The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975 Page: 465
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bills and would carry customers until eternity. He was extremely proud of
the fact that he had never imposed a carrying charge on any of his credit
customers. He liked to make it possible for those people who needed things,
but did not have money, to obtain what they needed, and he probably was
as responsible for whatever taste Parker County had as any man in that
area. In a style reminiscent of Chic Sales, he liked to drive around Parker
County in the evening, see a young married pair with a couple of kids
playing out in the yard, and think to himself, "That family probably
wouldn't exist if I hadn't provided the divan for the girl to court on."
Any number of people in the county came in weekly and paid him a dollar
an account, and he provided them whatever furniture they needed over
When quality began to deteriorate in the furniture field, he ranged ever
wider looking for solid materials, with the result that his clientele spread
to Fort Worth and Dallas, as people came from those commercial centers
because by word of mouth they had heard that a furniture man in Weath-
erford still carried goods that were genuine and durable.
Also an enormous sentimentalist, he could never bear to get rid of any-
thing which had served him, including old automobiles. His back yard
looked like a parking lot for abandoned antique automobiles. He had saved
an old hearse to be drawn by horses, and had arranged for an old-fashioned
funeral cortege which would be horse-drawn. But vandals broke into the
storage space on his farm east of Weatherford and destroyed the hearse,
so that he had to go to the cemetery like all the other people he had buried
Over the years he built a considerable collection of Texana. When his
wife would complain good-naturedly about the money that was going into
the collection, he would always maintain that he never paid more than
fifty cents for each item. But some of the books required quite a number of
fifty-cent pieces, for he had some rare items. At the Texana auction at each
annual meeting, he always sat on the first or second row, where he acted
as a sort of shill for the house. He hated to see his friends' books go cheaply,
and he always wanted the TSHA to make as much money as possible off
the auction. Consequently he would bid up prices with no desire to pur-
chase, but only to make more money for the TSHA. I'm sure that dozens
of members of the Association have paid several dollars more than they
should have because of Cotten's price-raising proclivities.
Once when I was an undergraduate, he picked me up and took me back
to Weatherford. He stopped to eat-and he always loved good food, and
I tried to pay for the meal afterwards. He refused to let me, and made a
statement in his gruff way that has stayed with me: "You don't have much
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975, periodical, 1974/1975; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/m1/525/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.