Yates County, New York
Early Settlers for the Town of Potter
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From the History of Yates County, NY
published 1892, by L.C. Aldrich pg 456 - 464
the first Federal census enumeration was made.
The returns then made showed that there dwelt in township eight, second
range, seven families, the respective heads of which were Benjamin TIBBITS,
Michael PIERCE, Francis BRIGGS, Henry LOVELL, William HALL, Arnold POTTER and
John WALFORD. These, therefore,
were the pioneers of the town, upon whom fell the burden and the hardships of
clearing the lands and making the first improvements in a new and comparatively
uninviting territory. They were
soon afterward followed by other settlers, upon whom the burden fell none the
less heavily, and to whom perhaps is due as much of honor and credit as to the
first comers but generally there is accorded to the first half dozen or so of
pioneers all the glory pf pioneership in a new county.
POTTER, as he has ever been commonly known, or more correctly, Benedict Arnold
POTTER, was not only the pioneer of the town that was named in his honor, but he
was one of the most prominent and influential men in the whole region.
He was at one time the owner of more than 35,000 acres of land in the old
town of Augusta (which included Potter). He
was born in 1761 and was the son of William POTTER, the Friendís faithful
follower and for some years most trusted counselor; but he fell away from the
faith and eventually became her enemy, but not bitter nor revengeful.
The last years of the life of William POTTER were spent with Arnold
POTTER, at his him in this town. Like
his father, Arnold POTTER was once a Friend, but he too became alienated from
the society, but his wife remained true to the faith.
She was Sarah, daughter of Benjamin BROWN, Sr.
Their children were William, Arnold, and Penelope POTTER.
Arnold POTTER, the pioneer, died at Harrisburg, Pa., in 1810, while on
his way to Philadelphia with a drove of cattle.
In a printed circular issued by him in 1800, Judge POTTER advertised for
sale his land, in parcels; and he stated that on his tract of 16,000 acres there
were two saw mills and a grist mill. The
region at that time was called Potterstown.
Thomas Hazard POTTER, brother of Arnold, married Patience WILKINSON,
sister of the Friend, and in 1790 settled in this town.
He died in 1807, and his wife in 1819.
Their children were Susan, Eliza and John.
BROWN Jr., married Penelope, daughter of William POTTER, at the house of Arnold
POTTER in 1790. One child,
Penelope, was born of this union. The
second wife of Mr. BROWN was Mary LAMB. He
was interested in the saw and grist-mills built in Potter Hollow in 1793.
and Joshua BROWN, twin brothers, sons of James BROWN, were pioneers in the town,
making their settlement on lot 2, on land bought from Arnold POTTER.
Jesse sold out his interest to his brother and moved to Benton.
Joshua died in the town in 1832. His
first wife was Clarissa MINER; his second Fanny BROWN, and his third, A Widow
SPENCER. One child, Fanny, who
married Ephraim WHEELER, was born of his second marriage.
BRIGGS, the son of Peleg BRIGGS, a prominent Friend, was a pioneer on lot 6 in
Potter, and there he lived nearly sixty years, and died in 1850.
His first wife was Isabelle ALBRO; his second, Olive BELL.
The children of the first marriage were Mercy, Jacob, Joshua, Francis,
Lydia, Margaret, Vaughn, Sally, William and Peleg.
Isabelle and George BRIGGS were children of his second marriage.
Job and Caleb BRIGGS, brothers, were early settlers in the town, on land
adjoining the Potter farm. Abel
married Martha DICKINSON, and had ten children: Harry, Gardner, Hiram, Eliza,
Waity, Mercy, Warren, Lydia, Mary and Israel.
Job married Susan POTTER and had six children: William, John, Maria,
Joel, Russell and Lucinda. Caleb
married Mary JONES and settled on the top of Potter Hill in 1817.
They had eleven children: Marbra, Phineas, Mary, Betsey, Waity, Rebecca,
Caleb, Pamelia and Samuel (twins), Joseph and Sarah.
BATES married the daughter of Peleg BRIGGS Sr., and settled on lot 9 in Potter
in 1789. Their children were Mercy,
George, Peleg, David, Mary, Lucy and Anna.
George the pioneer, died in 1826.
1808, William and Pricilla (RAYMOND) HALL settled in Potter.
Their children were William, Priscilla, Seth, Phebe, John and Lydia.
Rows PERRY, formerly a Quaker preacher of some note, became a resident of
Potter in 1791, when he worked by the month for Arnold and William POTTER,
receiving pay in land at fifty cents per acre.
In 1794 he married Deshia BROWN, sister to Arnold POTTERís wife.
Their children were Susan, Edmund, Rowland B., Fanny, Edward and Sally
(twins), Benjamin, Ann, Robert and Mariette.
Rows PERRY died in 1853 and his wife in 1854.
Jabez FRENCH visited this town and spent the greater part of that summer in
surveying. In the fall he returned
home in Massachusetts, for his wife, but was delayed in again coming back to the
locality until 1794. The family
settled near Rushville. They had
eight children: Samuel, Ebenezer, Benjamin, Sarah, Jesse, Sophronia, Susan and
BASSETT came to old Augusta in 1794, setting near Rushville. In 1796 he married Ann BLAIR, and reared a family of twelve
children, ten of whom reached adult age. They
were Nathaniel, Polly, Sally, Emily, Alexander, Samuel, Calista, Betsey, Thomas
northwest corner lot in Potter, on the site of the present village called
Rushville, in 1791 Elias GILBERT settled and built a hose of poplar poles.
His farm comprised 320 acres, which eventually became valuable lad.
The children of Elias GILBERT were Louisa, Jesse, Simon, Samuel, David,
Solomon, Ephraim, Lydia and Richard.
LOOMIS and family came to Augusta in 1793; therefore he was a pioneer.
His children were Chester, Lucy, James, Sally, Elisha, Amanda, Minerva
THOMAS, wife and family settled on lot 9, third range, in Potter in 1801.
Their children were Ashley, Vertie, Ambrose, Jeffrey, Lucy, Peleg,
Eleanor, Mary, Lois and Janette.
Dr. Jared DYER became a settler in Potter, locating on lot 3, range three, where
he practiced medicine until his death in 1813.
His wife was Susanna NEWELL, by whom these children were born: Calista,
Julia, Pierpont, Susan and Eliza.
BORDWELL was a native of Massachusetts, but he died a resident of Potter in
1850. His wife, whom he married in
1809, was Calista DYER. Their
children were Jared D., William H., Susan H., Charles L., Robert P., William W.,
James R. and Herbert.
Jonas WYMAN and family settled on lot 2, second farm range. His children were Polly, Betsey, John and Samuel.
GREEN and his family settled on lot 4, third range in Potter in 1804.
He died in 1851. He was a former soldier in the Revolution; in the town he was
many years justice of the peace.
Nathan WARNER settled in town. In
1798 he married Martha CARD and located near George GREEN.
Their children were: Benjamin, Samuel W., James S., Martha, Hannah,
Tamar, Sarah, Rachel R., William E. and Lydia.
CARD came into town from Rhode Island in 1795.
His wife was Martha POTTER. Of
their children, Potter G. married Betsey HENDRICKS of Potter; Jabez T. married
Eleanor WHEELER and Hannah married Joshua PAYNE.
Benoni MOON and Hannah, his wife, and their family moved into Potter in
1800. Theirs was one of the most
numerous families in town. Their
locality was called Moontown, on Flint Creek.
The family of George HOWARD settled on lot 9, forth farm range, in 1802.
His children were, by his first marriage: James, George, David, John,
Justus and Amos. Benoni HOWARD was
a son of George by a second marriage. Carey
CLARK was an early settler on lot 11, range five.
He succeeded pioneer GAFFLE, and left a goof family of descendants in the
Alexander PARKMAN and family settled and lived about a mile and a half east of
Rushville. The children were:
Erastus L., Sophia, Delanson E., and Cynthia D.
Dr. Buffum HARKNESS came to the town in 1805, and practiced medicine
until his death. His children were
Allonia and Forrest; the latter also a doctor in the town.
Nathan WEBB, from Connecticut, settled in 1798 on lot 11, rage six, and
died there in 1807. His wife was Polly PRATT, who died at the home of her son,
Dr. Nathan WEBB in 1858. John F.,
Dorcas, Ruby, Amelia, Mary and Nathan WEBB Jr., were children of Nathan and
Polly WEBB. Nicholas VAN ZANDT, the
progenitor of a large family of children, settled in the town on lot 8, range
four, in 1815. These children were
Garrett, Lucretia, Anna, Maria, Margaret, Jecheliah, Lydya Jane, Amy, Garnetta,
Isam, and Samuel. Joseph H.
WILLIAMS was an early settler near Rows PERRY.
Among his children were Abigail, Huldah, Sarah, Rachel, Laura, Joseph,
Polly, John F., Ira C., and Margaret. Jeremiah
BARBER married Anna VAN ZANDT, and came with her fatherís family to the town.
Their children were Culver S., Ira, Lydia, Maria, Jonathan S. and Mahala. John TUCKER and his son in law, Lindsley WARFIELD, became
settlers in Potter in 1798. Abraham
FLORENCE and his stepson, Peter LAWRENCE, came in 1807 and settled on lot 8,
fifth farm range. Mr. FLORENCE
married Phebe A. REYNOLDS. Their
children were Martha J., Andrew T., Phebe A., Sarah E., Peter R., Elizabeth and
Charles F. Henry VAN WORMER was an
early settler on lot 9, fifth range. His
wife was Elizabeth HORTON, by whom these children were born: David, William,
Hester, Elisha, John, Charity, Peter, Daniel, and Abraham P. The SAVAGE family settled in the town in 1797.
Dr. Frederick DUTCH was the founder of the Dutch settlement in Potter,
and continued to live in the town until his death, about 1840. Phillip
and Elizabeth (KISHLER) DINTURFF, with their family, located in this town on lot
12, second range, in 1800. Their
children were Jacob and Philip. Jacob
SHUMAN was another of the Dutch settlers in the town, having come here in 1794
and purchasing 134 acres of land for $168.
Samuel H. TORREY was not a pioneer, but nevertheless a worthy settler.
He resided near Rushville. His
children were Nancy, Samuel, Larned, Henry, Augustus, Hiram and Lucy.
after the year 1800, Luke CONLEY, an Irishman, with his small family came to
Potter to live. The children in
this family were: Jane, John, Luke, William, Bartholomew, David R., Mary, James
and Michael B. Dr. James HERMANS
was not a pioneer of Potter, but was for many years one of its leading citizens.
He came from Dutchess County and practiced medicine in the locality and a
part of the time at the county seat. His
wife was Eliza HARTT, by whom he had these children: Cornelia M., Emma S., Edwin
J., Charles E., Henry C., Catharine E., William H., and Mary E.
Deacon David SUTHERLAND is remembered as having been one of the pioneers
of Potter, his settlement having been made on lot 8, of the second range, in the
year 1792. His wife was Lucretia
SMITH. Their children were Joseph,
Andrew, Sarah, Elizabeth, Alexander, James and Patrick.
David SUTHERLAND was four terms in the Assembly from Ontario County.
In 1796 John VOAK and Rachel, his wife, came to Potter, locating on lot
9, first range. Their children were
Lydia, James, Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Samuel, Joseph, Mary, John and Josiah. Deacon William HOLTON and family came from York County, Pa.,
in 1796, and settled on lot 11, second range.
His wife was Mary LIEPER, by whom were born these children: Francis,
Janette, James, Samuel and Mary. In
1795 Abraham and Rachel LANE came from their former home in Milo and located
west of the Potter place, on lot 3, of the second range.
Eight children were in their family: John, Joseph, Mary, Jacob, Hannah,
Isaac, Abraham and Rachel.
WHITMAN was the pioneer landlord at Rushville, at which place he opened public
house about 1800. His wife was
Alice GREEN, who bore him five children: Augustus, Marcus, Henry G., Samuel and
Alice. Aaron PUTNEY came to what is
now Potter in 1814, locating on lot 6, seventh range, where he and his wife
died. Their children were Nancy,
Julia, Jedediah, Aurelia, Foskett M., Needham M., Martha, Olive, Aaron M. and
Milo. In 1809 Lewis M. BOSTWICK and
his then recently married wife settled on the York tract. Their children born in the town were Mary, Nathan, William
S., Daniel, Denton, Catharine and Hannah. Sanford
STROBRIDGE, the wheelwright, settled north of Potter Center, in 1826.
He and his wife had a numerous family, all but one of whom grew to
maturity. They were Maria, Susan,
Sanford D., Lyman H., Samuel G., Orville F., Jane E., George W., Charles H.,
James M. and William M. John S.
UNDERWOOD, wife and family, part of his children being by a first marriage,
located on the Potter farm in 1820, but afterward moved to Jerusalem.
The children by his first marriage were: Samuel C., Lydia, George, John,
Susan and Mary; by the second marriage: William H., Oliver, Henry, Clarissa,
Weeden, George and Benjamin. Ezekiel
GARDNER succeeded the UNDERWOODS on the Potter farm in 1826. His children were: Pelelg, John, Elizabeth N., Ezekiel W.,
and Mary E. Daniel G. WEARE,
an older resident of Ontario County, came to Potter in 1819. He died at the Center in 1863, his wife surviving him several
years. Their children were: Samuel
C., Mary H., Sarah, Caroline, Daniel G., Orrin R. and Delight.
Calvin LOOMIS and Nathan LOOMIS came to the region about the early years
of the present century; thence Calvin came to Potter and occupied the Dr.
HARKNESS place. By his first
marriage his children were: Stephen, Laura, Norman, and Maria; by his second
marriage, Erastus, Orrin G., and Luther. George
and Harriet (ROSS) HUNT, settled on lot 1, range three, in 1817.
He married Emily Waity BRIGGS, who more him these children: Amy, Eunice,
Mercy, Polly, Sally, Eliza A., Asa, Peleg, Abby, Thomas Jefferson and Ruth.
Reuben CARR and his family accompanied by Gilbert SHERER, the latter a child,
located north of Potter Center in 1815. When
grown up, Gilbert SHERER married, first, Fanny BORDWELL; second Minerva BORDWELL;
and third, Louisa DE VOE. In 1860
Mr. SHERER was elected to the Assembly; in 1861 was appointed postmaster at Penn
Yan. He was colonel of the 103rd
NYS Vo.. Infantry regiment. Captain
CARR, and his father, Caleb CARR, were both early residents of Potter.
The latter was the father of twenty-two children.
He had three wives.
Rev. William HOBART with his wife and six children came to Potter, where the
head of the family died in 1801. His
wife survived him fifty years and died in 1851.
The descendants of this family are now scattered throughout the county.
John and David STEBBINS came to Potter in 1814, and although each had a
family, the present representatives of the surname in the town are quite few.
Jacob B. VAN OSDOL is remembered as having been a tailor in Rushville at
an early day; also he is known to have been elected to the Assembly in 1855.
Two years later, he died. His
wife was Hannah WILDER, by whom he had two daughters, Augusta and Maria.
From the History and Directory of Yates County, Volume II, by Stafford C. Cleveland, pub. 1873
Nathaniel LOOMIS was a Justice of the Peace as early as 1797. George GREEN took the oath of office in 1811, and it is known he held it still earlier. Abiel THOMAS was sworn into the office as a Justice of the Peace in 1803, and repeatedly afterwards till as late as 1820; Arnold POTTER as Associate Judge of the county Courts in 1795, also as Justice of the Peace at the same time; John GRIFFFIN in 1808 and 1811. He also held the office of Judge; Jabez FRENCH in 1814 and 1816. Richard M. WILLIAMS was appointed Commissioner of Deeds in 1821; David SOUTHERLAND at the same time, and Michael A. FRANCISCO in 1823.
At the first Town Meeting in the town of Potter, the following officers were chosen: Supervisor, William L. HOBART; Town Clerk, Ambrose S. THOMAS, Justice of the Peace, Jeremiah BARBER, John H. GLEASON and Isaac SECOR; Assessor, James P. ROBINSON; Commissioners of Highways, Alexander SOUTHERLAND, David J. MC MASTER, Orrin STEBBINS; Overseers of the Poor, Mary WEARE, Abraham REDDOUT; Commissioners of Schools, Augustus TORREY, James P. ROBINSON, Jesse D. CASEY; Inspectors of Schools< Noah ROBINSON, Titus GILBERT, Alexander MC DONALD; Collector, Hiram TORREY; Constables, Richard GREEN, John ANSLEY, Joseph A. LEE; Sealer of Weights and Measures, John WISEWELL. The town meeting was held in the house of E. FINCH.
The Supervisors of Potter have been as follows:
1833-35 William L. HOBART; 1836-7 Henry HUSTED; 1838 Ė 41 James HEERMANS;1842-3 Ambrose S. THOMAS; 1844-5 Gilbert SHERER; 1846-47 John WISEWELL; 1848-9 Ira D. BRYANT; 1850-51 Henry TORREY; 1852 Elnathan R. HUNT; 1853-4 Isaac LANE; 1855 Ambrose S. THOMAS; 1856-7 George G. WYMAN; 1858-9 Ephraim C. MOWER; 1860 Ambrose S. THOMAS; 1861-62 John HALSTED; 1863 Hiram KEENEY; 1864 Henry TORREY; 1865 Witford B. WYMAN; 1866-7 Jareb BORDWELL; 1868-69 Charles OLMSTED; 1870-71 Peter L. DINTURFF.
Jeremiah BARBER was elected Justice of the Peace in 1833 and 1836; John H. GLEASON in 1833, 1837, 1843 and 1845; Isaac SECOR in 1833, 1839, 1843 and 1847; Augustus TORREY in 1834, 1838 and 1842; Isaac LANE in 1835, 1853 and 1855; John J. SCH|ENCK in 1840 and 1844; Baxter HOBART in 1841; Jacob B. VAN OSDOL in 1846; Andrew W. RECTOR in 1848; Oliver UNDERWOOD in 1849; John SAYRE in 1850,1854, 1858, 1866 and 1870; John SOUTHERLAND in 1851 and 1869; Jareb D. BORDWELL in 1852, 1856 and 1860; James CONLEY in 1853, 1857, 1861 and 1867; Horace UNDERWOOD in 1859; James O. FANNNG in 1862; John W. PYANE in 1863; Chauncey O HOTY in 1864; James C. BRIGGS in 1865; Milton SHUTTS in 1867 and 68; Sanford D. STROBRIDGE in 1871.
Ambrose S. THOMAS was the first town Clerk and held the office three years; Gilbert SHERERR followed three years; then James S. WARNER three years; John r. WYAMAN in 1841, followed four years by James STOUT; then Leicester HOARD two years; John MC DONALD in 1849; followed by Abiel THOMAS two years; William HURBURT one year, Chauncey O. HOYT one year; Cyrus DAINS four years; George STROBRIDGE in 1860 and 61; Chauncey O. HOYT in 1862 and 63; followed since then till 1871, Andrew J. COLE, except Luman P. HOTCHKISS in 1865 and Ashley MC DONALD in 1866.
The Postmasters succeeding Chester LOOMIS at Rushville have been Dr. Ira PRATT who was appointed under John TYLERíS administration, Periander VORCE appointed under POLK, Abijah OTIS appointed under President TAYLOR, Frank O. CHAMBERLAIN appointed under Franklin PIERCE, Ira D. BRYANT appointed under LINCOLN and still in office.
At Potter Center, John J. SCHENK succeeded Richard M. WILLIAMS and he was followed by Peleg THOMAS, who was appointed under John TYLER. Elijah TURNER was appointed under TAYLOR; Dr. Charles S. HOYT under PIERCE; Ashley THOMAS under BUCANAN; Cyrus DAINS under LINCOLN; and upon the decease of Mr. DAINS, Mortimer J. HOYT received the appointment and still holds the office.
A Post Office was established at Voak about 1854, and Peregrine HOLLET was the first Postmaster. After seven or eight years he was succeeded by John SOUTHERLAND and he in 1871 by Isaac LANE.
Potter in 1835 had a population of 2,256; in 1840, 2,245; in 1845, 2,374; in 1850, 2,194; in 1855, 2,148; in 1860, 2,151; in 1865, 2,137; in 1870, 1,970.
By the census of 1855, Potter had 1194 citizens, natives of Yates County; 1708 natives of the State of New York; 1939 natives of the United States; 29 natives of England; 35 of Ireland; and 37 of Germany. It has one stone house worth $1,200; 13 of brick, worth $14,600; 336 framed houses, valued at $173,940 and 43 of log, valued at $3,665.
By the same census the town had 16,612 acres of improved land and 5,600 unimproved. The cash value of farms was reported at $1,050,290; of stock, $134,625; of Farm implements, $37,065. There was one foundry worth $1,000, one sawmill worth $7,300 and one Tannery worth $450.
By the census of 1865, of the population of Potter, 1185 were natives of Yates County, 1782 of the State of New York 1952 of the United States; 33 of England, 62 of France, 23 of Germany, 42 of Ireland; 181 of all foreign births.
There was one stone dwelling, valued at $600, 15 of brick, valued at $25,700; 398 framed, worth $213,120, (the value of 52 was not given), 33 of log, worth $3,124.
Potter sent 127 men to the war to suppress the Rebellion; 24 died in the service and 11 were buried in the town.
By the census of 1865, Potter had 420 male citizens between the ages of 18 and 45. Potter Center had a population of 140 by the census of 1865. Rushville, by the same census had a population of 408 in Potter and 175 in Gorham; total 583. Also by the census of 1865, it had 447 in Potter and 190 in Gorham; total 637.Potter with a good soil and a thrifty class of farmers produced crops hardly surpassed by the richest towns of the county. At the present day there is nothing more than a few miles greater distance from market, and the swamps of Flint Creek to keep the comparative valuations of this town in the county assessment below that of the towns more favored in their local advantages. To overcome the first of these drawback a majority of the tax-payers representing a majority of the assessed valuation have consented in 1871 to bond the town for $30,000 to aid in the construction of a projected railroad to run through Rushville to Naples, and perhaps to extend still farther, and to be known as the Geneva and Southwestern Railroad. Middlesex offers to bond for $50,000 in aide of the same enterprise, almost unanimously.
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