Historical marker to be dedicated in Falkner

By Southern Sentinel

FALKNER — A historical marker will be dedicated Saturday in Falkner to World War I veteran Orvil Lucian Cotten for his heroism.

The marker will be placed at the intersection of Tippah County Roads 200 and 264.

The Southern Sentinel reports that the marker will be presented to Falkner and Tippah County by Cotten’s daughter Norma C. Leadford.

Cotten was born near Falkner in 1896 and died in Memphis in 1992. He is buried in the Cotten Cemetery, east of Falkner.

In World War I, Cotten was a Signal Corps telephone lineman in northern France. His job was to prepare telephone lines on the battlefield.

Records show Cotton distinguished himself during the Battle of St. Quentin Canal, Bellincort in northern France. On Sept. 27, 1918, after the Allied 30th Division was gassed by the Germans, Cotten, although injured in the gas attack, and working under constant shellfire, refused to be evacuated, and kept phone lines open between the 115th and 117th Allied Regiments.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the British Military Medal and the French Croix de Guerre.

The historical marker was provided by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and was paid for with private funds.

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