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COTTINGHAM, IRVIN ALEXANDER (1866–1934). Irvin Alexander Cottingham, civil engineer, the son of James and Margaret Cottingham, was born at St. Mary's, Texas, on October 14, 1866. After his graduation from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) in 1886, he settled in Houston, where he began work as a civil engineer. He was an assistant engineer for the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1889, division engineer for the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway until 1904, and engineer and assistant general manager of the Houston and Texas Central Railway from 1904 to 1916; from 1916 to 1918 he was in charge of valuation work for the Sunset-Central Lines. He was subsequently engaged in private practice and consulting for the Southern Pacific lines in Texas and Louisiana. He retired in 1932. Cottingham married Hester Kyle in 1892, and the couple had six children. He died on November 8, 1934.


Houston Press Club, Men of Affairs of Houston and Environs (Houston: Coyle, 1913). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1.

Diana J. Kleiner


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Diana J. Kleiner, "COTTINGHAM, IRVIN ALEXANDER," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed August 03, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.