He is written about in the 1901 Biographic sketches of Cowley County. He came in 1869.
 PAGE 216
HON. J. W. COTTINGHAM, who in 1901 was serving his second term in the office of probate judge of Cowley County, Kansas, was a gentleman of considerable prominence in the county, where he resided since 1869.
Judge J. William Cottingham was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, in 1842, and was a son of James and Nancy (Frakes) Cottingham, and grandson of William Cottingham. William Cottingham was born in Maryland, and was an early settler of Nicholas County, Kentucky, where he lived the remainder of his life.
James Cottingham, father of J. W., was born in Nicholas County, Kentucky, where he was reared and attended the public schools. He spent most of his active career as a miller and farmer in Bourbon County, Kentucky, but lived in Woodford County during the latter days of his life. He died at the age of fifty years. His union with Nancy Frakes Cottingham (78 years old in 1901 and residing in Winfield, Kansas) resulted in the following offspring: J. W.; Thomas W.; Sarah E. (Hernden), deceased; James I.; and Lulu (Dennis), deceased. Mr. Cottingham was an Old Line Whig, and afterward, a Republican.
J. W. Cottingham was fifteen years of age when he moved to Woodford County, Kentucky, where he resided until 1869. In that year he journeyed west to Cowley County, Kansas, and located on a farm which formed part of the Osage Trust land. Upon the organization of the county in 1871, that section in which he was located became known as Richland Township. A portion of it has since become a part of Fairview Township, where he still owns his old home. He secured a deed to the property in 1872. He was always active in county politics, and became a staunch Populist.
He served on the school board of his township almost all the time since its organization. He was elected judge of the probate court of Cowley County in the fall of 1896, and in the spring of 1897 became a resident of Winfield. He was reelected in the fall of 1898, and was serving his second term in 1901.
Judge Cottingham married Elizabeth Hanna. They had three children: James R., member of the firm of Asp & Cottingham, of Guthrie, Oklahoma; Icy (Shaver), of Newkirk, Oklahoma; and Frank, a high school student in 1901.
Judge Cottingham was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and of the Improved Order of Red Men. He and Mrs. Cottingham belonged to the Christian Church of Winfield.