Mary was single for many years. Then on Sept. 21, 1884, when she was age 35, she entered into the rite of marriage with 52-year-old widower George Perry Potter (1832-1910), the son of Samuel and Sarah (Leonard) Potter. The ceremony took place at Farmington, Fayette County, by the hand of George Washington Hansel, a justice of the peace. The bride was 17 years younger than the groom.
George's father was known for having built and operated a gristmill, saw mill and buckwheat/corn flour mill at Meadow Run near Ohiopyle, Fayette County, PA.
George is mentioned in at least three books about the Ohiopyle region. The 1882 book History of Fayette County, authored by Franklin Ellis, may be the most authoritative, and features several paragraphs about George and his father-in-law and brothers-in-law of the Leonard family:
Benjamin Leonard was reared in the family of Reuben Thorpe, and after attaining manhood made an improvement on the bottoms below the mill owned by Potter. He afterwards cleared up the farm which is now owned by his youngest son Robert. Other sons were Eli, Amos P. (a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church), Reuben, Christmas, and Robert. Nearly all of these continue to reside in the township... On the same stream the manufacture of splint chairs is carried on by George P. Potter. The factory has been in successful operation since 1860, and several hundred fine chairs are made annually. Below that point, also on Meadow Run, Reuben and Christmas Leonard carry on a split-chair factory and more than sixty years ago their father, Benjamin Leonard, carried on this industry in the township, some of the chairs he made being yet in use.
As a young man, George stood 5 feet, 11 inches tall, with a dark complexion, grey eyes and dark hair. He married his first wife, Elmira "Jane" Collins (1839-1879), on Nov. 22, 1858. She was the daughter of John and Rachel Amanda (Von Sivert) Collins, and a native of Virginia.
The first marriage produced six children who lived to adulthood, including Clarence Potter, Miriam Potter, Charles Potter, Josephine Patterson, Angeline "Angie" Kilgore and Horace Greely Potter.
Tragically, several other children of the first union died young. Isaac (age two) and Joseph (four months) died eight days apart in 1868, and Eunice (one year, 11 months) passed away in 1871. Of all of their nine children, three were born before George went to war.
Drafted during the Civil War, George first served for four months in Company D of the 199th Pennsylvania Infantry. After his discharge, in February 1865, he re-enlisted in the 97th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company H.
...became disabled by reason of exposure while marching, cold rains, wading streams and sleeping in wet clothes with out Blankets. He incurred what appeared to be rheumatism, disease [of the] bowels and kidneys being affected with severe pains and weakness in back... I also remember of his complaining of chills + fever which was caused by being in malarial districts for several months, first near Richmond, Va. + afterwards in North Carolina. Fever + Ague was a very common disease among the soldiers at that time.
Another private in Company H of the 79th, Ephraim A. Vansickle, recalled that George "was taken sick, his skin being of a yellowish color, and his symptoms indicating liver disease."
George was discharged at Raleigh, NC on June 28, 1865, after the war had ended. He returned to Ohiopyle. He arrived back home on a Sunday morning, July 9, 1865. Among those there to greet him were two other Union Army veterans -- his wife's relative, Isaiah L. Collins, and his boyhood friend and future brother-in-law, Reuben Leonard. Collins resided about one-eighth of a mile away, and later said that he saw George "at least twice a week and [had] worked for and with him at different times." Collins also wrote:
He also complained of Piles by times unable to lift heavy weights or to stoop over or raise up when in a stooping position. Without great care to stoop quick or rise up quick would be nearly sure to produce the paines in his back which would cripple him for days. I have often seen him unable to turn himself in bed and at all times he has to be careful how he takes hold of anything.
In 1869, George and kinsman Charles Minerd served as school directors of Steward Township. Their terms apparently lasted only one year each.
Sadly, on April 29, 1879, at age 40, Elmira passed away. She was buried at the Thorpe Cemetery (later renamed the Belle Grove Cemetery, and today known as the Irwin Memorial Cemetery). Attending her funeral were Morris Morris and Plummer F. Hall, both of Ohiopyle.
She and George went on to bear two more children, Jessie W. Potter and Logan Potter. They resided in Ohiopyle.
After the war, in 1889, George was awarded a military pension of $4 a month for the maladies he contracted in the Army. In 1904, his payments were increased to $12 a month, and then by 1907 were up to $15 monthly. He suffered from his wartime illnesses, but rarely used a doctor. He once wrote:
I live in a mountain county where Doctors are not handy and are expensive if got. I generaly depend on patent medicines and herbs. I only employ Doctors in extreme cases as my means are very limited.
George died of uremic poisoning at age 77 on June 6, 1910, caused by chronic inflammation of his bladder. He was laid to rest beside with his first wife and infant children at Irwin Memorial Cemetery. Son Charles was the informant for his official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Of their children, circa 1910, Clarence and Miriam resided in Youngstown, OH; Charles in Monessen, PA; Horace in Wyoming; Angeline in Montana; Joseph in Ohio; and Logan and Jessie in Ohiopyle.
In about 1924, Mary began to suffer from organic heart disease, as well as chronic nephritis, though she was able to be "up and around," said the newspaper.
Just two weeks after her 76th birthday, Mary passed away, on March 31, 1925. After a funeral held at the South Liberty Church, she was laid to rest at the Wingston Cemetery in or near North Baltimore, Wood County. There also is a memorial marker for her beside her husband George's grave at Irwin Memorial Cemetery in Ohiopyle, so it's not known if her remains later were moved. Her older marker was barely legible when photographed in May 2001 by the founder of this website.
~ Stepson Clarence Potter ~
Stepson Clarence Potter (1859-1919) was born on Sept. 5, 1859. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the 21-year-old Clarence resided near Ohiopyle with his widowed father and younger siblings and earned a living as a laborer.
Stepson Clarence Potter (1859-1919) was born on Sept. 5, 1859.
When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the 21-year-old Clarence resided near Ohiopyle with his widowed father and younger siblings and earned a living as a laborer.
Perhaps attracted by a maternal uncle of Clarence's, Clarence migrated west to Wood County, OH, where farmland was flat and oil and gas had been discovered in 1886.
On April 15, 1891, when he was 31 years of age, he wed Luella/Louella Poland (Aug. 31, 1866-1944). She was a native of Hancock County, OH and the daughter of Joseph and Nancy (Swisher) Poland.
The pair produced four offspring, among them George P. Potter, Ruth W. Potter and Charles Augustus Potter. Sadly, son George died in 1904, and another was deceased by 1910.
U.S. Census records for 1900 show the couple in Liberty Township, Wood County, OH, with Clarence's occupation listed as "oil producer." At that time, his younger brother Horace, age 21, also was living under their roof.
The Connellsville Daily Courier once said that:
Clarence was profitable even though the oil in Wood County "had intractable quality problems that threatened to destroy its value," writes Ron Chernow in his national bestseller, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr. "[Its] high sulfur content corroded machinery and gave off a deadly smell." The Commemorative Historical and Biographical Record of Wood County states that in the year 1895 alone, there were nearly 1,800 new wells in operation in the county: "[T]he driller was at work day and night, and derricks appeared everywhere..."
Clarence and Luella and the children are known to have returned to his native Fayette County for a visit in November 1903.
By 1910, when the census again was made, Clarence earned a living as a farmer in Rudolph, Wood County. Louella's widowed mother resided in their household that year.
Clarence and son Charles are known to have returned to his native Ohiopyle to visit relatives in June 1919. The news was fodder for the gossip columns of the Connellsville Daily Courier.
On the fateful day of Nov. 22, 1919, while back in his native Ohiopyle on business, Clarence was killed in a railroad accident. Newspapers reported that he had stepped in front of a Baltimore and Ohio train No. 43, from which he had stepped off. Said the Pittsburgh Press, "It is believe that a noise of an approaching train on another track prevented the Ohio man from hearing the train which ran him down." The remains were transported to Connellsville and thene to North Baltimore, Wood County, OH to sleep for the ages in Wingston Cemetery in Weston. His brother Charles, living in Donora, PA, was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Luella outlived him by a quarter of a century and remained in Liberty Township. The Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune reported that "Most of her life was spent in Liberty Township where she was a member of the South Liberty Methodist Church. She took an active interest in farming and in the affairs of her community while health permitted. She was a member of Greenwood Chapter O.E.S. [Order of Eastern Star] and had been a member of the Board of Directors of the Woman's Club of Bowling Green."
She and her two surviving children are shown together in the 1920 census. None of them had an occupation that year. In 1921, in an effort to determine her dower, the widow's share of her late husband's estate, she began a legal proceeding against her children to sort out the rights to the family's 42 parcels of land with a total area of 4,421 acres. It may have been at that time that her businessman brother-in-law Charles Potter relocated temporarily to Rudolph from his home in Donora, PA to help settle the matter. One of the thorny issues was apportionment and improvement of a ditch in Section 6 of Perry Township, which a judge in December 1924 ordered to be sold and completed. Another ditch apportionment in Freedom Township was ordered to be sold in June 1925.
After daughter Ruth wed John B. Wilson Jr., Luella went to live in their farming household in Liberty. They sustained a total loss in November 1927 when their barn, containing a large volume of corn and hay, burned to the ground. The U.S. Census of 1930 shows them all under one roof.
Sadly, Luella passed away in the Bowling Green home of their daughter Ruth on March 9, 1944. Her obituary was printed in the Daily Sentinel-Tribune.
Daughter Ruth W. Potter (1897-1970) was born in Oct. 2, 1897 in Rudolph. She was an alumna of Liberty Township School. She attended Wooster College in 1916 and was an alumna of Wellesley College. At the age of 24, on Oct. 20, 1921, she entered into marriage with 26-year-old store manager and World War I veteran John Brainerd Wilson Jr. ( ? - ? ), a native of Massachusetts. Rev. S.M. Cook officiated the ceremony, which was conducted in Rudolph. The trio of children of this union were Eleanor "Jean" Oberst, John Brainerd Wilson III, Catherine Pauff and George P. Wilson. Sadness blanketed the family when newborn son John died at age six days on Aug. 24, 1929. The Wilsons made their dwelling-place in 1920 on a farm in Liberty Township, Wood County. Ruth is known to have taught school and helped train girl athletes at Liberty High and also to have been involved with the Wood County Republican Women, elected first vice president in June 1929. Circa 1930, John served on the Liberty school board during the time that a new auditorium was built. Said the Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune, "There was insufficient money for seats, but Wilson heard of a theater in Detroit that was closing. He went there and bought the theater seats, which were then installed at Liberty." By 1941, the Wilsons relocated to Washington, DC, where he had been named head of the Bureau of Soil Conservation. The position entailed travel and in October 1941, on the eve of World War II, are known to have visited Florida and Louisiana. The Wilsons returned to Bowling Green as of 1944 with an address of 123 North Summit Street. As inheritors of her parents' farm acreage, Ruth and John were paid $25 in 1948, said the local newspaper, "for use of their land in connection with the erection of a bridge over Needles Creek on County Road No. 43-B, Jackson Township."
In the economy of their community, alfalfa emerged above tomatoes and sugar beets as a "better money producing crop, with much less work for the farmer," wrote columnist Fred W. Uhlman in the Daily Sentinel-Tribune, and John oversaw its production in the town of Weston: "And where is Weston as far as alfalfa is concerned? Right at the top, raising large quantities of it and having a fine mill under the capable management of my good friend, John Wilson, one of Wood County's largest farmers supervising his own farms as well as those of his wife, Ruth Potter Wilson, daughter of Clarance Potter, one of Wood County's best known oil men. In addition to his other activities John is also a director and is on the Finance Committee of the Bank of Wood County and is also a Trustee of the Wood County Hospital." Ruth had the singular privilege and pleasure in September 1960 of burning the mortgage paper of the Bowling Green Woman's Club house, which had been organized in 1920, with her mother a charter member. Circa 1966, she was secretary for the Committee for Economy, promoting the efficient utilization of school taxes for utilizing and enlarging existing educational facilities. She also was active with the Wellesley Club of Toledo, First United Methodist Church, Order of Eastern Star, King's Daughters and Wood County Hospital Guild. John's name again was prominent in the news in November 1961 when presenting his paper, "Forty Years of Problems and Change in Agriculture" to the Town and Gown Club. He was quoted as saying "I have seen more changes in agriculture in the last 40 years than Christopher Columbus would have seen could he have visited America in 1921. These changes were both terrifying and fascinating." The issues he raised in the paper ranged from the capital a farmer needed to become a farm tenant, farm surpluses and new crops to government control and discipline to balance supply. Sadly, on Jan. 25, 1970, at the age of 72, Ruth became critially ill and was rushed to the county hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Her obituary appeared in the Daily Sentinel-Tribune. Burial was in Pleasant View Cemetery in Wingston.
Son Charles Augustus Potter (1904-1975) was born on June 1, 1904. On or about Aug. 24, 1925, he was joined in wedlock with Mildred Lindsey (Jan. 4, 1906-1989), daughter of David and Bessie Lindsey of Clermont County, OH. They lived in Rudolph and were the parents of three -- Carol Ann Potter, Thomas Alan Potter and Shirley Jane Drain. They owned extensive farm tracts in Liberty Township, with Charles "reportedly Wood County's largest landowner," said the Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune. They were longtime members of the Philippian Church, where Charles served as a trustee and taught its adult Sunday School class for more than three decades. Their home was located at 16471 Defiance Pike in Rudolph. After collapsing at home, death swept him away at the age of 70 on May 2, 1975. Burial was in Wingston Cemetery in Weston, OH. Mildred lived as a widow for another 14 years, remaining in their Defiance Pike house. At the age of 83, as a patient at Wood County Hospital, she passed into eternity on June 22, 1989.
~ Stepdaughter Miriam Potter ~
Stepdaughter Miriam Potter (1861-1945) was born on June 24, 1861 near Ohiopyle.
She never married and circa 1910-1924 dwelled in Youngstown, OH. As of 1910, she earned a living as a dressmaker and boarded in the home of Romeo and Jennie Raye.
She also taught a Sunday School class in Youngstown's Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church for more than three decades. Said the Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune, "Starting with a group of 13 year old boys, the class grew to a membership of over 100."
In 1924, she paid a visit to her married cousin Miriam Urschel in Bowling Green, Wood County, OH. From there she traveled to Wyoming to see her sister Angeline Kilgore, with the news reported in the gossip columns of the Daily Sentinel-Tribune.
Miriam at age 63 relocated in about 1924 to Bowling Green, settling in nearby Liberty Township,, sharing a residence with her younger half-sister Jessie Potter. There, she remained for the final 21 years of her life and was active with the South Liberty Methodist Church. The Sentinel-Tribune once said that she "was a kindly person with a deep interest in people about her, and a forward, hopeful attitude toward life. She was always doing good deeds for others until restricted by failing health and eyesight.
At her birthday in June 1941, said the Sentinel-Tribune, she was honored "with a gathering of former Sunday School pupils and members of South Liberty M.E. Church with a dinner at her beautiful country home. Dinner was served at tables laid under the century old shade trees in the yard. Guests were present from Youngstown, Ohio, Gary, Ind., Pittsburgh and Uniontown, Penna., Fostoria, Toledo and Bowling Green."
Her final address in the mid-1940s was East Merry Avenue in Bowling Green.
At the age of about 84, already burdened by heart disease, she sustained shock and internal injuries when falling down a flight of steps. She was admitted to University Hospital in Bowling Green. Death enveloped her there on June 30, 1945. John B. Wilson of Bowling Green, a nephew by marriage, signed the death certificate. Funeral services were held in her church.
~ Stepson Charles Potter ~
Stepson Charles Potter (1863-1933) was born in 1863 near Ohiopyle.
Charles never married. He relocated to Washington County, PA and circa 1900 resided in Charleroi. He and partners C.F. Cardon of Butler, William I. Berryan of Pittsburgh and C.F. Thompson and William R. McKean of Charleroi together founded the Donora Hotel Company in October 1900. About that time he moved to Donora.
On July 17, 1900. Charles incorporated his own business, Donora Lumber Company. The firm was located at Meldon Avenue at a time when the town was rapidly growing with the opening of a nail, rod and wire manufacturing plant of United States Steel Corporation. One of Donora Lumber's early contracts, in 1901, was a new, three-story, brick and stone building for the First National Bank of Donora, of which Mellon Bank executive and future U.S. Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon was a director.
The Youghiogheny book states that Charles "became an architect and designed the Mitchell house that is now the American Youth Hostel."
In company with Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Thompson, Charles took a vacation tour to the West India Islands in February 1910, visiting Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Panama Canal and Cuba.
He branched out further in his business in December 1910 when co-chartering the Lock Four Brick Company with partners Samuel H. Pyle and Frank Bly. Said the Daily Republican, "It is proposed to fit up the old Charleroi Brick works, and there manufacture bricks for market purposes. It is also proposed to quarry stone for market. The work of putting the old brick works formerly conducted by the Bowman Bros. of Charleroi in condition has begun."
Sadly, he contracted pulmonary tuberculosis in about 1918, which he endured for the balance of his life over 15 years.
Charles' wealthy brother Clarence died in Ohio in 1919. Charles was called to his brother's home in Rudolph to administer the estate, and in January 1921 sold a controlling interest in the lumber company to Harold F. Vogel, said to have been "a hustling young business man."
He returned to Donora and was a member of the Monongahela Valley Country Club near his residence.
Then after being diagnosed with tuberculosis of the larynx, he suffered for two months and surrendered to the angel of death on Jan. 7, 1933, in Carroll Township. The body was shipped to Weston, OH for burial in Wingston Cemetery. H.O. Colgan of Donora was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Donora Lumber Company continued for decades. Over the years, said a newspaper, it furnished wood for the outfield fence at Three Rivers Stadium, Kennywood Amusement Park’s Jack Rabbit and Thunderbolt roller coasters and for construction of the World Trade Center. In 1970, it marked its 70th anniversary and was featured in the Daily Republican with Albert Kovalak serving as general manager. It closed in 2016 when filing for Chapter 7 voluntary liquidation bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania. The filing claimed that the company had nearly 50 creditors, up to $50,000 in assets and liabilities, and a condemned building in the process of being demolished. At the time of closure, the company legacy as Donora's oldest business, including Charles' name, was published in the Uniontown Herald-Standard.
The town of Donora also is well-known in two segments of American popular culture and experience. It was the birthplace of Major League Baseball legends Stan Musial and Ken Griffey Jr., born on the same day, 49 years apart. In 1948, a persistent smog in the air claimed the lives of 20 residents and led to respiratory problems for another 6,000, and has been called "one of the worst air pollution disasters in the nation's history" by the New York Times.
~ Stepdaughter Josephine (Potter) Patterson ~
Stepdaughter Josephine Potter (1870-1911) was born on Oct. 17, 1870.
On Sept. 27, 1899, Josephine was united in matrimony with John Henry Patterson (July 17, 1869-1943), a native of Pierce Township, Clermont County, OH, and the son of William and Harriet (Short) Patterson of near Cincinnati.
The five offspring of the couple were Gertrude Patterson, Grace Elizabeth Arnold, Clarence A. "Pat" Patterson, Mildred Patterson and Rosa "Rose" O'Donnell.
The newlyweds made their home on a farm circa 1900-1910 in Rudolph, Liberty Township, Wood County, OH. In 1910, hired man Ray Allen, age 19, lived in the household.
Grief cascaded over the family when their daughter Gertrude died on July 30, 1908 at the age of five. Her tender remains were laid to rest in the Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, OH. Daughter Mildred also died very young.
The pair made a living as farmers.
Josephine and the family were plunged into anxiety when she was diagnosed with lung problems in 1910. Reported the Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune, she "struggled for over a year with tuberculosis. When first taken ill with the disease, Mrs. Patterson resided on a farm near Rudolph. They moved to New Mexico last November, thinking a change of climates might do her good. But all efforts were in vain, and she was confined to her bed since January."
Unable to rally, she died at the age of 41 on Oct. 4, 1911, in Roswell. The body returned to Ohio for funeral services. Her half-brother Logan Potter, and maternal aunt and uncle, Samantha "Elizabeth" and George Hamilton Pisor, are all known to have traveled to attend the funeral at the McGill Church, led by Rev. S.M. Cook, and burial in the sacred soil of Wingston Cemetery in Weston. An obituary was published in the Daily Sentinel-Tribune.
John endured for another more than three decades and married again to Minnie Krassow (1892-1968), daughter of Chris Krassow.
Their final home was in Mungen, OH. There, suffering from heart disease, senility and pneumonia, he died at the age of 73 on June 13, 1943. Signing the official Ohio certificate of death was Clarence Patterson of 244 South Summit Street, Bowling Green. Rev. Charles Stricklin led the funeral rites. An obituary in the Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune said he "had been in filing health for a number of years and his death was due to complications. He had spent the greater part of his life in this community and around Cincinnati."
Minnie lived for another quarter-century as a widow. She supported herself as a cook at Harvey's Restaurant until retirement. Her final address was 201 North Church Street. Bowling Green. She died in Wood County Hospital at the age of 76 on Nov. 28, 1968. The remains were lowered under the sod of Jerry City Cemetery. The Daily Sentinel-Tribune ran an obituary.
Daughter Grace E. Patterson (1903-1979) was born on March 11 or 18, 1903 in Liberty Township, Wood County. She was a longtime teacher in the Wauseon Elementary Schools in Ohio and belonged to the Christ United Methodist Church of Wauseon. She held memberships in the Order of Eastern Star, where she held a term as matron, and in the Business and Professional Women group, Women's Club of Wauseon and Wauseon chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She did not marry until mid-life. In the early 1940s, she wed German immigrant William Arnold ( ? - ? ). The couple did not reproduce. They lived in Wauseon for the balance of their lives. William made a living as a building contractor. Grace attended a 1971 banquet of the Rudolph, Liberty, Westwood Schools Alumni in the Liberty school gymnasium and was recognized as a 50-year-member. Death swept away William at the age of 71 on June 7, 1976. Grace endured for another three years. She died in Fox Run Manor Nursing Home in Findlay, OH at the age of 76 on Dec. 11, 1979. Her obituary appeared in the Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune. Rev. Robert Nida led the funeral rites, with burial in Pleasant View Cemetery near Wingston.
Son Clarence A. "Pat" Patterson (1907-1988) was born on Feb. 17, 1907 in Mungen, Wood County. He moved to Toledo in young manhood and obtained employment as a machinist. On June 1, 1929, at the age of 22, he entered into marriage with 22-year-old Annabelle Fearnside ( ? -1960), daughter of Benjamin and Della (Taylor) Fearnside of Bowling Green. The wedding was conducted in Urbana, OH, and presiding was Rev. Arnold Barker of Springfield, OH. Among their children were John "Thomas" Patterson, David Richard Patterson and Rose Helen Schwarz. At one time, Clarence was employed by Toledo Edison Company. He then went into business for himself as owner and operator of a Standard Oil Central Service Station as well as a stove repair service in Bowling Green. They are known to have been members of the First Baptist Church. Clarence belonged to the Wood County lodge of the Masons and the Scottish Rite Valley of Toledo. Annabelle was active in the church's Missionary Society, the Mt. Zion Ladies Aid and the Republican Women's Organization. Their address in 1960 was 244 South Summit Street. Grief blanketed the family when Annabelle suffered an unexpected blood clot at home and passed away on Aug. 8, 1960. After 14 years alone, Clarence married again on Feb. 16, 1974 to Ruth (Dimick) Mills (Feb. 24, 1911-1998), widow of Edward W. Mills and daughter of Marshall and Martha (Meeker) Dimick. She brought two stepdaughters into the second union -- Carol Mills and Sherril Roney. She had worked as teller for State Home Savings in Bowling Green and Citizen's Savings and Loan in Perrysburg. Ruth also was a member of the First Baptist congregation, teaching the Zuriel class of the Sunday School. Their last address was 825 Haskins Road. Sadly, Clarence died in Bowling Green's Wood County Hospital at the age of 81 on March 16, 1988. The Bowling Green Sentinel Tribune published an obituary in which the headcount of survivors was placed at a dozen grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Burial was in Portage Cemetery. Ruth lived for another decade. She died in Maumee's St. Luke's Hospital at the age of 87 on Feb. 28, 1998.
Daughter Rosa "Rose" Patterson (1908-1998) was born on June 27, 1908 in Mungen, OH. She was an alumna of the School of Nursing of the Women's and Children's Hospital of Toledo. On April 16, 1936, Rose married Robert Paul O'Donnell (May 11, 1908-1996) of Wapakoneta, OH and the son of Jeremiah and Anna (McMahon) O'Donnell. He stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 162 lbs. The only son of this union was Daniel O'Donnell. Circa 1940,when Robert was required to register for the military draft, they resided in Toledo at 2039 Summit, with Robert working for Electric Auto-Lite Company. He eventually served in the U.S. Army during World War II. The O'Donnell family later lived in Rudolph, Wood County. Rose earned a living as a registered nurse for Bowling Green State University Health Center and Wood County Hospital. She also was employed over the years by Electric Auto Lite and H.J. Heinz Company. They held a membership in the First Baptist Church of Bowling Green. In 1950, their home was in Wauseon, OH, with Robert working in wholesale paint demonstration. They may have temporarily dwelled in California, as shown in the 1950 federal census. He also is known to have worked for the Bowling Green City Schools, retiring in 1974. Sadly, Robert died in Bowling Green on Feb. 24, 1996. With her health in decline, she was admitted to Bowling Green Manor. Rose at the age of 90 surrendered to the angel of death in Bowling Green on Nov. 6, 1998. Following her funeral service in the family church, her body was donated to the Medical College of Ohio, with an obituary appearing in the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune.
~ Stepdaughter Angeline Sue "Angie" (Potter) Kilgore ~
Stepdaughter Angeline Sue "Angie" Potter (1874-1944) was born on Nov. 6, 1874 near Ohiopyle.
When she was 52 years of age, circa 1927, she was joined in wedlock with 52-year-old Thomas P. Jefferson Kilgore (June 22, 1874-1961), a native of Hancock County, TN.
He had been married before to Laura Vaughn (1881-1921) and to that union was the father of Marion Arthur Kilgore, Lula Etta Leonard and William Oscar Kilgore. He abandoned his first family who never heard heard from him again. Speculation said he had been murdered somewhere between Hancock County, TN and his residence in Wise County, VA.
In reality, he migrated to Wyoming where he settled in for a life with Angeline. The federal census enumerations of 1930 and 1940 show the pair on a farm in Fremont County, WY.
Tragedy struck on the fateful late afternoon of on Sept. 30, 1944. While she was helping her husband to move sheep to her brother Horace's ranch, on Squaw Creek, six miles from Lander, a heavy snow began to fall. Tom told her to wait in their wagon while he finished the job of delivering the herd. "When Kilgore returned to the wagon about midnight, his wife was gone," reported the Casper Star-Tribune, "and a foot of snow had obliterated all tracks. A fire was burning in the sheep wagon stove." The next morning, Sheriff Clayton Danks led a posse of 16 men on horseback on an all-day search. By the end of the day, three feet of snow were on the ground.
The search party continued the next day on the eastern slopes of the Wind River Mountains, "spurring their horses into canyons and ravines on the theory that Mrs. Kilgore in attempting to reach lower ground from the sheep wagon, located on the edge of timber, became confused and went higher up the mountain slop which many miles in and up from the search scene rsies to Gannett peak, 13,785 feet, the highest point in Wyoming." Her corpse was not found for several days. Reported the Star-Tribune:
Interment was in the local Mount Hope Cemetery.
Thomas reputedly died in Fremont County at the age of 86 on May 4, 1961. This all needs to be confirmed.
~ Stepson Horace Greeley Potter ~
Stepson Horace Greeley Potter (1877-1947) was born on Nov. 26, 1877 at Meadow Run near Ohiopyle.
He appears to have been named for the famed American newspaper editor and publisher, Horace Greeley, who is said to have uttered the famous quote, "Go West, young man." Greeley had died a few years before our Horace's birth, after an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1872 against Ulysses S. Grant. He attended the Belle Grove School in childhood.
Horace moved to Ohio as a young man. At the age of 21, he made a home with his elder brother Clarence and family in Liberty Township, Wood County, OH, and generated income as a farm laborer. He was tall and of medium build, with blue eyes and brown hair.
In 1904, he entered into marriage with schoolhood friend Margaret Sproul (1877-1967), daughter of Oliver and Matilda (Morris) Sproul of Fayette County.
Three offspring borne by this couple were Harold Eugene Potter, Donald Oliver Potter and Blanche Aase.
Prior to marriage, Margaret was a school teacher in Whig Corner, Fayette County. The newly married couple first made a residence in the 1905-1907 timeframe in Cleveland, OK, where their two sons were born. They relocated to Wyoming by 1910.
By 1910, when the federal census enumeration was made, the family was in the Dallas Dome oilfield a few miles east of Lander in Fremont County, WY, where the state's first oil well had been drilled a quarter of a century earlier, in 1885. Horace earned a living in 1910 as an oilfield laborer.
They remained in Fremont County during the 1910s and moved to another oil patch town, known as Midwest. They are shown there in the 1920 census, with Horace now occupied as a stock rancher.
Horace opened Farmers Supply Company, an "implement house" in Lander, selling farm machinery, assisted by their son Donald. Margaret is known to have belonged to a bridge card-playing club and attended meetings of the Happy Hour Club. When her sister Mary Elizabeth Christy died in Connellsville in June 1940, Margaret traveled to attend the funeral.
Circa 1944, their dwelling-place was on a sheep ranch in Lander, and he continued to earn a living as a feed and implements dealer. Their home in the 1940s was on Shoshone Avenue, and they received their mail at Box 616, Lander. Horace finally retired from the business in July 1946.
In the fall of 1946, the Potters acquired a trailer with plans to spend their future winters together in the south. On their first trip, in mid-February 1947, they got as far as Arizona when Horace was felled by a stroke. His final month was spent in Highland Trailer Court in Phoenix. He died two days later on Feb. 20, 1947 at the age of 69. The remains were taken to Wyoming for interment in Mount Hope Cemetery in Lander, Fremont County. An obituary in his old hometown newspaper, the Connellsville Daily Courier, said that in addition to his wife and children he was survived by "one half-brother, Logan, and one half-sister, Jessie, of Wood county, Ohio, and a number of nieces and nephews."
Margaret lived for another 20 years. By 1950, she and their daughter migrated to the West Coast, settling in San Francisco. The federal census of 1950 shows the two together, with the daughter working as a medical laboratory technician in a children's hospital. She succumbed to the spectre of death in 1967.
Son Harold Eugene Potter (1905-1981) was born on April 10, 1905 in Cleveland, OK. He was a graduate of Lander High School in Wyoming and went on to earn a degree at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO. He wed Mary "Leona" Taylor (Nov. 24, 1905-1994), a native of Beaumont, TX and the daughter of pioneer oilman William Henry Taylor. Their two offspring were Joan Stout and Richard Potter. Early in the marriage, the pair lived at 303˝ West Phillips Street, Tyler. By 1954 their dwelling-place was 2300 South Chilton. Harold became one of East Texas' first petroleum engineers, said the Tyler Morning Telegraph, and the first to be employed by Humble Oil Company. Harold moved to Tyler in 1931. He rose over the years to become division superintendent for Humble's East Texas Division. He held memberships in the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Texas Society of Professional Engineers and the American Petroleum Institute. Harold was active in the community as president of the East Texas Area Council of Boy Scouts, where he was bestowed a Silver Beaver citation award. He served a term as president of the Tyler Community Chest, chaired the East Texas Hospital Foundation board of directors and held a seat on the board of the East Texas Chamber of Commerce. They belonged to the Marvin United Methodist Church, Willowbrook Country Club and Tyler Petroleum Club. Leona was involved with the church's Women's Society, hospital auxiliary and the Major Thaddeus Bell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The family moved to Dallas, where in 1961 Harold was named the company's manager of a newly created Dallas operation. He finally retired in 1963. Sadly, stricken with a progressive type of palsy over the last five year of his life, he developed acute pneumonia and died in Gaston Episcopal Hospital in Dallas at the age of 75 on March 21, 1981. His remains were cremated. Rev. Fr. John Twyman led the funeral rites. In an obituary in the Morning Telegraph, the family asked that any memorial gifts be made to the Annual Students Assistance Program of his alma mater, the Colorado School of Mines. Leona outlived her husband by a baker's dozen years. Death enveloped her in Dallas at the age of 88 on July 16, 1994. Interment was in Hillcrest Mausoleum.
Son Donald Oliver Potter (1906-1987) was born in 1906 in Oklahoma. He grew up near Lander, WY and is believed to have been a graduate of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. By 1930, at the age of 23, he worked for his father as a salesman in the family-owned farm implements and machinery business. On Nov. 23, 1932, he was joined in wedlock with Eleanor Baker ( ? - ? ), daughter of James C. and Dorothy (Seabrooke) Baker of Lincoln. The nuptials were conducted in the Epworth Methodist Church, with Eleanor pictured in a wedding announcement in the Lincoln State Journal. Eleanor was an alumna of Lincoln High School and a fellow student at the University of Nebraska. In June 1932, several months prior to marriage, she graduated from Lincoln General Hospital's nurse's training school. The known children of this marriage were Katherine Louise "Kay" Sowles, Anne Eleanor Davis and Gerald Potter. By 1942, the Potters had relocated to Klamath Falls, OR and in 1961 made a home in Tulelake, CA. In 1954, at the marriage of their daughter Kay to Howard Sowles, they were all pictured in a photo-collage in the Klamath Falls Herald and News.
Daughter Blanche Matilda Potter (1916-2005) was born on New Year's 1916 in Wyoming. She was an alumna of the University of Utah. Single at the age of 23, in 1940, she dwelled with her parents in Lander, WY. She and her widowed mother relocated in the late 1940s to San Francisco, where Blanche obtained employment in a children's hospital as a medical laboratory technician. The 1950 census shows the two woman in an apartment on Taylor Street. Blanche eventually tied the marital knot with Glenn Aase ( ? -1995). In about 1961, the Aases settled at Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County, CA. At the age of 88, on Aug. 29, 2005, she passed away at Walnut Creek. A graveside service was held at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito, with an obituary appearing in the Contra Costa Times.
~ Daughter Jessie Potter ~
She never married. In about 1915, she and her widowed mother moved to the farm of Jessie's brother Logan. The farm was sited near Rudolph, Wood County, OH, where their eldest half-brother had relocated about the time Jessie had been born.
"For many years she lived on a farm in Liberty Twp. where she had many friends," said a Bowling Green newspaper. The federal censuses of 1930 and 1940 show Jessie sharing a home in Liberty with her older half-sister Miriam Potter. The two were a quarter-of-a-century apart in age.
After contracting influenza in the winter of 1953, at age 66, she passed away from its effects, on Feb. 19, 1953. Her funeral was held in the South Liberty Methodist Church, followed by burial at Wingston Cemetery. The informant on her death certificate was John B. Wilson Jr., connection unknown.
~ Son Logan Potter ~
In 1928, when he was about age 39, he married Adda Elizabeth Banks (June 15, 1902-1996), daughter of Ray and Allie (Northrup) Banks of Six Points, OH.
He was employed by the Wood County highway department for many years, as was a distant cousin, Hugh Valentine Miner.
While their primary residence was Route 1 in Rudolph, the family apparently lived in Findlay, Hancock County, OH circa 1943, when their son was born.
They produced a brood of at least three children -- George Perry Potter II, David L. Potter and Marian "Sue" Potter.
Adda was an alumna of Bowling Green Normal College. In addition to raising her children, she earned a living over the years with Willys Overland and Bowling Green State University. She held a membership in the Phillipian Memorial Church of Rudolph.
Heartache rocked the family in June 1944 when 15-year-old son George (Sept. 5, 1928-1944), a high school student, drowned in Van Buren Lake about one and a half miles south of Rudolph. The Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune reported that:
Burial was in Wingston Cemetery, with Rev. Beck officiating the funeral rites at the South Liberty Methodist Church.
After an illness of eight years' duration, Logan died in Toledo at age 76 on Oct. 24, 1965. Rev. Richard Gottier presided at the funeral. The remains were laid to rest in Wingston Cemetery. An obituary appearing in the Daily Sentinel Tribune said that he had been a resident of the county "for about 50 years."
The widowed Adda lived for another three-plus decades. In 1995, she endured the death of her adult son David. Her final address was on Rudolph Road in Rudolph, OH. She died in Bowling Green's Wood County Hospital at the age of 94 on Aug. 20, 1996. Officiating her funeral service was Rev. Ralph Clark, with burial in Wingston Cemetery.
Daughter Marian "Sue" Potter ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She was a 1948 graduate of Liberty Township High School in Rudolph and then for several years worked at the Rossford Ordnance Depot. In December 1960, she became employed as a secretary by the U.S. Foreign Service and trained at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, VA. She then was assigned to Dar Es Salaam in Tanganika, British East Africa. Circa 1965, she was working in Thailand with the U.S. Department of State and in 1971 was transferred to the American Embassy in Liberia, West Africa. After studying French in Washington, DC for three months, she accepted a 1978 transfer to the American Embassy in Morocco, with the expectation of remaining for a two-year term. At her brother's passing in 1995, and mother's death in 1996, she was in North Baltimore, OH.
Son David Logan Potter (1943-1995) was born on Jan. 31, 1943 in Findlay, OH. He grew up in Rudolph and was a 1961 graduate of Westwood High School. David never married, and resided with his mother in Rudolph. He attended the local Methodist Church. David passed away in Bowling Green's Wood County Hospital at the age of 52 on Feb. 27, 1995. The Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune published an obituary. His funeral rites jointly were led by Rev. Rolland Stinehart, Rev. Marjorie Stinehart and Rev. Ralph Clink. His remains sleep for eternity in Wingstn Cemetery in Weston.
Copyright © 2001-2007, 2009-2010, 2022-2023 Mark A. Miner