The Cottle Family Collection consists of correspondence, writings,
printed materials, photographs, legal and financial documents, and postal
memorabilia -stamps and cancelLed envelopes. The majority of correspondence
tells news of family and friends. Financial documents include a detailed
account of John Loving's outfit for his trip to California in 1853, and tuition
receipts for Zora Cottle's children's schools.
The Cottles were Oakdale, Stanislaus County (Calif.) ranchers from the
early 1850s. Zora Cottle (1837-1894) settled with his wife, Catherine, and
nephew, Francis Marion Cottle (d. 1916) on the Stanislaus River. They purchased
an interest in a ferry and ran large herds of cattle. Francis Marion Cottle
married Harriet L. Kennedy (1869), purchased his own land and raised fruit. A
son, Francis Marion Cottle Jr. (d. 1971) served in World War I. He was employed
by the Westend Chemical Company when the family ranch was lost during the Great
Collection is open for research.