Town of Potter Family Sketches
Yates Co., New York
From the "History of Yates Co., NY", by L.C. Aldrich, published 1892
Family Sketches for Town of Potter
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M - W
MASTERS, David M., son of David J. and Laura MC MASTERS, was born August 27,
1839 in Potter, NY. He was educated
at the common schools and has always lived upon the farm.
In politics a Republican, Mr. MC MASTERS has taken an active interest in
the affairs of this town. He has
been supervisor for two terms and is a member of Lodge of F. and A.M. of
Rushville. November 16, 1865, he
married Emma, daughter of Charles BORDWELL, of this town, by whom he had three
children, Nellie F., who married Charles SILVERNAIL; Carrie L. and Charles S.
Joel B., son of Thomas and Hannah (LANE) ROBERSON, was born June 12, 1822 in
this town. He was educated at the
district schools and worked on the farm until 1852, when he traveled to
California, remaining there until 1860. He
then 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.
Charles H., son of Peleg and Lucrecia (SUTHERLAND) THOMAS, was born December 1,
1846, in this town. He was educated
at the common schools and has always followed farming. He is a Democrat and has served as commissioner of highways
four 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 of
George, son of John S., and Abbie (HARRINGTON) UNDERWOOD, was born October 9,
1829 in Jerusalem, NY. He came to
this town in 1837, and was educated at the common sch8ools of the town and has
all his life been a farmer. In
politics he is a Republican. He
married Sarah Ann, daughter of Warner COLE, of this town on March 12, 1861, and
their children are Nora May, born March 1, 1862, died January 28, 1871; and
Charles C. UNDERWOOD, born September 25, 1866.
John and Rachel DYER, his wife, came to this place in 1796, from the town of
Hardwick, Sussex County, NJ. A
brother, Abraham, had previously settled in this vicinity.
John “VOUGHT” (as the name was then spelled) made his first purchase
of land of Arnold POTTER and wife, being forty acres, which is now the southeast
corner of lot 9, east range of lots in the town of Potter, the deed bearing date
of May 12, 1801, consideration $150. It
was on this lot he built his first cabin, which had a bark roof and a ground
floor, 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 the
mother and children while the father was at a distance from home at work to
support his family and pay for more land. Some
time after the first cabin was constructed, Mr. VOAK built a log house on the
site where he subsequently built the house that is at present the home of his
grandson, 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 about
700 acres, on which he settled his sons and daughters, and which is now conceded
to be of quality unsurpassed in Western New York for general farming and fruit
growing. The children of the first
John 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, born
May 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, Lake
County, Ill, with his daughter, in the ninety-third years of his age; and
Josiah, 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 New
Jersey with their parents to this country, that was then a wilderness, and has
much to do in clearing the land of the forest and making it to “bud and
blossom as the rose.” In 1817 he
married Rebecca HALL, who was born in the same locality, March 15, 1800. They settled and lived on the farm where Josiah VOAK now
resides. They remained there until
their youngest son, John, was three years old, then making a change with his
youngest brother, Josiah, they moved to and resided on the homestead farm the
remainder of their lives. James and
Rebecca VOAK had four children: Ellen, who was born May 21, 1819, married Herman
STILES, and now resides in Kansas; Huldah D., born August 10, 1820, married
Hiram U. REYNOLDS, and resides in Illinois; Isaac D., born September 9, 1822,
now resides in Buffalo, NY, married Margaret N. SCOTT; she died leaving three
children: Lorin, the oldest, only survives and now resides in Chicago, Ill.
At the age of twenty, James VOAK, with others of his brothers and
sisters, joined the Methodist Church and lived thereafter a consistent
Christina, honoring his profession by an
upright, pious and good life. He
was one of the trustees of the M.E. Church at the time it was built in 1844, and
contributed liberally to its construction and support while he lived.
All of his brothers and sisters, as well as their parents, were members
of the M.E. Church. Meetings were
held at their home for many years previous to the building of the church and the
homestead 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. They
had three children, Mary R., Horace G., and Dexter J.
Mary R., died January 7, 1878, aged twenty-six years; Horace G. married
Helen, daughter of Wesley TAYLOR, of Prattsburgh, NY; she died in 1887; and
Dexter 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 agricultural
implements and machines, having sold the first successful combination reaper and
mower, the first self raking reaper, the first horsefork, the firs glass fruit
jar or can, and various other inventions. He
kept the “Voak Post-office” as deputy the first five years of its existence,
Peregrine HOLLETT being postmaster at that time.
Horace B., son of Ephraim and Fannie (BROWN) WHEELER, was born June 20, 1826, in
this town, and was educated at the district schools. Hi has been a very successful farm, owning at the present
time 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 in
town affairs, devoting his time and energy to the cultivation of his farm and
the raising of stock. Mr. WHEELER married in October 1855, Betsey P., daughter of
Silas LACEY, of Warren, Pa, and their children are Glenn LINCOLN, who married
Lelia C., daughter of Adam HUNT of Milo, NY and Brad H. WHEELER who died aged
George G., son of Samuel and Betsey R. (WALTERMAN) WYMAN, a descendant of the
eighth generation from Roger WILLIAMS of Rhode Island, was born in Potter,
August 9, 1806. He was educated at
the common schools of the day, and he still owns the farm upon which he was
born. In politics he has always
been Republican, and has taken a active interest in the affairs of his native
town. He has been supervisor four
years and assessor twelve years. He
is 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 of
Samuel ROSS, of Mansfield, Conn., and they had twelve children: Adelia S., who
married Edwin J. HERMANS, of Potter, NY; Benjamin W., who married Rachel
CRAWFORD 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., an
artist who teaches at Wilbraham, Mass; Alice A. (deceased); Ella E., married J.
B. TRACY, of Schuyler County, NY; Edward S. (deceased) who married Lizzie
BORDWELL, 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 married
Mary ANDERSON, of Milo, NY and resides on the homestead.
by Dianne Thomas
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