“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gallup in McKinley County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)

CN Cotton Warehouse

Scenic Byways Trail

CN Cotton Warehouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, October 15, 2021
1. CN Cotton Warehouse Marker

101 North Third Street (circa 1887)

Adequate transportation has been the answer to successful business entrepreneurs in the Gallup area as early as the late 1880's. Clinton N. Cotton, a shrewd Yankee trader and businessman, concluded that the way to market the wares and crafts of his Navajo trading partners was to develop a wholesale business at "a point favorably located for transportation." So, in 1887 he built the C.N. Cotton Warehouse right along the railroad in Gallup.

Clinton N. Cotton was born April 12, 1859 in central Ohio. At the meager age of 11 his father died and C.N. left school for work to support his mother and younger siblings. In 1881 he came west with the railroad working as a telegraph operator at the Fort Wingate station. During his employment with the railroad, Cotton made acquaintance with Juan Lorenzo Hubbell. They soon became friends which led to Cotton purchasing a half interest in the Hubbell Trading Post located at Ganado, Arizona. Together, Cotton and Hubbell were credited with introducing a nationwide mail-ordering system for Navajo goods, especially blankets (rugs). The C.N.
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Cotton Company became the first and most important wholesale warehouse in Indian country and the first to top a million dollars a year in business.

By 1894 Cotton sold his half interest in Ganado back to Hubbell in order to focus on his Gallup business. However, he didn't sell before developing a close relationship with Chief Manuelito, a respected Navajo warrior who had signed the treaty with General Sherman in 1868 for all twelve Navajo chiefs. Cotton so respected the chief that the year following Manuelito's death, Cotton commissioned Herman McNeil to make a likeness of him. For nearly a century the sculpture sat high in a niche on the original east façade of the C.N. Cotton Warehouse. The noble statue greeted traders and travelers from east to west, announcing their arrival to Gallup, New Mexico.

While the original building has since been demolished, a newer, larger wholesale warehouse stands in its place. The prestigious statue of Chief Manuelito was donated to McKinley County and is currently on display in the new Courthouse annex overlooking the Courthouse Square in downtown Gallup.
Erected by Federal Highway Administration (America's Byways) and the City of Gallup.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNative Americans
CN Cotton Warehouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, October 15, 2021
2. CN Cotton Warehouse Marker
Gallup Amtrak station is in the background
Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is April 12, 1859.
Location. 35° 31.74′ N, 108° 44.446′ W. Marker is in Gallup, New Mexico, in McKinley County. Marker can be reached from New Mexico Route 118 east of South 1st Street. Marker is in a city parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 US Rte 66, Gallup NM 87301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial (here, next to this marker); Kitchen's Opera House (a few steps from this marker); Historic Buildings (within shouting distance of this marker); Gallup's Brief History (within shouting distance of this marker); Navajo Code Talkers (within shouting distance of this marker); Main Street USA (within shouting distance of this marker); Balloon Rally (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Coal Car (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gallup.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 20, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 139 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 20, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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May. 31, 2023