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Mrs. Harriet L. Cottle

MRS. HARRIET L. COTTLE.A broad-minded pioneer, Mrs. Harriet L. Cottle has the blessing, at the age of seventy-three, despite her enviable record as the head of a large household upon a bonanza farm and the mother of three worthy sons, of being hale and hearty, willing and able to dispense much charity. 

She was born in Harrison County, Mo., on April 6, 1848, the daughter of John and Catherine (Hight) Kennedy, and as a girl of nine years, she accompanied her parents across the plains to California in 1857, just two weeks ahead of the ill-fated Mountain Meadow massacre, where they settled at Gold Springs, in Tuolumne County. There, two weeks later, Mr. Kennedy died: and her mother was left a widow with six children, three of the nine she had had being grown up and married.

Harriet Kennedy attended some of the earliest of California schools, including a private school at Gold Springs, and the first public school at Columbia, a large brick building still standing. Her father was a native of Pennsylvania, and was born near Philadelphia in 1803 her mother, on the other hand, first saw the light five years later, in Juniata County., near Mifflin, in the same state. The father was a carpenter and builder, and he also owned 160 acres of land in Missouri, which be farmed. His father, John Kennedy, was a native of Ireland, migrated to America and died in Pennsylvania. He had married Eliza Graham, a native of Northern Ireland, of Scotch descent.

During her twenty-first year, Miss Kennedy married Francis M. Cottle, whose interesting life-story is given elsewhere in this volume. In partnership with his uncle, Zora Cottle, and Archibald Leach, he owned the Leach & Cottle ferry on the Stanislaus River, two miles east of where Oakdale is located: and this ferry he and his uncle operated for several years. More and more, however, Mr. Cottle became interested in farming, and at one time he owned some 900 acres where they now live, and about 1,100 acres on the north side of Stanislaus River, west of Burnett Station. They moved to Mrs. Cottle's present place in the fall of 1872, and there Mr. Cottle made valuable improvements in the erection of several buildings. On December 6, 1916, he passed to his eternal reward, revered and beloved by all who knew him, and the father of four children: Annie died in 1882, when ten years old; Ira S. was born in 1875: Zora in 1877, and Francis Marion in 1887, who served in the heavy artillery in the great World War and became sergeant. They now operate the home place.

Source:  History of Stanislaus County California with Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified with Its Growth and Development From the Early Days to the Present  by George H. Tinkham, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles California   1921.

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