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Thomas P. Cottam collection Edit


WASH 014
Finding Aid Author
Amber J. D'Ambrosio
Finding Aid Date
2014 April 23
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description


  • 1882-1937 (Creation)


  • 3.25 Linear Feet (Whole)
    4 flat boxes and 1 manuscript box

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  • Abstract

    The Thomas P. Cottam collection includes ten account and record books for various entities and projects with which he was involved in St. George, a license certificate for the St. George Coop, and items removed from the account books.

  • Biographical/Historical note

    Thomas Punter Cottam was born in Salt Lake City on September 28, 1857. The Cottam family moved to St. George in 1862. In 1901, he was chosen as first counselor to President Edward H. Snow of the St. George Stake, a position he held for many years. He also served as an assistant to President David H. Cannon of the St. George Temple. When President Cannon died in December of 1924, Thomas Cottam succeeded him as Temple President. As a master plasterer, he created molds that could be used to decorate the St. George Temple and other buildings in town. Cottam served as a member of the St. George City Council for eleven years and as mayor of St. George from January 6, 1900 to January 1904. He also served as Assessor and Collector for Washington County for a number of years and was a member of the Utah Legislature from 1905 to 1908. Thomas P. Cottam passed away on March 16, 1926.

  • Scope and Contents

    The Thomas P. Cottam collection includes record and account books kept for several ventures, a license certificate for the St. George Coop, a deed, and a piece of paper found in one of the tax record books. Three of the account books were kept by Cottam when he was the Washington County Assessor and Collector and are believed to be his personal records of assessed values and taxes owed or paid rather than the official county records. Among the other record books are those for the St. George Tanning and Manufacturing Company, which was promoted by Cottam and for which he was also a major stockholder. The project was a second attempt at running a tannery in the northwest section of St. George and ultimately failed. There is also an account book for the Webb Ditch, which is believed to be the area of St. George just south of what is now the River Road bridge, the bench now known as St. James Place or Cottam Bench.

    The other record and account books include Thomas Cottam's account book for building the original Dixie Stake Academy building; an account book that records donations to the Salt Lake Temple, Manti Temple, and other causes; a monthly time diary that was used to record the hours and/or days worked on the Dixie Stake Academy and projects on the tabernacle and temple grounds; and George Woodward's account book that records his contributions to the Woodward School, the town hearse, and other dealings.

  • Arrangement

    Organized into series by subject.

  • Preferred Citation

    Item description & date, MC 14 Thomas P. Cottam collection, Dixie State University Special Collections & Archives.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open to researchers by appointment. This collection contains fragile documents that may require special handling and care. The archivist will make the final decision regarding access to fragile materials. The ledger for the construction of the Dixie Stake Academy building has been digitized and can be made available in the reading room upon request.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Reproduction and use of the materials in this collection are subject to copyright law. Dixie State University Library Special Collections and Archives holds the copyright to unpublished material in the collection that is not in the public domain. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from the Special Collections Librarian and Archivist and a correct citation provided. A user may be asked to submit a "Request for one-time use of photocopies or reproductions" form in order to obtain reproductions.