Harlow Hopkins Cossitt

(1860 - 1952)

Harlow Hopkins Cossitt was born in Pompey Hill, New York.  At the time, Pompey Hill was located close to Syracuse.  He received a formal education as he taught school for a while.  He married Minerva Isabelle Green at Buffalo Gap, Dakota Territory, March 31, 1886.   At that time Buffalo Gap was a rail head and had about 1500 residents.  (Today it has about 100 residents.)  Minerva Isabelle Green was born in Park County, Indiana on September 17, 1854.  It is unknown where they met, but Minerva's parents were living in Pennington County South Dakota and that is where her father died in 1899.  Together Harlow and Minerva farmed in the Black Hills of South Dakota before moving further west. Their first two children were born in Hot Springs, Fall River County, South Dakota.  Their third child, was born in 1890 in Buffalo Gap and their fourth child was born in 1891 in Hot Springs.

They stopped for a while at Parkman, Wyoming. On December 16. 1894 their youngest son, Frank, was born during a terrible blizzard. Mr. Cossitt was away from home at the time and only the children were with their mother. The oldest daughter, who was under seven years old, was her only help. This daughter later became a Registered Nurse.

The family had wanderlust and an urge to get to Idaho. Traveling by wagon and oxen they arrived in Council (Then Washington, now Adams County) with five small children about 1899. They lived first with the Poynors on their ranch on Mill Creek. The Poynors had one of the first orchards in the valley.  Apples orchards were a common crop in this area at this time.

Within two years, the Cossitts moved to town and Mrs. Cossitt opened a restaurant and boarding house. There were few boarders at a time because there were only two or three rooms upstairs. The restaurant, however, was a busy place. There Mrs. Cossitt fed many people. Miners who were down on their luck were sure of a meal there whether they had the price or not. No man went hungry. Some paid at the time, some paid later, and some never paid. She kept no records--just each man's conscience caused him to feel guilty if he ignored his debt to her. In return for Mrs. Cossitt selling her business, Mr. Cossitt built her a home in town She did, however, continue to serve food from her home.  This home was vacant in later years but was not torn down until it was over 100 years old.

Minerva Cossitt, known to many as "Mother Cossitt," was a short lady--very energetic, hard- working, gentle, and generous. She was a midwife who delivered many babies in Council valley. She assisted Dr. Frank E. Brown for years. A very special baby whose birth she attended was Ida Cox, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James B. Cox. The mother died shortly after the child was born and Mr. and Mrs. Cossitt raised Ida as their own child.  Minerva died in Council from stomach cancer in 1922.  During her final illness, she was attended to by her oldest daughter who was now a Registered Nurse.

H. H. Cossitt was a carpenter. He built many of Council's residences. In 1902 he and Charley Whiteley built the annex on the schoolhouse on the hill. An advertisement in the Council Journal that same year stated, "H. H. Cossitt has a complete line of coffins, caskets and burial robes." He became Adams County's first coroner when the county was formed from Washington County in 1911.

It is unknown when Harlow Cossitt moved away from Council, Idaho, but we do know that he lived for a while in Oregon where he married a lady with the name of Nettie.  After Nettie's death he moved to Hanford, Kings County, California where he lived with his oldest daughter until his demise on November 29, 1952.

For an interesting story about Harlow's childhood and baseball check out his story in the Members Memories section of this website.  http://cossitt.org/members%20memories.htm

HH COSSITTHH Cossitt 1928Minerva Isabel Cossitt