Home

What's New

Photo of the Month

Minerd.com Blog

Biographies

National Reunion

Interconnectedness

Cousin Voices

Honor Roll

In Lasting Memory

In the News

Our Mission and Values

Annual Review

Favorite Links

Contact Us

 

Mary (Leonard) Potter
(1849-1925)

 

George P. Potter
Fayette County
Historical Society
Mary (Leonard) Potter
was born on March 17, 1849 in Fayette County, PA, the daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Harbaugh) Leonard.

Her husband George was a veteran of the Civil War.

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.

Book naming George
The 1984 volume, Youghiogheny: Appalachian River, states that he lived next to his brother John B. Potter. Together, they "operated a splint chair factory in 1860, building several hundred chairs a year," wrote the author. (The book was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press and authored by John B.'s great-great grandson, Tim Palmer.)

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.

 

   

Markers of identical design at the graves of George and Elmira Jane's young children, left to right: Isaac (1868), Joseph (1868) and Eunice (1871)

With brother-in-law Reuben Leonard
Fayette County Historical Sociaty
One of his fellow soldiers, Marcus W. Church, recalled that while George was on duty in March 1865 in Goldsborough, NC, he:

...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.

The orange dot marks the location of the farm of "G.P. Potter," next to the farm of his future father in law "B. Leonard," in the 1872 Atlas of Fayette County,  south of Ohio Pyle

Potter family burial site
After the war, George and Elmira Jane had three more children, bringing the number of their offspring to six. 

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.

Mary's grave, Irwin Memorial
When Mary Leonard married George five years later, in 1884, she thus became a stepmother to his children, and considered them as her own. 

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.

 

Above: George and brother-in-law Reuben Leonard at a Civil War veterans' reunion at Ohiopyle, 1892. Courtesy Fayette County Historical Society. Below: Ohiopyle's sleepy South Commercial Street, early 1900s. 

Irwin Memorial Cemetery, Ohiopyle
In 1905, Mary and George held "the neatest and most brilliant surprise party of the season" at their home at Potters' Mill to celebrate their son Logan's 17th birthday, reported the Connellsville Courier. "The evening was spent in games and music. Dainty refreshments were served at 10:30 and after wishing Logan many happy birthdays the assemblage departed for their respective homes, expressing themselves as having spent a very enjoyable evening." Among the attendees were Alice Collins, Mabel Leonard, Bessie Linderman, Ella Leonard, Celia Collins, Sadie Leonard, Jessie Potter, Mildred Potter and Edward Butler, Benjamin Leonard, John Collins, Ernest Butler, Mr. and Mrs. Dalton Potter and Mr. and Mrs. James Rush.

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. 

Obituary, 1925
Widowed at age 61, Mary survived George by 15 years. In 1915, she relocated to Rudolph, Wood County, OH, to reside with her married son Logan and unmarried daughter Jessie. Their residence was "a mile south and a mile west of Rudolph," said a Bowling Green newspaper.

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.

    

Books naming/picturing George
In 1994, a photograph of George was published in the book, Yesteryear in Ohiopyle and Surrounding Communities, Vol. II, compiled by author Marci Lynn McGuinness. He is pictured at an 1892 Civil War veterans reunion at the original Ohiopyle House, standing beside his brother-in-law, Reuben Leonard. The same image also been published in McGuinness's 1998 book, Stone House Legends and Lore, in which this website's founder also is named. A reprint  is matted and framed with soldier identifications and for years has hung on the walls of the Old Stone House along Route 40 (the National Road) near Farmington. The Stone House first opened in 1822 to serve wagoners and travelers along the turnpike, and today provides tavern, restaurant dining, catering, barbecue and cozy accommodation services for guests.

~ Stepson Clarence Potter ~

Clarence and Luella Potter
Courtesy the late "Lavidaloca"

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:

When Mr. Potter left Ohiopyle about 35 years ago he was a poor boy and at the time of his death he was reputed to be a multi-millionaire. He was engaged as a driller in the oil region, being employed by his uncle, John Collins. By diligent labor he was soon able to purchase a drilling machinen of his own and started in the oil business. In this he was most successful. Besides vast oil interests, he is said to have owned 6,000 acres of improved farm land. [He] was an active church worker. He practically financed temperance work in the county in which he resided.

Wood County oilfield workers, early 1900s, filling a torpedo with nitroglycerin to inject into a well.

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.

  • Granddaughter Eleanor "Jean" Wilson (1924-1998) was born on Aug. 1, 1924 in Toledo. She was united in matrimony with Glenn Oberst ( ? - ? ). One daughter of this union was Kimberly Richards. In 1970, the Obersts resided in Albuquerque, NM. The marriage may have ended in divorce, as Jean took back her maiden name later in life. She died in her residence in Cedar Crest, NM at the age of 74 just two days after Christmas 1998. The funeral was held in Albuquerque, with an obituary printed in her old hometown newspaper in Bowling Green. The family asked that any memorial gifts be made to People Living Through Cancer.

    Great-granddaughter Kimberly Oberst wed (?) Richards. She lived in Albuquerque in 1998-1999. 

  • Grandson John Brainerd Wilson III (-1929-) was born on Aug. 18, 1929 in the Women's and Children's Hospital in Toledo. News of his birth was announced in the Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune. But the joy quickly turned to sadness, and the baby only lived for six days. Stricken with bleeding on the brain, he succumbed to the spectre of death on Aug. 24, 1929. His tender remains were laid to rest in Wingston Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Catherine A. Wilson (1936-1977) was born on March 21, 1936 in Washington, DC. She grew up in Bowling Green. Catherine joined in wedlock with Fred Pauff ( ? - ? ). Their residence in 1970-1977 was in Weston, OH, at the address of 125 Portage Road. Together, they produced six offspring -- Ruth Pauff, Joyce Pauff, Robin Pauff, Janice Pauff, Dorothy Pauff and Thomas Pauff. Tragedy struck on the fateful day of June 5, 1977, when Catherine was age 41. As she was walking along Range Line Road, about 700 feet to the south of Euler Road, in the early dark morning hours, she was struck from behind by a passing, drunk motorist and her body severed in two. Police arrested the driver after discovering his damaged vehicle about two miles away. The Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune reported that "Mrs. Pauff's death is the 12th in the county this year in traffic, compared to 21 at the same time in 1976." Funeral services were held in the Rudolph Bethel Church of Christ, by the hand of Rev. Ralph Clink. Interment was in the sacred soil of Wingston Cemetery. 

    Great-granddaughter Ruth Pauff ( ? - ? )

    Great-granddaughter Joyce Pauff ( ? - ? )

    Great-granddaughter Robin Pauff ( ? - ? )

    Great-granddaughter Janice Pauff ( ? - ? )

    Great-granddaughter Dorothy Pauff ( ? - ? )

    Great-grandson Thomas Pauff ( ? - ? )

  • Grandson George P. Wilson (1926-1990) was born on Dec. 15, 1926 in Toledo. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, attaining the rank of staff sergeant. On Dec. 12, 1953, just a few days before his 27th birthday, he tied the marital knot with Lois Fegley (May 30, 1934-2013), a native of Lykens, Dauphin County, PA and the daughter of Pauline Fegley. They were lifelong farmers and the parents of three -- David Wilson, Daniel Wilson and Linda McGrain Shull. George held seats on the boards of directors of Wood County Hospital and Huntington National Bank, and Lois volunteered with the hospital guild and hospital service cart. The family held a membershiop in the First United Methodist Church. The Wilsons dwelled in Bowling Green in 1970 and operated a farm in Liberty Township. Their final address was 123 North Summit Street, Bowling Green. Sadly, George died at the age of 63 in the county hospital on March 27, 1990. A memorial service was held in the family church. In an obituary in the Bowling Green newspaper, the family asked that any memorial contributions be made to the church or the American Cancer Society. Lois outlived her first husband by 23 years. On April 26, 2007, she married again to Don E. Bright ( ? - ? ). Their final address together was 9 Bainbridge Way. She died in Wood County Hospital in Bowling Green at the age of 79 on Aug. 21, 2013. Burial was beside her first spouse in Wingston Cemetery. following services in the family church. Her survivors included a dozen grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

    Great-grandson David Brainerd Wilson was a graduate of Bowling Green High School and in 1975 was studying elementary education and industrial arts at Bowling Green State University. He has been twice-wed. His first bride was Janine Mary Waggoner ( ? - ? ), daughter of Charles A. Waggoner. The wedding was held on Aug. 24, 1975 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, presided by Rev. Warren Powell. The pair were pictured in a marriage announcement in the Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune. David dwelled in Denver [OH?] in 1990. On July 22, 1994, he was united in wedlock with Chantal Catherine-Ryland ( ? - ? ), a native of Paris, France and the daughter of Andre Catherine. Their marriage ceremony was conducted in Elizabethville, PA at the Lykens Valley Campgrounds, by the hand of Rev. Lloyd Shellenburger. The Bowling Green Sentinel Tribune announced the marriage and published the couple's wedding portrait, saying that the bride "wore a tea-length summer floral print dress with puff sleeves and a white brimmed hat with floral accent." Chantal brought a stepson to the union, Patrick Ryland. The pair settled in Albuquerque, NM.

    Great-grandson Daniel P. Wilson grew up as a farmer in Rudolph and was an alumnus of Bowling Green High School. He went on to graduate from Owens Technical College and made farming his career. At the age of 27, he married 29-year-old Bowling Green High alumna Janet L. Woodbury ( ? - ? ), a public representative of Wood Cable TV in Bowling Green and the daughter of Howard R. Nutter of Milton Center. Their ceremony was held at the Custar United Methodist Church, by the hand of Rev. Saundra White, and they were pictured in the Bowling Green Sentinel Tribune. Their inaugural home was at 14740 Defiance Pike in Rudolph. They made a home in 1990 in Portage, OH and in 1994-2013 in Rudolph.

    Great-granddaughter Linda Anne Wilson ( ? - ? ) was a alumna of Flower Hospital School of Nursing and was employed in 1977-1978 at the Wood County Hospital. On Jan. 14, 1978, she wed Edward Charles McGrain ( ? - ? ), son of Arthur McGrain of North Baltimore. The nuptials were led by Rev. Sigmund Zalewski in Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church of North Baltimore. In announcing the marriage, the Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune said that the "bride's floor-length gown was ivory knit, lace trimmed, and worn with a chapel-length veil gathered to a Camelot cap." At the time of marriage, Edward was employed in Fostoria with Atlas Crankshaft, having attended Bowling Green State University. Their two known sons were Nathan McGrain and (?) McGrain. Circa 1990, their residence was in North Baltimore, OH. The marriage dissolved in divorce, with Linda living in 1994 in Arlington, OH while Edward wed Mary Ann Black on Oct. 12, 1994 in Maui. In time Linda again entered into marriage with Joe Shull and moved to Put-in-Bay, OH.

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.

  • Granddaughter Carol Ann Potter (1932-2003) was born on June 19, 1932. She was a 1954 alumna of Muskingum College. Carol relocated to the state capitol city of Columbus. In 1962, she obtained her master's degree in social work from Ohio State University. Over the years, she was employed by the Girl Scouts of America, Franklin County Welfare Department, Ohio Department of Public Welfare, Ohio Avenue and Westside Day Care Centers the Franklin County Children's Service. Her final position was with the Ohio Department of Human Services from 1981 to 1992 when she retired. Her memberships included the National Association of Social Workers, Academy of Social Workers and the Cat Welfare Association. Sadly, she died at home at the age of 70 on June 17, 2003. She was pictured in her Bowling Green Sentinel Tribune obituary. The remains were transported back to her native Wood County for a service at Philippian United Methodist Church. 
  • Grandson Thomas Alan Potter (1930-2017) was born on May 12, 1930. He was a 1952 graduate of Ohio State University, earning his bachelor of science degree in agriculture. During the Korean War, he trained with the Reserve Officers Training Corps at Fort Eustis, VA and then served in the U.S. Army Transportation Corps. For two years, he assisted his father in operating the family's extensive farm holdings and worked for Smith Douglas Company. On Feb. 5, 1955, in Norfolk, VA, he was united in matrimony with Gloria Dru Smith ( ? - ? ), daughter of Charles Lambert Smith of Norfolk. The nuptials were led by Rev. Lynn Temple Jones in the Royster Memorial Presbyterian Church and announced on the pages of the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune. Their marriage endured the ups and downs of an extraordinary 62 years. Their two offspring were Thomas Alan Potter Jr. and Lisa Ketner. Gloria Dru was a graduate of the College of Wlliam and Mary. The newlyweds first lived in Rudolph. In 1957, he was named field manager of the Virginia Farm Equipment Association, with responsibility for organizing meetings with local dealers. Then in 1964, he transitioned his career to insurance and became a certified life underwriter. He opened a general brokerage agency in Richmond and continued in this line of work until retirement in 1980. The Potters then moved back to Ohio to manage their widespread farm operations. He served a term as president of the men's ministry of Skipwith Methodist Church in Richmond and later was active with the Bayside Presbyterian Church as elder, greeter and usher. Back in Bowling Green, he took part in the local Sunrise Lions Club. Said an obituary, "He enjoyed frequent and extensive world travel and dealt with life with humor and patience.." Sadness cascaded over the family at his death at age 86 on Feb. 11, 2017. The body was shipped to Virginia Beach for services and interment.

    Great-grandson Thomas Alan Potter Jr. put down roots in Virginia Beach, VA. His is believed to be the father of Thomas Alan Potter III, Tyler Sakis and Casey John Potter.

    Great-granddaughter Lisa Potter wed (?) Ketner. Their one known child is Korren M. Ketner. They settled in Virginia Beach, VA.

  • Granddaughter Shirley Jane Potter (1926-2017) was born on Sept. 19 1926 in Rudolph. She was a 1944 graduate of Liberty High School and received a bachelor of arts in 1948 from Bowling Green State University. On Nov. 28, 1946, she was wed to Donald Wesley "Sandy" Drain (Dec. 20, 1924-2010), a native of Portage, Wood County. and the son of Eldon and Mary (Maxwell) Drain. Their union endured for an extraordinary 64 years until the separation of death. A trio of children born to this couple were Donald W. Drain, David C. Drain and Deborah L. Spangler. Donald was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and is said to have driven the first LST onto Utah Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He was honorably discharged with the rank of quartermaster third class after four years of military service. Shirley was a longtime member of the Philippian United Methodist Church, formerly known as Liberty United Methodist, where she gave of her time as a song leader, teacher, vacation Bible school director and was a member of the United Methodist Women. Donald also was active with the church as suprintendent and teacher of the adult Sunday School. Said an obituary, "She enjoyed traveling, was a Lioness with the Lions club International, she loved, gardening, canning, freezing, sewing and loved, her family. She enjoyed the excitement of digging up family genealogy, and mapped out many generations."

    Donald is said to have been the first individuals to receive four different degrees from Bowling Green State University in the majors of education, journalism, specialist and teaching. He went on to a 38-year career as an educator. For a time, he taught social studies and journalism, and coached junior varsity basketball and football, at North Baltimore High School. He then accepted a position at Perrysburg High School, continuing to teach journalism and social studies, and retired in 1988. Once retired, he substitute-taught for several years. He was an active supporter of foreign exchange programs through BGSU and the Lions Club International. He was a member of the Lions for more than half-a-century and served a term as district governor and held seats on state committees. He also belonged to the local posts of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He especially liked to attend BGSU hockey games and take family vacations every year, often combining the getaways with Lions conventions around the world. On the side, he operated a small wood business and a printing firm. Said an obituary, "He loved a good estate sale or garage sale and played softball in Rudolph and Wayne. Sandy was a 'people' person. He rarely met someone he did not know. If he did not know you, he introduced himself. His hobbies included collecting Lions Club Pins from around the world, mowing the lawn, being with his wife and family and spoiling the grandchildren."

    Sadly, Donald died at home in Bowling Green at the age of 85 on Dec. 9, 2010 under the hospice watch of Southern Care Inc.. He was survived by seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. His memorial service was conducted in the Phillipian United Methodist Church. Shirley outlived him by seven years. She passed away at the age of 90 on April 11, 2017. The remains were laid to rest in Wingston Cemetery in Weston, OH. Her Potter family  ancestry charts (circa 1982) are on file today in the Family History area of the Wood County District Public Library in Bowling Green, with copies preserved in the Minerd.com Archives.

    Great-grandson Donald W. Drain Jr. ( ? -living) wed Theresa. They moved to Tennessee.

    Great-grandson David C. Drain ( ? -living) married Rose. They migrated to Missouri.

    Great-granddaughter Deborah L. Drain ( ? -living) entered into wedlock with Terry Spangler. Their home in 2010 was in Litchfield,, OH.

~ 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.

Above: U.S. Steel's nail, rod and wire plant which drove the growth of Donora, PA. Below: the bank and municipal buildings Charles helped to build in town.
        

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. 

Banker Andrew W. Mellon,
an early client
 
Said the Monongahela Daily Republican:

Many of Donora's major buildings were constructed by the company prior to 1929, when the firm gave up its building contracting activities in order to concentrate on retail sales of lumber and buiilding materials. Among the Donora landmarks built by the firm are the Donora Borough Building, Castner School, Donora Jr. High School, St. Michael's Byzantine Catholid Church, the Mellon Bank Building, the Donora Community Center, the Capone Building, the structure now occupied by William's Dress Shop, the Cacia Building, and the Italian Hall. One of the last buildings put up by the firm was the structure now occupied by the Vayansky Super Market. In the Company's early days, delivery of building materials was by horse and wagon, over muddy, unpaved streets. Donora was booming, and in the first cens, taken in August of 1902, the population totaled 5,082 of which, 3,282 were males and 1,800 females.

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.

  • Grandson John "Thomas" Patterson (1930-1998) was born on Feb. 1, 1930. He grew up in Bowling Green and was an alumnus of Bowling Green High School. He received a degree in journalism from Ohio State Univeristy. He then obtained a law degree from Ohio Northern University and settled in Findlay, OH at 320 West McPherson Street. Thomas married Barbara Ann Brainard ( ? - ? ), a fellow Bowling Green High student. Together, they bore four children -- Matthew T. Patterson, Michael P. Patterson, Lynette E. Millican and Jacquelyn S. Whitman. His law practice included serving as Findlay city solicitor. In January 1979, he was appointed by Ohio Gov. James A. Rhodes to fill an opening as a judge of the Findlay Muncipal Court. Then in June 1979, on the Republican ticket, he won the nomination for judgeship of the court. Said the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, "Patterson is practically assured of the post since he is unopposed in the fall election, barring the possibility of a write-in candidate." In time he was elected to the Hancock County Court of Common Pleas and appears to have remained until retirement. Sadly, Barbara died on May 26, 1995. He endured for another three years and passed away in Findlay at the age of 68 on July 1, 1998. His obituary in the Sentinel Tribune said he was survived by 10 grandchildren. Rev. Ben Lowell preached the funeral sermon, with interment in Union Hill Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Matthew T. Patterson settled in Dublin, OH.

    Great-grandson Michael P. Patterson put down roots in Perrysburg, OH.

    Great-granddaughter Lynette E. Patterson married (?) Millican. She dwelled in Findlay in 1998.

    Great-granddaughter Jacquelyn S. Patterson wed (?) Whitman. She also resided in Findlay. 

  • Grandson David Richard Patterson was a 1962 graduate of Bowling Green High School. He then enrolled in Toledo University Technical College and in 1965 was employed at Toledo Scale Company as an electrical draftsman. On Feb. 28, 1965, in a wedding conducted in St. Mark's Lutheran Church, David entered into marriage with Patricia Lee Lohmann ( ? - ? ), daughter of Henry W. and Helen M. (Stickel) Lohmann of Van Camp Road, Bowling Green. Rev. Loyal G. Bishop officiated. The nuptials were announced on the pages of the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, which published the bride's portrait and said that her gown "was white Chantilly lace with a skirt of ruffled lace tiers and a chapel train. A cluster of net leaves and pearls held her veil. Her pearls and earrings were a gift of the groom."  Patricia also was a 1962 BGHS graduate. At the time of marriage, she had been a secretary in Waterville, OH for Johns-Manville Fiber Glass Inc., but had accepted employment in Toledo as a secretary with General Motors' Chevrolet Division. Later they put down roots in Westerville, OH. Their two known offspring were Amy Patterson and Kent Patterson. In the summer of 1987, the Pattersons attended their 25th reunion of the BGHS 1962 class reunion. At the time, they were among six married couples who had been classmates. They remained in Westerville as of 2020. 

    Great-granddaughter Amy Patterson ( ? - ? )

    Great-grandson Kent Patterson ( ? - ? ) 

  • Granddaughter Rose Helen Patterson ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She was a 1949 graduate of Bowling Green High School. On Feb. 28, 1949, in the parsonage of the Christian Church of Angola, IN, she wed James Schwarz ( ? - ? ), son of Hubert Schwarz. Rev. Lee Maynard officiated. The news was made public in the Bowling Green Daily Sentinel-Tribune, which said that the pair would initially dwell with his parents. They relocated to Arizona where they lived in Tucson (1960) and in Bisbee, AZ (1988). Nothing more is known.

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.

  • Grandson Daniel O'Donnell (1948-2022) was born in 1948. On Oct. 16, 1971, in Angola, IN, he was united in matrimony with Linda Kay Wallace ( ? - ? ). One known daughter was Megan L. O'Donnell. In the mid-1990s, they dwelled in Bowling Green. Daniel died in Tucson, AZ on Dec. 19, 2022. 

~ 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.

Ill-fated Angeline Sue (Potter) Kilgore.  Courtesy Linda O'Donnell.

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:

Her brother, H.G. Potter, said her body was found about a mile and a half from his ranch. The 70-year-old woman, gone when her husband returned to their sheep wagon after driving sheep to the Potter ranch in a snowstorm, apparently was not lost, Potter said, because her body was found beside a trail to the ranch. Potter said his sister, doggedly sought by mounted searchers operating in deep snow on the east slope of the Wind River mountains, may have died from a heart attack and not from exposure. He voiced that possibility because of the proximity of Mrs. Kilgore's body to his ranch and its position on the trail, the warm clothing found on Mrs. Kilgore and the fact that a lunch was found nearby.

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.

Picturesque Lander, WY, where Horace G. Potter settled by 1910 

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.

  • Granddaughter Joan Elizabeth Potter (1931-2023) was born on Dec. 27, 1931 in Tyler General Hospital. News of her birth was printed in the Tyler Morning Telegraph. Joan at the age of 16 was a 1948 graduate of Tyler High School. She studied at Stephens College in Columbia, MO and the University of Colorado and graduated from Southern Methodist University with dual degrees in geology and geography. On March 27, 1954, in nuptials held in Marvin Methodist Church, Joan wed John Lee Stout ( ? - ? ), son of Ivan M. Stout of Austin. John had received his bachelor's degrees in geology and physics from the University of Texas and at the time of marriage was serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, GA. Rev. Dr. Walter K. Kerr presided. In announcing the marriage, the Tyler Courier-Times said that the bride "wore a gown of white pure silk taffeta, fashioned with sculptured bodice, fastened down the back with tiny self-covered buttons. The neckline and bodice front featured an appliqued floral motif with pearl accent. The shirred push-up sleeves were of three-quarter length." The pair had courted long-distance, writing many letters to each other. Their first home as newlyweds was in Georgia, with John then transferred to an Army ordnance corps in Japan five months later, and Joan returning to Texas while he was away, taking graduate studies at SMU.

    Upon his discharge the Stouts moved to Denver, where he earned a degree at the Colorado School of Mines. Both worked as geologists in Denver. John was hired by Chevron Oil, and the couple accepted a transfer to Bismarck, ND. Two offspring born to the union were Hope Rogers and Peter Stout. The family moved back to Denver in 1963.  They made a home in 1981 in Lakewood, CO. While Joan always wanted to travel the world, said an obituary, she did see most of the United States with two trips to New Zealand. "She was able to travel the North and South Islands and marveled at being able to stand on the beach at Okarito on the West Coast of the South Island and look out over the Tasman Sea. Because of her love of travel Joan always wanted to go to Antarctica [and] was instrumental in her daughter’s travel for work in Antarctica." In 1994, the Stouts made a home in Dublin, CA.Their final residence was in Highlands Ranch, CO. Joan enjoyed reading and lengthy conversations, as well as crafting embroidery and crewel. She was a docent at the Denver Art Museum, leading tours through the exhibits on Native Americans. Sadly, Joan died on July 7, 2023, at the age of 91, in Skyridge Hospital in Lone Tree, CO. An obituary in the Tyler Morning Telegraph said that she "believed in hard work, getting along in a group and to be self-reliant. She lived by good manners to be polite and courteous to everyone [and] was a very kind and conscientious student, worker, wife, and mother. She was the best in a crisis, a skill which came from her father..."

    Great-granddaughter Hope Stout lived in Denver in 1994. She married Ron Rogers.

    Great-grandson Peter R. Stout wed Robyn Russell. Their three sons are Brennan Stout, Colin Stout and Trevor Stout. The family was in Golden, CO in 1994.

  • Grandson Richard S. Potter dwelled in Lakewood, CO circa 1981-1994. He was married and the father of Kim Gaston and Richard E. Potter. He was deceased by 2023.

    Great-granddaughter Kim Potter married Kevin Gaston and put down roots in Burleston, TX.

    Great-grandson Richard E. Potter resided in San Antonio in 1994. 

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.

  • Granddaughter Katherine Louise "Kay" Potter ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She spent a term at Oregon State College and studied at the Oregon Training Institute. On July 18, 1954, she entered into marriage with Howard William Sowles Jr. (July 8, 1934-2003), son of Howard William and Winnifred (Adams) Sowles Sr. of Yuba City, CA. Their ceremony was held "in a summer setting in the lovely garden at her parents' home," performed by Rev. Dale Hewett of the First Presbyterian Church, said the Klamath Falls Herald and News. "The petite, dark-haired bride wore a ballerina length gown of embroidered nylon tulle with deep scalloped overskirt above layers of plain tulle. Long sleeves emded in points at the wrists and a peter pan collar completed the short bolero jacket. Her fingertip tulle veil fell from a jeweled cap." Howard was an alumnus of Tulelake High School and Oregon State University. The newlyweds made their first residence in Spenard, AK, a suburb of Anchorage. The children born to this union were James Alan Sowles, Theresa Sowles-Dafgard and Beth Donelle Beltz. For 29 years, Howard was employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1993, he moved from Sacramento to Rogue Valley.  Howard's final home was in Central Point, OR. He died at the age of 68, at Medford Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, on June 7, 2003.
  • Granddaughter Anne Eleanor Potter ( ? - ? ) grew up in Oregon. On June 24, 1961, she wed Lewis Roland Davis (Jan. 11, 1937-2014), son of Charles Sumner and Anna Virginia Davis of Tulelake. The couple's only son was Jeffrey Lewis Davis. Lewis was an alumnus of Tulelake High School. He attended the University of California at Berkeley and Shasta Community College before receiving a bachelor's degree in life science from California State University at Chico. Circa 1961, the pair dwelled in Baltimore, MD, with him serving in the U.S. Army at that time. He went on to employment with the California Department of Fish and Game and resided for four years at Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery in Owen Valley. In 1970, he joined the Department of Food and Agriculture and became the top state biologist in the department. In his free time he liked to be out-of-doors, hike and work with wood. After contracting multiple sclerosis at the age of 50, he retired in 1990 and took on new hobbies. He died in April 2014.
  • Grandson Gerald Potter ( ? - ? ) was pictured in his sister Katherine's 1954 wedding announcement in the Klamath Falls (OR) 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 ~

Obituary, 1953
Daughter Jessie Potter (1887-1953) was born in 1887.

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 ~

Obituary, 1965
Son Logan Potter (1889-1965) was born on Feb. 19, 1889 in Ohiopyle.

At the death of his half-sister Josephine Patterson in Ohio in 1911, he traveled from his home in Ohiopyle to attend the funeral and burial, staying at the home of the sister's uncle and aunt, George Hamilton and Samantha "Elizabeth" (Collins) Pisor.

By 1915, at the age of 26, he settled on a farm  near Rudolph in Wood County.

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:

He had been working near there bailing hay with another Rudolph boy and a chum from Cygnet and in the peak of the day's heat they had decided to go for a swim in the lake. It was about 2:30 in the afternoon and the Potter boy is said to have mentioned that he was gonig to try to swim over to a log in the lake. Witnesses said that he became exhausted before reaching the log and went down. A number of people attempted to rescue him and it was 15 or 20 minutes before a soldier boy, whose name was not learned, recovered the body. The State Highway Patrol was called and used a pullmotor but to no avail. 

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