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J. H. Cottrell Jr. collection

J. H. Cottrell Jr. Collection

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Open Finding Aid

Finding aid for the J. H. Cottrell Jr. Collection


Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5711

Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Cottrell, J. H. (John Hall), Jr., 1917-2000
Title: J. H. Cottrell Jr. Collection
Dates: 1950-1966; 2000; 2009
Quantity: 3.3 Linear feet
Abstract:This collection contains materials related to the political career of J. H. Cottrell Jr., Arkansas House of Representatives.
Identification: MSS.10.30
Language: English


The collection is arranged topically and chronologically.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials related to the political career of J. H. Cottrell Jr., who served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1954-1966. Box 1 contains general documents, Box 2 contains newspaper clippings, Box 3 contains photographs, and Box 4 contains a large scrapbook from his term as Speaker of the House.

Biographical Note

John Hall "J. H." Cottrell Jr. was born in Shirley, Arkansas, in 1917, and moved to Little Rock with his family at the age of seven. After graduating from Little Rock Senior High School (later Central High School) in 1927, Cottrell received a law degree from the University of Arkansas. He served in the Army during World War II, attaining the rank of captain. After the war, he returned to Arkansas, married Mary Ann Burr, and became president of United Loan and Investment Company, an entity established by Governor Donaghey and previously headed by J. H. Cottrell Sr. Cottrell was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1954, and served until 1966, including a term as Speaker of the House in 1965. Additionally, he was appointed to the Little Rock School Board in 1959 and served until he lost re-election in 1964. While in the legislature, Cottrell served on many House committees including Constitutional Amendments, Insurance, Public Health and Practice of Medicine, Public Printing, Revenue and Taxation, and Rules. Additionally, he chaired the Committee of Banks and Banking. One notable episode of his political career was the battle of Arkansas Act 442, the "Omnibus Construction" bill. The Omnibus Bill was thirty appropriations bundled into a single bill with a sixty million dollar bond package to pay for the projects. When Act 442 passed in 1961, Cottrell sued Governor Faubus, challenging the constitutionality of bundling the appropriations and was victorious in the Arkansas Supreme Court. Despite his opposition of Faubus and the Omnibus Bill, Cottrell later served as Pulaski County Campaign Manager for the Governor's fifth campaign for re-election in 1964. Although he lost Pulaski County, Faubus won the election. Perhaps due in part to this association with Faubus, Cottrell lost his bid for re-election in 1966. He returned to his position at United Loan and Investment Company before restarting his law career and working as an attorney until his death in 2000.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Arkansas -- Politics and government.
Arkansas General Assembly. House of Representatives.
Cottrell, J. H. (John Hall), Jr., 1917-2000
Council of State Governments. Southern Legislative Conference.
Faubus, Orval Eugene, 1910-1994


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating, in-house use only.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

J. H. Cottrell Jr. Collection, MSS 10-30, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Donated by William Cottrell, 2010

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