Cottonwood is a rural community located on County Road 4084 about eleven miles southwest of Kaufman in southwestern Kaufman County. The settlement, probably named for the cottonwood trees in the area and for nearby Cottonwood Creek, began by 1880 when Cottonwood Baptist Church was organized. Rev. A. M. K. Sowell was the first pastor. In 1882 settler J. W. Swayze donated land for the church, a school, and Cottonwood Cemetery. The grave of his brother J. R. Swayze was the first in the cemetery. Another settler, C. L. Tippett, donated additional acreage. A log building served as both a school and church. Residents constructed a new building for the school and church in 1903. County highway maps in the 1930s showed both a church and school and numerous farms. The school closed at some point after this. In 1970 Cottonwood had ninety residents. The town incorporated in the mid-1980s and established a mayor-council form of government. In 1990 Cottonwood had a population of 156. That number increased to 181 in 2000. Cottonwood Cemetery and Cottonwood Baptist Church received Texas Historical Markers in 1970 and 1980 respectively. Part of the original log school still stands adjacent to the cemetery.