Charles Walter Cottam was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Charles Walter Cottam family was a staple in the St George community in the early 20th century. He had several children and a large number of descendents, many of whom still reside in Washington County.

He was baptized on 1 Jun 1896. He was endowed on 14 Sep 1910 in the Salt Lake temple.


  • Born: 18 May 1888, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  • Married:
  • Died: 12 February 1972, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
  • Burial: 16 February 1972, St George, Washington County, Utah, USA


(Alternate spelling: Beata Eliza Johnson)


  • Naomi Bernece Holman
  • Josephine Goodridge Frost

Child listEdit

With First Wife Sarah Ellen Manwaring

With Fourth Wife Ruth Shepherd

  • Emily Jean Cottam
  • William Shepherd Cottam
  • Mary Alice Cottam
  • Catherine Cottam


He was born May 18, 1888, a son of Charles Smith and Beata Eliza jonsson Cottam in Salt Lake City, Utah in a house that was later torn down to make way for the 16th ward meeting house, after grandpa had built a new brick house at 125 North also on 5th West (on part of the same lot). His older sister Mary was born there, too but his younger sisters Ruth and Myrtle were born in the new home.

President Wilford Woodruffs daughter Alice tended him sometimes in this new home or sometimes in her own home, where President Woodruff held him on his knee sometimes.

Right after the new home was finished, Charles was called on a mission to the Southern States. This was April 15, 1891.

When he was five years old he sat on a stone in the temple grounds and watched the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. President Woodruff stood in an upper window. On June 1, 1896 when he was eight years old he was baptized in the font on the west end of the Salt Lake tabernacle, in a little white suit his mother made for him. Pis own sons were baptized in that suit, also.) His little sister Ruth passed away at the age of two years, a few days before he was baptized.

Grandma's health became so bad that it was decided that they should move to St. George in hopes that her health would improve, but she passed away April 13, 1899 when he was ten years old. Four years later, on June 25, 1903, grandpa married Mary Gertrude Judd in the St. George Temple. Papa always got along well with "Aunt Gertrude" as he called his stepmother. She was good to the three motherless children; in fact she gave them a brother, Clair, on April 19, 1904, and later another brother and six sisters: Minerva, Lucile, Leila, Thelma, Owen, Naomi, and Gertrude.

Papa learned the carpenter trade from his father, but trained to be a school teacher. He taught school at Hamilton's Fort, and Vernal where he met and married my mother, Sarah Ellen Manwaring. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple September 14, 1910 after a five day trip in a wagon. There were mama, papa, grandma Manwaring,mama'soldest brother Elmer Manwar- ing, his fiance Leona Goodrich, and her parents. The two couples were married the same day. They lived in Vernal for two years and their first son, Rulon was born there. They moved to St. George, where their second child Ellen was born and died of whooping cough at the age of four months.

Papa taught school in Gunlock, Rockville, Springdale, Wellington, Utah and in Bunkerville, Nevada. Summers and some of the winters he did carpenter work with grandpa. We lived in New Harmony while he helped to build a school building there that grandpa had been the successful bidder on. We lived in Hurricane for a while, when he was doing carpenter work there, and in all these places that we lived, my parents made friendships that lasted a lifetime.

In the summer of 1926, we moved back to St.George, and that time we stayed. However, during the years our family had grown and our house hadn't so papa built two more rooms and a bath onto it. We also added one more child, Donald Arthur. Now our family consisted of Rulon Vivian, Mildred, LaVell M., Walter Raymond, Verda, Grant Evan, Alvin Cecil, and Donald Arthur.

Two years later we spent the summer on our ranch, on upper Smith Mesa raising crops. The summer was full of adventure, both good and bad. It was a memorable summer, but we had to go back to St. George to school before all the crops were harvested, so mama took Rulon and LaVell to help her, and Donald and Alvin who weren't yet in school, and went back up to harvest the rest of the crops. While they were there Donald became lost and they hunted for him for several hours, before they finally found him. The strain and worry damaged mama's already weak heart, and her health was never very good after that. Papa wrote a great many poems, some of which have been published. That next Memorial Day after mama's death he wrote the following poem:


l place these_flowers tenderly And moisten them with tears As Memory takes me back, dear wife, -- Back through a span of years To days when love, awakened Within your soul, and mine, Made home [to me] a heaven, And earth a place divine.

In joy I Plucked these flowers; In sadness placed them here As thoughts o'ercome my struggling soul-- Thoughts that are hard to bear; For even flowers can't remain In beauty where they lie. Like us they spread a bit of joy, Then wilt andfade and die.

Oh Memory, kind teacher, Submit me to thy drill That I may neer forget life's joys, Its urge to do, its thrill Of actual accomplishment, The nobler points of view, A yearningfor the better things, A willingness to do That I may eer Prove true to her Who 'neath these flowers lie By doing all the good I can Until I, too, shall die.

In june, 1934 papa could stand the loneliness no longer so he married Naomi Cravens in the St. George Temple and had her little two year old son sealed to them. However, that marriage didn't last and in December she left and went back to Kansas City and papa was alone again. In the meantime I had married and was living in Springdale, near Zion's Canyon. We took Donald up to stay with us and I went down every two weeks or so to wash and iron and help in every way I could. When school was out, Donald went home to stay and on June 9, 1935 our first child, papa's first grandchild was born. We named him LaVell Heber Crawford. Rulon was married next and one after another the others left, to get married or to go into the armed forces or something; also there were more grandchildren. On November 11, 1942 papa married Ruth Shepherd, in the Mesa, Arizona Temple, and to them were born Emily jean, William Shepherd, Mary Alice and Catherine. When Emily was thirteen and Cathy was seven, Ruth died of cancer and papa was left to raise another family alone; to be mother as well as father to them. On February 6, 1969 he married Josephine Goodridge Frost in the Salt Lake Temple Obr time only). that marriage ended in divorce. We had a nice open house to celebrate papa's 80th birthday. In January, 1972 papa attended the dedication of the Ogden Temple. I only know of one other person who was present at both the Salt Lake Temple, and the Ogden Temple dedications. Soon after that he became ill and passed away in the Cottonwood Hospital in Salt Lake February 12, 1972. He was buried in the St. George cemetery. On the day of his. funeral Raymond wrote this tribute: For more than eighty years our father walked the earth And never traveled very far from the valleys of his birth And he lived those years with honor which no one can deny And he gave to us a heritage which money cannot buy We've come today to honor our father, brother, friend. We've come to say our last farewells until our journey's end But we can better honor him who 'neath these flowers lie By doing all the good we can, until we, too shall die.

Family historyEdit