George F. Cotterill photograph collection, approximately 1870-1945  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Collector
Cotterill, George F. (George Fletcher), 1865-1958
Title
George F. Cotterill photograph collection
Dates
approximately 1870-1945 (inclusive)
Quantity
766 photographic prints in 7 boxes and 6 oversize folders (2.06 cubic feet)
Collection Number
PH0211
Summary
Photographs of family members and family events of a Seattle civil servant, elected official, moral reformer, surveyor and engineer
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Additional Reference Guides

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Civil servant, elected official, moral reformer, surveyor, and engineer, George Fletcher Cotterill helped shape the city of Seattle in the literal as well as the figurative sense.

Cotterill was born in England to Alice and Robert Cotterill on Nov. 18, 1865. In 1872, the Cotterill family immigrated to the United States and settled in Montclair, New Jersey. Cotterill graduated from high school as class valedictorian in 1881, and studied surveying and engineering under the tutelage of a New Jersey county engineer for the next three years. During this time he participated in the platting and construction of Arlington cemetery.

Cotterill migrated to the Pacific Northwest in 1884. For several years he worked as a surveyor on various land, mining, and railroad projects before being hired by surveyor R.H. Thomson. With Thomson, Cotterill surveyed for the city's first sewer system and platted additions to rapidly expanding Seattle. When Thomson was appointed city engineer in 1882, Cotterill became his assistant. Among his responsibilities as assistant city engineer, Cotterill was assigned to the city water department and became instrumental in the development of the Cedar River water supply. The city, needing a fresher and less expensive source of water than the Lake Washington pumping system, approved the Cedar River gravity system in the mid 1890s. At the time, the city was out of funds to pay for the new water system, and Cotterill, a member of the task force responsible for improving Seattle's water supply, proposed the novel revenue bond system for municipal ownership of public utilities. The first of its kind in the United States, this public utilities plan was approved by citizen vote in 1896. Cotterill was also involved in the project to convert the tide flats south of the city into property capable of development.

Cotterill's advocacy of public utilities drew him into the political arena. In 1900 the nonpartisan party, through which he was promoting public utilities, nominated him for mayor. Cotterill accepted the nomination contingent on backing from the Democratic Party, which he received, and he ran as a Democratic candidate. Though Cotterill had grown up a Republican, the recent campaign of William Jennings Bryan had made him a Democrat. Cotterill did not win this election or the next, but in 1906 he ran for the state senate and won. One of his principal accomplishments while in office was the framing of the successful amendment to the Washington State constitution recognizing female suffrage. Because of this amendment, he recalled later with pride, his mother had been able to cast a ballot for the first time at the age of 75. Cotterill received the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 1908 and again in 1910, but lost both times.

In 1912 Cotterill again ran for mayor, this time on a platform demanding moral reform. In an "open" city where vice had flourished since the Klondike gold rush, his campaign targeted Hiram Gill's legacy of graft in city government as well as rampant prostitution and gambling houses. Cotterill won this election, helped in part by the new ability of women to vote. Cotterill's term was punctuated by conflict and controversy, due to corruption in municipal government and the police department, labor unrest, an unsympathetic Seattle Times , and other causes. He regularly confronted opposition to his moral reform agenda, which was for the most part driven by strong temperance beliefs.

At the center of Cotterill's commitment to moral reform was his life-long crusade on behalf of temperance. His parents had joined the United Kingdom Temperance Alliance in 1865, consequently indoctrinating Cotterill from birth. As a child in England, Cotterill attended the local chapter his mother had formed of the Band of Hope, an organization for children's temperance education. Cotterill attended his first convention of the International Order of Good Templars in 1897 and remained involved in this organization for the rest of his life. He served for a time as Grand Secretary of the Washington State division and later as Chief Templar of the national division. In addition to his work with the Templars, he was a member of the Anti-Saloon League. In 1909, Cotterill was appointed by President Taft as U.S. representative to the International Congress against Alcoholism; in 1913 President Wilson reappointed him.

Cotterill did not seek a second term as mayor; instead he worked as a surveyor and engineer in private practice. From 1916 to 1919 he served as chief engineer of the state Highway Department. He returned to Seattle politics in 1922, running for Seattle port commissioner. He won, and served four consecutive three-year terms, 1922 to 1934.

Following his port commissioner post, Cotterill ran unsuccessfully for at least five various city and state offices between 1932 and 1951. He also ran for governor in 1928. Besides these campaigns, Cotterill worked a variety of jobs. Many of these were temporary positions, such as his position as consultant to the State Planning Council, and Cotterill faced some financial difficulty during the depression. He met with marginal success in his endeavors to get work under the WPA, in large part due to his advanced age. But Cotterill kept working, retiring at 84 only because he was forced out of his job as draftsman in the King County Assessor's office by a new county regulation of compulsory retirement for all employees over 70.

Cotterill was also active civically. He was a founding member of the Queen City Good Roads Club, and served as chairman of the paths committee. He was responsible for designing, surveying, and laying out over 25 miles of bicycle paths throughout Seattle, which became the basis of the city's boulevard system. He also wrote on Seattle and Northwest history, and in 1928 he published The Climax of a World Quest , a history of Puget Sound.

Cotterill's entire immediate family eventually migrated to the Puget Sound area. Cotterill married Cora Gormley in 1890, and in 1892 daughter Ruth was born. Ruth died in 1900, and George and Cora had no more children of their own. They did, however, raise a niece, Marjorie Avery nee Smith, as a foster daughter. Cora died in 1936 and Cotterill later married Katherine Owens. He died in 1958, at 92.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Black and white mounted and unmounted photographs of the Cotterill family (Frank, George, and Cora), relatives, friends, residences, and social events such as picnicking, children playing, and Christmas. Group photographs of professional associations in which George Cotterill participated; photographs of landscape scenery and buildings. The collection also includes a few photographs taken by Anders B. Wilse depicting soldiers returning from the Spanish American War, circa 1898; and a few formal group portraits probably taken on the East coast, circa 1870s-1880s.

The collection also includes two family albums. Album 1 is entitled "Kodak souvenirs of out trip to Stockholm in 1902." Album 2 includes family pictures from the early 20th century. Many of the formal portraits and other photographs are taken by Washington photographers: Wilse, Moore, Bailey, James and Merrihew, Jacobs, James and Bushnell, La Roche, Rogers (Olympia), Curtis, Boyd, Judkins, Bardo and Mills, Eggan, Faber, Ball and Sons, W.E. Wing (Spokane), Partridge (Portland), and David Smith. All photographs dated circa 1870s to 1910.

Also includes images from George F. Cotterill's trips to Europe. In the summer of 1905 Cotterill visited Belgium, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, as well as stopped in Colorado, Illinios, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, and Wyoming, made up of 292 prints and 294 negatives. In the summer of 1902 Cotterill traveled through Europe with visits to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland. Included in the three-hundred and thirty-four prints are stops in Delevan, WI; Montclair, NJ; Seattle, WA; and Queenstown, NY.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1 Portraits of George F. Cotterill, Cora Cotterill, Robert and Alice Cotterill, Frank Cotterill, Roland Cotterill, Ronald Cotterill, Ruth Cotterill, Fred Shoals, Shoals and Forehand families circa 1870-1910
2 Portraits of Katharine Owen, the James family, and other family members and friends circa 1870-1910
3 Portraits, album of trip to Stockholm, localities, ribbons and emblems, unidentified family members, and documents circa 1870-1910
4 Unidentified portraits circa 1870-1910
4 Broadway, New York City
Looking north from Wall Street by G.F.C.
July 14, 1897
4 Home of Mrs. T.L. Howe, Delevan, WI undated
4 Home of Henry E. and Theodore Kelsey, Honolulu, HI undated
4 Summit of Rockies
Westward from Hector Station across Wapta Lake by G.F.C.
June 19, 1897
4 Lava Flow, Kilauea Volcano, HI
Holiday greeting from Henry Evelyn Kelsey, born Sept. 21, 1851.
1937
4 Berne, Switzerland
View south from balcony on the Cathedral Tower, 150 ft. high by G.F.C.
June 25, 1897
4 Du Pont Exhibit, Europe undated
4 Fountain of Nations, Europe undated
4 Republique Francaise Building
Front and side views of building.
undated
4 Tour Eiffel, Paris April 1945
4 Trylon and Peris and Groupe of Statues undated
4 Unidentified landscapes and buildings
Sixty-seven prints of homes, mountains, and livestock without identification.
undated
5 Six images of George F. Cotterill's trip to Edmonton, Alberta
Photographer, A.V. Bouillon
December 11-12, 1910
5 1905 trip to Europe: Portland, OR, Montclair, NJ (9 negatives, 6 prints) June 23-28, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: New York City, Liverpool (20 negatives, 22 prints) June 28-July 7, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Queenstown, Liverpool, Birkenhead (12 negatives, 9 prints) July 7-8, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Birkenhead, Liverpool, Chester (10 negatives, 7 prints) July 8-10, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Chester, Lancashire, Blenhiem, Oxford (8 negatives, 12 prints) July 10-11, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: London (6 negatives, 4 prints) July 12-14, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Paris (10 negatives, 12 prints) July 15-16, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Paris (5 negatives, 5 prints) July 17, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Paris, Strasburg (7 negatives, 9 prints) July 17-18, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Strasburg, Heidelberg, Rhine (7 negatives, 20 prints) July 18-19, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Rhine, Stozenfels (7 negatives, 10 prints) July 19, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Rhine, Stolzenfels, Cologne, Brussels (8 negatives, 6 prints) July 19-20, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Brussels (10 negatives, 12 prints) July 21, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: London, Leeds, Durham Cathedral (12 negatives, 5 prints) July 21-24, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Newcastle, Melrose (4 negatives, 18 prints) July 25 - 26th, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Melrose, Edinburgh, Glasgow (6 negatives) July 26-27, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Edinburgh, Loch Lomond (8 negatives, 13 prints) July 28, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Ayr, Belfast (6 negatives) July 29-August 5, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Belfast, Dublin (10 negatives, 16 prints) Aug. 5-10, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Dublin, Killarney (11 negatives) Aug. 10-11, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Killarney (10 negatives) Aug. 11, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Killarney, Cork, Blarney (8 negatives, 29 prints) Aug. 11-12, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Cork, Blarney, Queenstown (8 negatives) Aug. 12, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Queenstown, N.Y., Hudson River (12 negatives, 11 prints) Aug. 13-20, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Hudson River (12 negatives, 17 prints) Aug. 20, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Hudson River, Niagara Falls (12 negatives, 10 prints) Aug. 20-21, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Niagara Falls (12 negatives, 11 prints) Aug. 21, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Niagara Falls, Denver (11 negatives, 7 prints) Aug. 21-24, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Denver, Colorado Springs (10 negatives, 11 prints) Aug. 24-27, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Marshall Pass (11 negatives, 14 prints) Aug. 26, 1905
5 1905 trip to Europe: Portland, Seattle (12 negatives, 8 prints) Aug. 29-Sept. 1905
5 1902 trip to Europe: New York Harbor (12 prints) undated
5 1902 trip to Europe: Montclair, NJ and Seattle, WA (10 prints) undated
5 1902 trip to Europe: Delavan, WI (10 prints) June 19, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Ocean Scenes (12 prints) June 25-July 4, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Scotland to Orkeys (11 prints) July 4, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Orkeys, Norwary Coast (12 prints) July 4, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Christiansand, Elsinore (11 prints) July 5-6, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Copenhagen, Stockholm (10 prints) July 6, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Stockholm (11 prints) undated
5 1902 trip to Europe: Trollhattan (11 prints) undated
5 1902 trip to Europe: Goethenburg, Copenhagen, Kiel (11 prints) July 19-21, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Kiel (11 prints) undated
5 1902 trip to Europe: Berlin, Dresden (11 prints) July 26, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Berlin, Potsdam (11 prints) undated
5 1902 trip to Europe: Dresden, Tetschen, Vienna (11 prints) July 27-29, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Vienna (11 prints) July 29, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Vienna (11 prints) July 30, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Semmering Pass (11 prints) undated
5 1902 trip to Europe: Vienna, Venice (10 prints) Aug. 1, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Venice, Milan (11 prints) Aug. 2-4, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Milan, Lake Como (9 prints) Aug. 4-5, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Italian Lakes - Como, Lugano, Maggiore (12 prints) Aug. 5, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Simplon Pass (11 prints) Aug. 6, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Simplon Pass, Rhone Glacier, Furka Pass (10 prints) Aug. 6-7, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Luzern (11 prints) Aug. 8-9, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Bruning Pass, Interlaken, Paris (12 prints) Aug. 9-11, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: London, Portsmouth, Leeds (5 prints) undated
5 1902 trip to Europe: Edinburgh, Glascow (10 prints) Aug. 19-20, 1902
5 1902 trip to Europe: Glasgow, Leeds (12 prints) undated
5 1902 trip to Europe: Skeffington, Billesden (10 prints) undated
5 1902 trip to Europe: Leicester, Birmingham (11 prints) undated
5 1902 trip to Europe: Wales, Liverpool, Queenstown, NY (12 prints) undated
5 Burial Grounds
Unidentified burial plots, headstones, and flowers for members of the Cotterill family, includes 10 prints and 30 negatives.
undated
6 Unidentified portraits circa 1870-1910
6 George F. Coterill portraits and group portraits circa 1870-1910
6 Professional Associations: I.S.L. Session, American Representatives at Copenhagen July 27-Aug 5, 1920
6 Professional Associations: American Association of Port Authorities and Association of Pacific and Far East Ports, Convention, Agua Caliente
George F. and Cora R. Cotterill included.Photographer, Erickson Photo
Aug. 5th, 1932
6 Professional Associations: unidentifed circa 1870-1910
7 Cotterill family photograph album circa 1870-1910
box-folder:oversize
OS2 International Order of Good Templars (IOGT) Annual Convention, Victoria BC September 24th, 1927
OS2 George F. Cotterill portraits circa 1912
OS2 Soldiers returning from the Spanish American War circa 1898
OS2 Cotterill family members and friends
Includes Fred Shoals and the Shoals/Forehand family.
undated
OS2 Unidentified portrait undated
OS2 George F. Cotterill portraits undated
OS2 Cora Cotterill portraits undated
folder:oversize
Panorama 1 American Association of Port Authorities 13th Annual Convention group photograph 1924
Panorama 2 Unidentified military group photograph undated
Panorama 3 American Association of Port Authorities 14th Annual Convention group photograph 1925
Panorama 4 American Association of Port Authorities 16th Annual Convention group photograph 1927

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Personal Names :
  • Cotterill, George F. (George Fletcher), 1865-1958--Family
  • Cotterill, George F. (George Fletcher), 1865-1958--Friends and associates
  • Geographical Names :
  • Broadway (New York, N.Y.)--Photographs--19th century
  • Europe--Photographs