Biography of Dr. Tolman W. Cotton
DR. TOLMAN W. COTTON. Among those of Carter County, Missouri, who successfully follow the “healing art” as a profession is Dr. Tolman W. Cotton, who was born on the old home place in Reynolds County August 12, 1868.
His grandfather, Aaron Cotton, was a native Tennessean, who came to Missouri about 1844, and took up his home in Reynolds County. He was already quite an aged man when he came to this State, and here was passed the remainder of his days. He and his wife, Nancy, reared a large family of children, who grew up honorable men and women. His son, S. W. Cotton, was born in Tennessee in February, 1830, and was about fourteen years of age when he came with his father to this county. Here he finished his growth and assisted his father on the farm until his marriage with Miss Mary A. Barnes, of a prominent family of this county. During the late unpleasantness between the North and South Mr. Cotton enlisted in the Confederate Army and served all through the war with Gens. Price and Marmaduke. He was taken prisoner and was kept in the prisons at St. Louis and Alton. Like his father he selected agricultural pursuits as his occupation in life and in that calling met with fair success. His political views were Democratic. His death occurred in February, 1892, but Mrs. Cotton is still living. To their marriage were born these children: Vetile died young; Lee is a physician at Piedmont, Missouri; Connor is a teacher in the State of Washington, and also a farmer; Jennie, wife of A. Mann, of Reynolds County; Tolman W., subject; Tellie, wife of Walter Massie, of Carter County; Tanie; and Vest, who is in the State of Washington.
On the old farm in Reynolds County our subject passed his early life, and his education was received in the district school. At the age of eighteen he began teaching in summer and fall and attending school in winter. He taught seven schools. Later he took up the study of medicine with Dr. L. W. Cotton, and subsequently entered Missouri Medical College and Beaumont Medical College, graduating with honor in the class of 1893. He then established his practice in Van Buren, and is doing well. The Doctor is a Royal Arch Mason, and, at present, master of Van Buren Lodge A. F. & A. M. He was one of the two representatives of the lodge in the Grand Lodge of Missouri in 1893. Although a single man, the Doctor is wedded to his profession and gives it all his time and attention. He is a pension surgeon of the county, examiner for three insurance companies and a member of the Southeast Missouri Medical Association, and at present counselor for the county. He serves in the dual capacity of druggist and physician at Van Buren, and carries on the business established by his brother in 1888. For three years the Doctor attended Farmington College and the College of Gravelton for a year, and is a young physician of more than ordinary ability. He has already acquired a flattering reputation as a physician, has proved himself a man of energy and uprightness, and has many friends.