"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Cottrell, Alson W. proprietor of Happy Hillside Farm in the town of Birch, Lincoln County, was born in Waushara County, Dec. 10, 1869, son of George G. and Dydia ( NARAMORE) COTTRELL. Both parents were natives of New York State, the father born on a farm near Brookfield, Aug. 15, 1833, and the mother at Jamestown, Sept. 4, 1835. The first American ancestor of the Cottrell family settled in Rhode Island in early colonial times. George G. COTTRELL was a cooper by trade. He was married to Lydia A. NARAMORE at Cherry Creek, N. Y., Jan. 29, 1854, and they resided there till 1859, when they came west to Wisconsin, locating at Waukau, Winnebago County. There Mr. COTTRELL followed his trade for 30 years, at the end of which time he moved with his family to Poy Sippi, Waushara County, Wis., settling on wild land with the object of developing a farm. Having made a small clearing, he built a log house, but instead of further developing that place he sold it and bought another farm which had been slightly improved, a little clearing having been made and one or two small frame buildings erected. On that place he remained about 20 years, at the end of which time he traded it for a 160-acre farm in the town of Russell, Lincoln County, and on this latter farm he resided from 1896 to 1905. In the year last mentioned he again sold, this time buying a 100-acre farm in the town of Birch, Lincoln County, two miles southeast of the village of Irma. This latter place was his home until 1908 when he again sold out and went to the city of Lynchburg, Va., in which place his wife Lydia died Aug. 29, 1910. In the fall of that year George C. COTTRELL returned to Lincoln County, Wisconsin, where he lived for some six years or more afterwards, dying at Irma, March 29, 1917. He and his wife had ten children, two of whom died in infancy. The others were as follows: George H., born at Alden, N. Y., Nov. 10, 1855, who died at Whitcomb, Shawano County, Wis.; Carrie F., born Aug. 3, 1859 at Cherry Creek, N. Y., now Mrs. Elmer BULLOCK of that place; Gaius E., born Dec. 3, 1861, at Waukau, Wis., and now living at Irma, Wis.; Marcus L., May 19, 1864, at Waukau, Wis., now a minister in the Christian Church at Florence, S. C.; Carl C., born Feb. 21, 1867 at Omro, Wis., who resides in Poy Sippe, Wis.; Alson W., subject of this sketch; Paul, born in the town of Poy Sippi, Waushara County, Wis.; and Willett S., born in the same town June 15, 1877, who died on the same day as his brother Paul, both of diphtheria. Alson W. COTTRELL was educated in the rural school of the district he resided in when a boy. He remained with his parents, helping his father in the latter's agricultural operations and became part owner with his father of the farm in the town of Birch, this county, remaining so until the family removed to Virginia in 1908, at which time he bought the latter's interest. In the meanwhile he had married and he and his wife accompanied his parents to Virginia, but not liking that part of the country, they remained there but a short time, going instead to Aylmer, Ontario, she being a native of that province. At Orwell, near that place they bought a house with five acres of land, but remained there less that a year, when they came back to Lincoln County, Wisconsin and bought a tract of 16 acres in the town of Birch, adjoining Irma. There were only poor buildings on it and so in 1912 Mr. COTTRELL erected a substantial and well planned house, installed with gas lights and steam heat. In 1915 he built a good dairy barn with a built-in silo and which has full steel equipment and running water in each stall. Since he bought this place he has acquired additional land, so that he now has 75 acres. With the valuable assistance of his wife, he carries on general farming and dairying and also manufacturers high grade ice cream, selling wholesale to dealers in Tomahawk and Merrill. His cattle are pure-breed and high grade Jerseys. Mr. COTTRELL'S marriage, which took place at Bradley, S. D., Dec. 14, 1892, united him with May Emily GRADSDEN, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin GRANSDEN, of Vienna, Ont.; she was born Aug. 18, 1874. When she was two years old she passed under the care of foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert MCKENNEY, with whom she went to Bradley, S. D., where she was reared. Her father is still living and resides at Aylmer, Ontario. After her marriage she resided with her husband with his parents' on their farm in Waushara County, subsequently moving with them from place to place until they found themselves in Lynchburg, Va., as previously narrated, since which time their movements have been independent. Mr. and Mrs. COTTRELL have had 14 children, Harvey L., Evelyn L., Willett, Russell Lincoln, Adelia May, Mary, Howard B., Mildred V., Bessie M., Earl L., Jessie D., Mina T., an infant who died unnamed, and Bonnie Jean. The eldest child and son, Harvey L., born Sept. 29, 1893, was drafted into the U. S. Army in July, 1918 and trained at Camp Grant, Illinois. He became a member of the 311th Engineer Corps; went overseas early in September, 1918 and was stationed at Bordeaux, France. After being abroad ten months he returned to the United States July 13, 1919 and was discharged at Camp Grant July 7, that year. Before going into the army he had married Helen HILL, who was born at Omro, Wis., and who died while her husband was in France. Evelyn L. COTTRELL, born Nov. 1, 1894, was married May 22, 1912, to William BARTMAN of Irma, Wis., and has four children, Clifford, Esther, Helen and Vincent. Willett, born March 7, 1896, died in infancy. Russell Lincoln, born Aug. 9, 1897, was married Sept. 20, 1922, to Selma HIGGINS of Tomahawk, in which place they now live. Adelia May, born Jan. 13, 1899, died in infancy, as also did Mary, born Nov. 5, 1901. The other surviving children, who all reside on the home farm with their parents, were born as follows: Howard B., Oct. 29, 1902; Mildred V., Aug. 15, 1904; Bessie M., Oct. 5, 1906; Earl L., May 30, 1908; Jessie D., July 12, 1910; Nina T., May 15, 1912, and Bonnie Jean Aug. 18, 1915. The religious faith of the family is that of the Baptist Church, of which the parents and the older children are members. Mr. COTTRELL served as a member of his town board in the towns of Russell and Birch. He has for years been an advocate of prohibition, but in general politics is independent, voting for the man rather that with the party.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 585-586; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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