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Royal Cottle


Posted By: volunteer transcriber
Date: 10/23/2004 at 11:54:45

In Response To: Ira Cottle (volunteer transcriber)


Migration from Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, California
Willow Glen Pioneer Fruit Grower

Surnames:Lowe, Parker, Hight, Weatherford,Erick, Bryant

A sturdy pioneer of high ideals and plenty of inspiring confidence in the region of his adoption was the late Royal Cottle, whose good works will long continue their uplifting influence. A native of Missouri, and of St. CharlesCounty, he was born on March 27, 1810, the son of Oliver Cottle, who had married Miss Charity Lowe, a native of Vermont. Grandfather Cottle, also a Vermonter, had pitched his tent in Missouri so early that it yet belonged to the Province of Louisiana, and built a mill on Garden creek, in St. Charles County.

Charity Lowe was a belle of Tennessee, and she and Oliver Cottle were married, according to primitive documents, in Missouri. They had twelve children, and Royal was the eldest, and when his father died of yellow fever while on a trip through the South, he led the way, with his mother and the rest of the family, in 1833, into Des Moines County, Iowa, where they became some of the earliest pioneers of the Hawkeye State.

There, too, on October 12, 1841, he and Miss Sarah Parker, a daughter of Ohio, were united in marriage, and two children were born to them---Frank and Charles. In 1847, the Cottles joined 100 or more emigrants and crossed the great plains to the Oregon Territory, and in that state Mr. Cottle continued agricultural pursuits, and he also devoted part of his time to a small grist and saw mill, in which he had a partnership interest. A daughter, Sarah Cordlia Cottle, who later married Chas. Hight, was born during these pioneer days in Oregon, and there Mrs. Cottle passed away on the eighteenth of December, 1848.

The discovery of gold in California brought Mr.Cottle south with the rest of the Argonauts; and having joined John S. David in partnership, they built and opened a store in Sacramento. They paid $700 per thousand for lumber, and gave the day laborer ten dollars for his help. After a short time, however, Mr. Cottle sold out his interest to his partner, and in the fall of 1849 ,made his way back to Oregon, where he believed the more stable conditions superior to those of the panicky gold regions.

In1857, however, he came once more to California and settled in San Jose, this time bringing his family. Before leaving the Beaver state, however, he had taken his second wife, Miss Mary Bryant before her marriage; and among their four children, Mrs. Annette Weatherford, Royal, Jr., and Mrs. Alice Erick, were the three to grow to maturity. The former is the only one to survive.

Mr. Cottle did not remain long in San Jose, but went to Gilroy, and from there to San Benito, where he bought a stock ranch; and having sold this, he purchased 140 acres of land in the Willow district, and there set up his hearth. He paid only $15 per acre for his tract, which has become of such appreciated bvalue by his improvements, that in the late '80s it was assessed at $1,200 per acre. He later bought additional land, and became one of the pioneer grain-growers of the neighborhood, and he was also one of the first hereabouts to grow successfullyand extensively various kinds of fruit, and to have an orchard that was a show-place.

Leading an active industrial and business life, Mr. Cottle became prominent in public affairs, and as early as 1853 he was elected to the Oregon Legislature. He was a Whig of the Henry Clay school until the great movement began for a new organization, and then he naturally became one of the founders of the Republican party. Having staked his all in the last section of his choice for a home, he donated the site for the first public school in Willow Glen district; and for many years he served as one of the school trustees of the local institution, in whose elementary classes all of his younger sons and daughter, and also his grandchildren, were educated. Sad enough is it to relate, therefore, of one whose life was so exemplary and fuitful for others, that RoyalCottle ,met with an accident in the summer of 1891 which terminated his useful career. He was driving near his home in The Willows when his horse ran away, and the result of the injuries which he received was fatal. He was laid to rest in the Oak Hill Cemetery, mourned by hundreds, and his memory will be kept green, particularly by the Santa Clara Pioneer Association , of which he was an honored member.

Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 411

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