Family Stories

Thomas Gess Cotton, Biography

Thomas Gess Cotton was born October 31, 1818, in Fayette County, Kentucky.  In 1838 he removed to Danville, Boyle County, and in 1848 located four miles west of that city on the Lebanon Pike, where he has since resided.  His father, George Cotton, born near Athens, Fayette County, was a farmer and miller, and died in 1822, while a comparatively young man.  He was the son of Harry Cotton of Maryland; a soldier in the Revolutionary War, a contemporary with Daniel Boone in Kentucky; a farmer and slave owner who died in 1823.  His children were Susan (Hudson); Almede; Mrs. Captain Fintch of Covington; George and Mrs. Jones.  George married Susan Gess of Fayette County (died in 1839, aged forty-two years), and from their union sprang Mary (Oldham), Thomas G. and George, Jr.  On September 17, 1848, Thomas G. Cotton married Miss Lucy, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Templeman) Wilson, of Boyle County (born May 15, 1826), and to them have been born Susan (Collingsworth); John Templeman; Mary P. (Cowherd); Samuel Wilson; David and Robert (twins); Minnie; Stella Lee; Lou W. and Belle I.  For ten years Mr. Cotton conducted a merchant tailoring establishment with success in Danville.  He is now engaged in farming, having 155 acres of land in fine condition.  His family are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and in politics Mr. Cotton is a Democrat.  He lost eighteen slaves by the late war.  Lucy (Wilson) Cotton’s father, Samuel Wilson, was born three miles west of Danville, January 15, 1786; was a soldier in the War of 1812, and died July 12, 1870.  His father was the first settler in the vicinity of Danville, and his stone dwelling is now standing, with it old port-holes intact, constructed when Indians were numerous and dangerous.  He was a Revolutionary soldier and an Indian fighter in Kentucky.

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