Funeral services for Gordon A. Cotton who died March 7, 2021 at Heritage House Nursing Home will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at Glenwood Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 12:00 p.m. until the hour of the service. Burial will follow in Jordan’s Chapel Cemetery on Campbell’s Swamp Road. Charlie Mitchell will deliver the eulogy, assisted by Dr. Reid Bishop, pastor of Little Flock Primitive Baptist Church, and Rev. Michael Herrin, pastor of Yokena Presbyterian Church. Pallbearers will be David Browman, Cole Bishop, Joe Gay, Jim Watt, John McHan, and Tommy Lofton.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Ian Brown, Pat Cashman, Lisa Anglin Counts, Karen Gamble, Lenore Barkley, Leon Pantenburg, Randy McCollum, Sandra Melsheimer, Charles Riles, and Dee Hyland.
Cotton, 84, was a former teacher and journalist and a retired curator/director of the Old Court House Museum-Eva W. Davis Memorial. He also authored books on local history.
He was a 13th generation Southerner and a seventh generation Mississippian, his Perkins ancestors arriving in Spanish Mississippian in 1879, helping to establish the first church in the territory, Salem, which was Primitive Baptist, a denomination he joined when he was 19.
He loved genealogy and traced many branches of his family to Europe. His mother’s people were basically French (which he said was why he liked good wine) and on his father’s family his eighth great-grandfather was the second Anglican minister in America. The Cottons came from North Carolina to Adams County about 1820 and then to Warren County in 1837.
His love of local history was evident not just in his writing and research but also in his work in helping to restore Asbury and Old Hopewell cemeteries and was sexton of Antioch Cemetery.
He had a penchant for cats and, also for politics, consistently supporting Ronald Reagan, Ron Paul, and Donald Trump. In history, his first love, he admired most Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest.
He attended local schools, Jefferson Davis Academy and Jett High School. He graduated from Southwest Mississippi Junior College, attended Harding College, and earned BA and MA degrees from Mississippi College. He left school for a year and lived in Alaska (“Because I just thought I was tired of hot weather”).
Cotton taught school at Jett, Redwood, Holmes Junior College and Warren Central. He got his start in journalism working for Mary D. Cain at The Summit Sun, worked for the Keiths at The Hinds County Gazette, and was a reporter and feature writer for the Vicksburg Evening Post when the Cashmans owned it and Charlie Faulk was editor. He later wrote features for the Vicksburg Daily News. He was associated with the Post full-time or part-time for 48 years. He was curator/director of the Old Court House-Eva W. Davis Memorial for 30 years and returned there on a part-time basis.
He was a member and deacon of Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church and, also attended Yokena Presbyterian Church. He was a member of First Families of Mississippi, the Vicksburg and Warren Historical Society, the Mississippi Historical Society, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
He was born April 4, 1936 at 20 minutes past midnight in the family home on Campbell’s Swamp Road near Yokena. He was the son of George Alfred and Eva Morgan Cotton, who preceded him in death as did his two sisters, Marguerite Jean Cotton Forbes and Sallie Cotton and, also two nephews and a niece, Pat and Michael Forbes and Karla Forbes McDaniel.
Survivors include two nephews, Tommy and Jeff Forbes of Yokena, and a godson Lane Berg and his wife Chessie and son Micah of Mountain View, Ark. He was related to the Batchelor, Blackburn, Hullum, Lee, Luckett, Mendrop, Stevens and other families.
Memorials may be made to Antioch Cemetery Association, c/o Jim Hullum, 8369 Campbell’s Swamp Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180.
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