~ STEWART COTTER ~
Related Surnames - CASSADAY, CLINE, DYNES, WILSON, McNALLY, FERGUSON
A goodly proportion of the old settlers of Jackson County, after lives of patient industry
and economy are now enabled to rest upon their oars and spend their declining years in
ease and retirement from active labor. Among these may be prominently mentioned Mr.
Cotter who has been amply blest with this world's goods, and occupies a pleasant home
in the town of Sterling. Personally, he is genial and affable, a man calculated to make
very many warm friends wherever it may be his lot to sojourn. He is widely and favorably
known throughout the southern part of this county as one of its most honored and useful
The native place of our subject was the city of Hamilton, Canada West, now the Province of
Ontario, where his birth occurred Dec. 18, 1829. He is of Irish descent on both sides of
the house, his father, John Cotter, having been born in County Down, Ireland, and his
mother is from County Derry, Ireland. The former crossed the Atlantic alone when a lad of
thirteen years, and settled in New Brunswick, it taking sixteen weeks to cross the ocean.
Upon reaching man's estate, he was married to Miss Mary Cassady in New Brunswick, and
they became the parents of nine children. Four of these are living, namely: Hugh C.,
John, Stewart, our subject, and Horatio N. One son, James W., died in Hamilton, Feb. 14,
1889, in the seventy-first year of his age. A daughter, Mary L., Mrs. Cline, died after
one year of married life. John Cotter departed from the scenes of his earthly labors
about 1845, and his wife, Mary, in 1882.
The subject of this notice left the Dominion in March, 1860, and coming to this county
occupied himself at farming during the following summer. In the fall he took up a tract
of land on section 16 in Iowa Township, and where he as since lived. In the meantime he
had been married in Canada, Jan. 1, 1857, to Miss Alice E., daughter of Samuel Dynes.
Mrs. Cotter was born at Burlington Beach, near Hamilton, Canada, Jan. 17, 1831, and was
one of eleven children comprising the family of her parents, and of whom eight are living,
namely: John, James, Joseph, Charles, Sarah, Mary, Amelia and Alice. The mother of Mrs.
Cotter, who was in her girlhood Miss Wilson, was a native of New Jersey, and spent her
last years near Hamilton, Canada.
Our subject and his young wife resided in Canada three years after their marriage, then
came to this county which has since been their home. Their union has been blest by the
birth of five children, namely: Kate A., Florence J., Margaret A., James S., and John S.
The eldest daughter is the wife of Frank McNally of Ida Grove, Iowa, and they have had two
children, only one of whom is living, a daughter, Alice A. Miss Maggie Cotter married
Chauncey Ferguson of Savanna, Ill., and they live in Savanna. The other children are at
home with their parents.
Mr. Cotter in politics is a sound Republican. He has held the offices of Constable,
Justice of the Peace, and Township Trustee. His estimable wife is a member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, and socially, Mr. Cotter belongs to the Patrons of Husbandry.
His farm embraces 150 acres of land, and is located on section 16 in Iowa Township. It is
now rented, and is the source of a comfortable income.
("Portrait and Biographical Album of Jackson County, Iowa", originally published
in 1889, by the Chapman Brothers, of Chicago, Illinois.)