Francis Ridgley Cotton
One of three children, Francis Cotton was born in Bardstown, Kentucky to Charles and Mary (née Moore) Cotton. After attending St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana, he studied at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. He studied at the Sulpician Seminary at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. from 1919 to 1920. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 17, 1920.
Cotton completed his graduate studies at the Pontifical Athenaeum S. Apollinare in Rome. Following his return to Kentucky, he served as a curate at St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown, St. Cecilia Church in Louisville, and St. Francis de Sales Church in Paducah (1922-1926). He also served as assistant chancellor (1926-1931) and chancellor (1931-1937) of the diocese.
On December 16, 1937, Cotton was appointed the first Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Owensboro by Pope Pius XI. He received his episcopal consecration on February 24, 1938 from Archbishop John A. Floersh, with Bishops Theodore H. Reverman and Moses E. Kiley serving as co-consecrators. He remained as bishop until his death at age 65.
- Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
- "Bishop Francis Ridgley Cotton". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.
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|Bishop of Owensboro
Henry Joseph Soenneker
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