Town of PotterFamily Sketches

Yates Co., New York


From the "History of Yates Co., NY",  byL.C. Aldrich,published 1892   

FamilySketches for Town of Potter


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MCMASTERS, David M., son of David J. and Laura MC MASTERS, was born August 27,1839 in Potter, NY.  He was educatedat the common schools and has always lived upon the farm. In politics a Republican, Mr. MC MASTERS has taken an active interest inthe affairs of this town.  He hasbeen supervisor for two terms and is a member of Lodge of F. and A.M. ofRushville.  November 16, 1865, hemarried Emma, daughter of Charles BORDWELL, of this town, by whom he had threechildren, Nellie F., who married Charles SILVERNAIL; Carrie L. and Charles S.



ROBERSON,Joel B., son of Thomas and Hannah (LANE) ROBERSON, was born June 12, 1822 inthis town.  He was educated at thedistrict schools and worked on the farm until 1852, when he traveled toCalifornia, remaining there until 1860.  Hethen returned to his native town, where he has since been engaged in farming. In politics he is a Democrat.  MR.ROBERSON married November 20, 1863, Eliza, daughter of Henry COOL, of this town. His wife died January 6. 1889.



THOMAS,Charles H., son of Peleg and Lucrecia (SUTHERLAND) THOMAS, was born December 1,1846, in this town.  He was educatedat the common schools and has always followed farming.  He is a Democrat and has served as commissioner of highwaysfour terms.  He married Ella,daughter of James and Emeline (PULVER) KETCHUM, by whom he has two daughters,Anna Belle, and Louisa Ray.  Mr.THOMAS owns a farm in the northern part of the town, which is in a fine state ofcultivation.



UNDERWOOD,George, son of John S., and Abbie (HARRINGTON) UNDERWOOD, was born October 9,1829 in Jerusalem, NY.  He came tothis town in 1837, and was educated at the common sch8ools of the town and hasall his life been a farmer.  Inpolitics he is a Republican.    Hemarried Sarah Ann, daughter of Warner COLE, of this town on March 12, 1861, andtheir children are Nora May, born March 1, 1862, died January 28, 1871; andCharles C. UNDERWOOD, born September 25, 1866.



VOAK,John and Rachel DYER, his wife, came to this place in 1796, from the town ofHardwick, Sussex County, NJ.  Abrother, Abraham, had previously settled in this vicinity. John �VOUGHT� (as the name was then spelled) made his first purchaseof land of Arnold POTTER and wife, being forty acres, which is now the southeastcorner of lot 9, east range of lots in the town of Potter, the deed bearing dateof May 12, 1801, consideration $150.  Itwas on this lot he built his first cabin, which had a bark roof and a groundfloor, and that was their first home in the wilderness, where bears, wolves,deer and Indians were numerous, and the cause of much fear and discomfort to themother and children while the father was at a distance from home at work tosupport his family and pay for more land.  Sometime after the first cabin was constructed, Mr. VOAK built a log house on thesite where he subsequently built the house that is at present the home of hisgrandson, John VOAK, and his sons and his grandchildren. A portion of a log barn is still standing. Mr. VOAK added to his first forty acres by purchase until he had about700 acres, on which he settled his sons and daughters, and which is now concededto be of quality unsurpassed in Western New York for general farming and fruitgrowing.  The children of the firstJohn and Rachel VOAK, were: Lydia, born April 30, 1789; died April 5, 1877;James, born January 16, 1791, died February 27, 1874; Abraham, born May 12,1793; died February 20, 1877; Isaac, born May 22, 1795, died June 8, 1834;Sarah, born September 16, 1797, died May 14, 1874; Samuel, born September 6,1799, living; Joseph, born December 10, 1801, died February 11, 1884; Mary, bornMay 17, 1804, died March 12, 1813; John, born October 4, 1806, died January 30,1812; Josiah, born January 1, 1809, living. Only tow of the above named are now living � Samuel in Benton, LakeCounty, Ill, with his daughter, in the ninety-third years of his age; andJosiah, in his eighty third years in Benton, Yates Co., NY, with his son, W. B.VOAK.  James VOAK, the oldest son,was born in New Jersey and was one of the four children that came from NewJersey with their parents to this country, that was then a wilderness, and hasmuch to do in clearing the land of the forest and making it to �bud andblossom as the rose.�  In 1817 hemarried Rebecca HALL, who was born in the same locality, March 15, 1800.  They settled and lived on the farm where Josiah VOAK nowresides.  They remained there untiltheir youngest son, John, was three years old, then making a change with hisyoungest brother, Josiah, they moved to and resided on the homestead farm theremainder of their lives.  James andRebecca VOAK had four children: Ellen, who was born May 21, 1819, married HermanSTILES, and now resides in Kansas; Huldah D., born August 10, 1820, marriedHiram U. REYNOLDS, and resides in Illinois; Isaac D., born September 9, 1822,now resides in Buffalo, NY, married Margaret N. SCOTT; she died leaving threechildren: Lorin, the oldest, only survives and now resides in Chicago, Ill. At the age of twenty, James VOAK, with others of his brothers andsisters, joined the Methodist Church and lived thereafter a consistentChristina, honoring his profession by an  upright, pious and good life.  Hewas one of the trustees of the M.E. Church at the time it was built in 1844, andcontributed liberally to its construction and support while he lived. All of his brothers and sisters, as well as their parents, were membersof the M.E. Church.  Meetings wereheld at their home for many years previous to the building of the church and thehomestead was the stopping place of the early itinerant preachers. John VOAK, youngest son of James, was born in Benton, NY, July 13, 1827,and was educated at the common schools and G. W. Seminary at Lima, NY. He has been a farmer all his life and still owns the homestead.  In politics he is a Republican, and is justice of the peace,which position he has held for a number of years.  He married Rachel Schoon SCOTT, daughter of William SCOTT. She died October 2, 1885.  Theyhad three children, Mary R., Horace G., and Dexter J.  Mary R., died January 7, 1878, aged twenty-six years; Horace G. marriedHelen, daughter of Wesley TAYLOR, of Prattsburgh, NY; she died in 1887; andDexter J. , who married Oneida C., daughter of David WELLS of Potter, NY. Mr. VOAK has lived on the homestead farm since about three years old. For a number of years he was engaged largely in introducing agriculturalimplements and machines, having sold the first successful combination reaper andmower, the first self raking reaper, the first horsefork, the firs glass fruitjar or can, and various other inventions.  Hekept the �Voak Post-office� as deputy the first five years of its existence,Peregrine HOLLETT being postmaster at that time. 



WHEELER,Horace B., son of Ephraim and Fannie (BROWN) WHEELER, was born June 20, 1826, inthis town, and was educated at the district schools.  Hi has been a very successful farm, owning at the presenttime 400 acres of land, one of the finest farms in Yates County. He has always been a Republican, but has taken no vary active part intown affairs, devoting his time and energy to the cultivation of his farm andthe raising of stock.  Mr. WHEELER married in October 1855, Betsey P., daughter ofSilas LACEY, of Warren, Pa, and their children are Glenn LINCOLN, who marriedLelia C., daughter of Adam HUNT of Milo, NY and Brad H. WHEELER who died agedeighteen.



WYMAN,George G., son of Samuel and Betsey R. (WALTERMAN) WYMAN, a descendant of theeighth generation from Roger WILLIAMS of Rhode Island, was born in Potter,August 9, 1806.  He was educated atthe common schools of the day, and he still owns the farm upon which he wasborn.  In politics he has alwaysbeen Republican, and has taken a active interest in the affairs of his nativetown.  He has been supervisor fouryears and assessor twelve years.  Heis a member of Mil Lodge at Penn Yan  F.and A.M., and he and his family are members of the M. E. Church.  October 20, 1831, Mr. WYMAN married Caroline, daughter ofSamuel ROSS, of Mansfield, Conn., and they had twelve children: Adelia S., whomarried Edwin J. HERMANS, of Potter, NY; Benjamin W., who married RachelCRAWFORD of Penn Yan, NY; Benjamin W., who married Rachel CRAWFORD of Penn Yan,NY; Harriet R. (deceased), married F. C. HOBART of Potter, NY; Elizabeth R.,married Frank TILFORD, of Ontario Co., NY; Sarah G. (deceased); Emily L., anartist who teaches at Wilbraham, Mass; Alice A. (deceased); Ella E., married J.B. TRACY, of Schuyler County, NY; Edward S. (deceased) who married LizzieBORDWELL, of Potter, NY; Susan C., who married John VOORHEES, of Potter, NY;Flora A., who married Martin FOSTER, of this town; and Henry B., who marriedMary ANDERSON, of Milo, NY and resides on the homestead.


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