Tennessee Records Repository

Decatur Co. TN


Chapter XIV

From Lillye Younger, The History of Decatur County Past and Present (Southhaven, MS: Carter Printing Company, 1978).
Special thanks to Constance Collett for permission to make these web pages.

In Memory of Lillye Washburn Younger 1912-1998.

Thanks to www.tnyesterday.com for contributing this transcription.

Evelyn Cotham White

Richard Erwin "Dick" and Robbie Elizabeth Cotham

The Cotham family came to north Decatur County in the mid 1800's and settled on the land along the Tennessee river. Harvey Nixon Cotham, son of Issac "Ike" Cotham, who came to America from Ireland and on to Middle Tennessee by way of North Carolina came to visit his brother-in-law Billy Densons. Billy owned and lived at Densons Landing on the Perry County side of the Tennessee river. The two men had married sisters, Janie and Sallie Bandy, daughters of a Doctor Bandy of Humphreys County. While there, Harvey met a part Indian named Sau Pau who wanted to sell his land across the river in Decatur County. He purchased it, which included several hundred acres and began farming.

This farming operation is still going on after over 100 years. Harvey's son, Richard Erwin Cotham, who married Miss Robbie Elizabeth Anderson, a daughter of Captain Robert Drake Anderson of the Civil War, carried on the farming interest until his death in 1919. He was also a Magistrate and was very active in Decatur County Politics. After his death, Leslie Nixon Cotham, his oldest son operated a portion of the farming business until his death in 1954.

Leslie was married to Zana Ward of Benton County and they operated a ferry at Densons Landing until the Alvin C. York bridge was built at Perryville. They were the parents of three children, Thomas Cotham married Bobbie Nell Colwick and they have a daughter, Kimberly Ann. Evelyn (Mrs. Boonie White) and Mary Nell (Mrs. Royal Wood) and grandparents of A.B. White III, Alan Wood and Rosemary Wood.

The descendants of Leslie and Zana Cotham still operate the Cotham family farm and enjoy the precious memories and history that it represents.

Compiled by Mrs. Evelyn Cotham White