James A. Cotton

J. A. Cotton came to Hannaford, North Dakota in 1918 from St. Paul, Minnesota where he owned and operated Barber shop and pool hall.  In Hannaford he owned and operated a lunch counter in the Pool Hall for about one year.

Moving to the building owned by Mr. Claus Jackson, the Hannaford Cafeteria was established.  Also parties and other catering services.  Home baked goods were served and sold.  Complete fountain service, fancy candies: 

bulk and box.  A large stock on hand at all times.  In 1919, Miss Anna O'Banion, who knew Mr. Cotton in St. Paul, joined him in business as pastry cook, waitress, and sales lady.  April 3, 1920, Miss O'Banion became Mrs. Cotton remaining in Hannaford until moving to Chicago and engaged in groceries and meat market leaving a host of loyal friends in Hannaford.

The early part of 1919 Mr. Cotton saved the life of a young boy (Weisman) who was swimming in back of the cafeteria just at noontime in Bald Hill Creek.  When the cry for help was heard, Mr. Cotton answered his cry, jumped into the water fully clothed as he was going down for the third time, pulling him to shore.  The Cottons were loyal members of the community helping whoever they could in every way they could.  Mrs. Cotton can never forget the happy times spent in Hannaford.

Mr. Cotton passed away in Chicago 1941.  Mrs. Cotton remained in Chicago until 1950.  Their foster daughter Miss LaVern Cotton was attending Teachers College finishing that year.  Mrs. Cotton moved to her native state and town, Maysville, Kentucky.

Recollection from a local resident recalls one time several young men from town were swimming and diving from the north side of bridge into creek.  (This was after the flash flood in 1921 and the current was swift and formed a whirlpool on South side of bridge.)  Peter Falstad dived and was caught in the current, which carried him into the whirlpool.  Mr. Cotton, a good swimmer and a strong man, dived in and rescued Peter from drowning.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 131

 
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