposed of. The grandmother of James Cotter lived to the age of 112 years. Four children
were born to James and Catherine (Quirk) Cotter: 1. John A., the subject of this sketch. 2. Gertrude, married Judge
Timothy J. Ahern, lives at Roxbury, Mass. 3. Frances, married Leslie Kelly, lives at Rodman, N. Y. 4. Kathryn,
lives at Brasher Falls, N. Y.
The early life of John A. Cotter was spent on the old Cotter homestead and he attended St. Joseph's Academy at
Brasher Falls, from which he was graduated in 1911. After his graduation from Potsdam State Normal School in 1913
he entered St. Laurent College in Montreal, later taught school for two years, and in 1920 was graduated from Grand
Seminary, Montreal, being ordained to the priesthood during the same year. Father Cotter came to Ogdensburg as
a teacher of Latin in St. Mary's Academy, and two years later received the appointment as principal of the institution.
Father Cotter is chaplain of the St. Lawrence State Hospital, having served in that capacity since 1920. He is
also identified with the Knights of Columbus.
The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932