Merced Express [Merced, CA]
Friday Aug. 26, 1932, front page.
 
DR. W. C. COTTON TAKEN BY DEATH
 Prominent Atwater Doctor Passes Away Following Brief Illness
 
 Dr. William C. Cotton, prominent Atwater physician and surgeon and Health Officer for Merced county, passed away at 8:30 o'clock last Sunday evening, death being caused by intestinal influenza with which he was stricken in San Francisco last week.
 
 Funeral services, at which the officers of the Merced Lodge of Elks officiated, were held in the Ivers & Alcorn chapel Tuesday afternoon. The services at the grave in the Masonic cemetery were conducted by members of the Atwater Post of the American Legion.
The pall-bearers were: Active - George S. Bloss, C. P. Ralston, M. M. Sutherland and E. A. Heller of Atwater and F. M. Ostrander and Earle J. Chapman of Merced; Honorary Dr. J. J. Mudd, Dr. E. R. Fountain, Dr. Fred O. Lien, Dr. W. E. Lilley, Dr. H. E. McDowell and Dr. A. S. Parker.
 
 
 Dr. Cotton was born in San Antonio, Texas, December 4, 1882. After receiving his early education in the schools of his native city he was employed for a while in the mechanical department of a newspaper, and in 1907 became a student in the University of Valparaiso, Indiana. After being awarded his medical degree in 1911 he  became an interne [sic] in Bellevue Hospital and later engaged in the practice of his profession at Bloomington, Illinois. When the United States entered the World War he enlisted for service and as a first lieutenant of medical casuals was chief of staff at Winchester, England. After receiving his honorable discharge from the army he came to California, locating in Atwater, where he engaged in the practice of his profession. In 1922 he was appointed County Health Officer and continued to fill that position until his death. He was president of the Merced County Medical Society and was a member of Yosemite Lodge No. 99, F. & A. M. of this city, and of Merced Lodge No. 1240. B. P.O. Elks. He took active interest in political affairs and at the time of his death was serving as chairman of the Republican County Central Committee.
 
 Surviving relatives are his widow, Marie Steele Cotton, whom he married in Chicago in 1902; a daughter, Mrs. Opal Torf, who resides in Hollywood, and a son, William E. Cotton of Atwater.
 
 During his residence in Merced county Dr. Cotton endeared himself to a multitude of friends and acquaintances. A man of pleasing personality who was fair and liberal in his views and who was active in all movements for the advancement of the community, he will be sadly missed in local civic, medical, fraternal and political circles.
 
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Merced Sun Star [Merced, CA.]
Aug. 22, 1932, front page 
 
DR. W. C. COTTON, HEALTH OFFICER, DIES IN MERCED
 
Atwater Physician Stricken Suddenly Last Week On Visit to S.F.
 
 Chairman County Republican Committee; Active In Civic Work
 
 Dr. W. C. Cotton, 50, physician of Atwater and health officer of Merced county the past 10 years, died at Mercy hospital at 8:30 Sunday night from an attack of influenza suffered in San Francisco last week.
 
 Dr. Cotton was chairman of the Merced county republican central committee, a prominent fruit grower, and active in civic, lodge and veterans work here. He also was a member of the state republican executive committee.
 
 Service by the Merced lodge of Elks will be at 2:30 Tuesday afternoon at the Ivers and Alcorn mission chapel, led by L. J./ Schroeder, exalted  ruler. Graveside services will be conducted at the Masonic cemetery by the Atwater post of the American Legion.
 
 Active pallbearers will be C. P. Ralston, George Bloss Jr., Milton Sutherland and E. A. Heller of Atwater and Frank Ostrander and Earle J. Chapman of Merced. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. E. R. Foutain, Dr. J. L. Mudd, Dr. Fred O. Lien, Dr. W. E. Lilley, Dr. B. E. McDowell and Dr. A. S. Parker.
 
 William C. cotton was born in San Antonio, Tex., Dec. 4, 882, fourth in a family of eight children born to Charles F. and Mary Cotton. After finishing his schooling Cotton took up the mechanical end of newspaper work, first in his native city and then in Chicago, continuing in this line until 1911.
 
 Receives Degree
He had entered Valparaiso university in Indiana in 1907 and upon receiving his medical degree in 1911, became an interne in Bellevue hospital and later practiced in Bloomington, ILL.
 
 In 1917 Dr. Cotton enlisted for the world war. He became first lieutenant of Benjamin Harrison medical casuals, serving until 1919. He was chief of staff at Winchester, England, in charge of 200 men, 35 nurses and 17 doctors. He received his honorable discharge at Camp Riley, Kan., in March, 1919.
 
Buys Ranch Land
After the was Dr. Cotton located in Atwater near where he invested in 100 acres of orchard and vineyard. He was one of the owners of Mercy hospital and was president of the Merced County Medical society in 1923. He was appointed county health officer in 1922 and served until his death.
 
 In Chicago in 1902 Dr. Cotton married Marie Steele who was born in Ohio. Surviving with the widow are a daughter and son; Mrs. David [Opal] Tors of Hollywood and William Edgar Cotton, attending grammar school in Atwater.
 
 Dr. Cotton was a member of Yosemite lodge No. 99, F. & A. M. of Merced and of the Merced lodge of Elks.
 

transcribed by Alma Stone