Thursday, October 4, 2012

Luvelia Cotton (1896-1956)

   This interestingly named man is Mr. Luvelia Cotton, a lifelong resident of Baker County, Georgia who served a short term in his state's House of Representatives during the mid 1950s. Little could be found online in regards to this oddly named Georgia resident, and the only available biographical resource on him is a brief mention in the Georgia Official and Statistical Register of 1955-56. This reference work also yielded the rare portrait of him shown above. 
  Luvelia Cotton was born in the town Milford, Baker County, Georgia on October 31, 1896, the firstborn son of John H. and Josephine Musgrove Cotton. Luvelia received his education in the common schools of Baker County and graduated from the local high school in 1913. He later continued his education at the Sparks Collegiate Institute in Cook County, Georgia, attending that school from 1914-1915.
   Luvelia Cotton married in December 1917 to Ms. Emma Rushie Weathersby (1897-1979) with whom he had four children, Lewis Pershing (1918-2002), Lorene (1920-2007), Mary L. (born 1921) and Frank M. (1923-1965). A veteran of the First World War, Cotton served overseas with Co. F, 105th Engineers Regiment
  From the few details that are available on him, Luvelia Cotton's life was centered in the private sector, and he is mentioned as being employed by the J.P. Baker Co. from 1921-1924. The Georgia Official Register also makes note of him being a school teacher and retired lumberman before his stint in the legislature, but this book fails to elaborate on where he taught school or what lumber outfit he was employed with. 
  In addition to the above activities, Cotton was elected as Baker County Commissioner in 1949 and served in this post until 1952, and in an interesting political-familial coincidence, Luvelia's father John had held that same office from 1915-1916! In 1954 Luvelia Cotton was elected as a Democrat to the Georgia State House of Representatives, officially taking his seat in January 1955. A roster from the 1955 Register bearing Cotton's name and dates of service has been posted below.

  Cotton's service in the Georgia legislature lasted just one term, and he died in office on March 19, 1956 at age 59. He was subsequently interred at the Patmos Free Will Baptist Church Cemetery in Patmos, Baker County, Georgia. His wife Emma survived her husband by over twenty years, dying in March 1979 at age 82, and was also buried in the above-mentioned cemetery.

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