Smith Cotton was born January 27, 1767 in Prince George County, Virginia to William and Lucy Smith. Smith Cotton was an Ensign (color bearer) in the 3rd South Carolina Militia. He was a very young boy at this time. He married Martha Gary (1733-1835) daughter of William and Boyce Gary in 1789. Smith and Martha had 9 children: Wm Gee (11-1-1790), Lucy H., Margaret, Luray, Stephen, Pleasant, Betsy, Martha, James Gee (Rev.). After the death of Martha, Smith married Elizabeth Moseley also known as Miss Hamilton.
Smith Cotton is first registered in Putnam Co., Georgia on the 1824 Tax List. According to census records he lived in Putnam County in 1820 and 1830, and Harris County in 1840 and 1850.
Smith was a Methodist Minister from 1800 to 1856. He worked in Putnam County, Georgia, Hancock County, Georgia, and in Whitesville, Harris County, Georgia. Many records are written about him and his son James G., who was also a minister in Harris County, Georgia. Smith established the first Methodist Church in Hancock County, Georgia.
Smith died when he fell from his horse at age 89 while out hunting game. He is buried in the Rehoboth Methodist Cemetery, about two miles southwest of Whitesville, GA. His grave is marked with a marble slab. Wife and son are also buried there.Will of Smith Cotton
Written by Angie Collier December 2005
Sources: History of Harris County written by Louise Barfield: pp744 Rev. Smith Cotton; a Bible record by Mrs. Bessie Love of Opelika AL; page 745 in the Will of Rev. Smith Cotton; Page 746 Rehoboth Cemetery; page 726 church record;p. 280 article on the Military service of Smith Cotton; pg 110 mention in early Wills; page 202 1850 census; Harris Co GA page 275 of the Georgia Interstate Records Grants Pass Public Library book 3 Ref 929.3758;Birth dates are from the book the History of Harris County Georgia by Louise Barfield pages 280, 744, 746, and 745; pp 280 Military records of Smith Cotton: South Carolina Record; Will Book "A" 2pp. 73-74, Hamilton, Harris Co GA., 6-12-54;1824 Tax List; United States Census Records; Methodist Preachers in Georgia 1783-1900 Edited and Compiled by Harold Lawrence, Member, North Georgia Conference, The United Methodist Church 1984; Conference Minutes; Marriages and Death Notices from the Southern Christian Advocate (Southern Historical Press, 1979, 1980); Wesleyan Christian Advocate newspapers through 1915; Methodist periodicals.