Born: April 17, 1924 Died: October 9, 1988
William Barber Cottrell was the son of Royal Lee and Helen A (Barber) Cottrell. He was a native of New York State and a resident of Tennessee. He enlisted on June 4, 1945 at Fort McPherson in Georgia.
William Cottrell (1924-1988) was a nuclear safety expert at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and an active historian for Concord United Methodist Church. He came to Oak Ridge in January of 1944 and was first employed by Eastman Kodak Company and the Army Corps of Engineers in connection with the Manhattan Project. He was later inducted into the Army and assigned a role that allowed him to continue work with the project. In 1950, he joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory and became involved with reactor safety. From 1964 to 1973, he was director of ORNL’s nuclear safety program and was founder of the Nuclear Safety Information Center. From 1973 until his retirement in April 1984, Cottrell was director of the Nuclear Operation Analysis Center.
In the fall of 1984, he began a history of Concord United Methodist Church, “The History of the Church and its Environment 1865 – 1985.” Cottrell’s work includes a thorough discussion of the development of west Knox County during the period preceding the church (established in 1865), including how it was populated as the early settlers migrated westward and how it was impacted by the Civil War. This work is an extensive history of the local area and can be found in the library at Concord United Methodist Church.
For many years, the Cottrells lived on land originally own by the second governor of Tennessee, Archibald Roane. The property is just east of Farragut Middle School and Intermediate School on Admiral Drive.
(this text courtesy of the Town of Farragut)