From his school days Edgar Henry Cottrell, of Westerly, was associated with his father in the manufacture of printing presses, and after the death of the senior and when the duties of president of the Cottrell Company fell to him he displayed such business talent that the enterprise was much expanded and its product acquired a reputation second to none in the country.
He was born at Phenix, Rhode Island, February 17, 1850, a son of Calvert Byron and Lydia W. (Perkins) Cottrell. After attaining his education in the local schools he entered the employ of the Cottrell Company and in his occupation exhibited a talent for mastery of the many details of the industry. Shortly after the admission to the firm of himself and his brothers, Charles Perkins and Calvert Byron Cottrell, Jr., the Westerly plant was doubled in capacity and by the year 1892 the expansion had reached such size that incorporation was deemed advisable and this was accomplished, the capitalization being $800,000. The company maintains an office in New York City and one in Chicago and manufactures at Westerly. In addition to many other interests Mr. Cottrell was a director of the Washington Trust Company of Westerly. His death occurred March 7, 1922.
Edgar Henry Cottrell married, February 7, 1907, Leone Balfe, a native of Canada. Their children, all born in New York City, were:
1. Nicholas, born December 26, 1907.
2. Leone, born April 13, 1910.
3. Elizabeth, born October 18, 1911.
4. Edgar Henry, Jr., born June 14, 1913.
It is safe to record that the industrial executives in Rhode Island numbered among them no one who was more intimately acquainted with the work over which he ruled, nor one who was more highly respected by his fellow-industrialists or by the army of workers he headed. Under his leadership the Cottrell company retained its high position in the manufacturing field and gave him a reputation as one of the most alert and successful business men of the country. His private life was one that commanded the respect of all and his friends were legion, for he had a most engaging personality and graciousness of manner. He was a fine and valuable citizen of Rhode Island, who made for himself an enduring fame.
Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.