Convention Member Aylett R. Cotton
Born in Austintown, Ohio, November 29, 1826. He received a liberal education and first engaged in school teaching. In 1844, he came with his father’s family to Iowa and located at De Witt in Clinton County, where he began to study law. After making a journey to California, he began the practice of his profession at De Witt in 1851. He was elected county judge serving two years and then became Prosecuting Attorney. Removing to Lyons he became mayor of the city in 1855. He was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1856 and took an active part in framing the new Constitution. Mr. Cotton was elected to the House of the Twelfth General Assembly in 1867, was reelected at the close of his term and chosen Speaker of the House in the session of 1870. He was elected to Congress in the fall of 1870, serving two terms, having been a Republican from the time of the organization of that party. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1857, and of the House of Representatives in the 12th and 13th General Assemblies. He was Speaker of the House in the latter. While speaker he was elected a representative in Congress from the second district, retiring in 1875; after which he removed to California. Mr. Cotton died October 30, 1912.