Biography - Joseph Potts

Joseph W. POTTS. Joseph W. POTTS, the subject of this sketch, was born on a farm near Chapman's Point, in the north part of Macoupin County, Ill., on the 19th of September, A. D. 1841, where his parents remained until the year 1852, when they moved to near the head of Bear Creek, in same county, where they carried on the business of agriculture for five years, at the end of which time his father purchased a large tract of land at and near Pleasant Hill, Montgomery CO., Ill., to which place they moved in the fall of 1857. Joseph W. remained on the farm working with his parents until his marriage, on the 12th day of March, A. D. 1862, with Miss Mary J. MILLER, daughter of Lemuel G. MILLER, one of the then leading farmers and stock-raisers of Montgomery County, Ill. William B. POTTS, father of Joseph W. POTTS, was born in Frankfort, Ky., on the 22d day of February, A. D. 1814, where he resided until the year A. D. 1820, when he emigrated to Illinois with his father, Richard F. POTTS, and his brother and sister, Jessie POTTS and Millie POTTS, and settled in Morgan County, near Old Berlin. After his father was comfortably situated, he hired himself as a farm hand to Jacob STRAWN, the great cattle king of Illinois, for whom he worked constantly until his marriage with Miss Rhoda A. RICHARDS, of Macoupin County, Ill.; the issue of this marriage was twelve children - six boys and six girls. Joseph W., the subject of this article, was the fifth in order of birth. Richard F. POTTS, grandfather of Joseph W., was born on the 4th day of July, 1776, near the present site of Bentonville, N. C., where he resided until he was four years old, when his father, Washington A. POTTS, moved to Kentucky, near Munfordsville, where he erected a water-mill on one of the tributaries of Green River; after many days of arduous labor and great privation, having to work by day and watch the prowling red man by night, the mill was built; but the thinly settled country necessarily brought him poor returns for the money and labor invested; finally, on Christmas night, in the year 1786, a prowling band of Indians burned the mill and tomahawked the whole family, consisting of sixteen, with the exception of Richard F., who made his escape across the hills to the celebrated Mammoth Cave, where he subsisted for several days on the blind fish that inhabit its waters; he was finally rescued by a party of hunters, consisting of Daniel BOONE and others, and taken to Boonesboro, where he was kindly cared for in the family of BOONE until his uncle, Christopher A. POTTS, commander of a British man-of-war cruising off the coast of South Carolina, was notified of his safety and whereabouts, ordered him to be sent to Charleston, S. C., where he met him and took him on board his ship, where he served in the capacity of midshipman for several years in Her Majesty's service. At the age of eighteen, he returned to Owensboro, Ky., where he resided until his marriage with Miss Elizabeth CUMMINGS, when he located on a farm near what is known as the Yellow Banks, on the Kentucky River, where he remained until he emigrated to Illinois. Washington A. POTTS, commander of the British man-of-war, as before mentioned, received orders from Commodore DOWNIE, commander of the British fleet near Quebec, to proceed to Quebec, near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River; his ship was caught in a storm and wrecked, with the loss of the entire crew, and among them Washington A. POTTS perished, in the year A. D. 1814.Ezekiel E. POTTS, brother of the deceased, ordered the remains to be returned to North Hampton, England, the home of the family, where they were sepultured in the family cemetery; a beautiful monument marks the family resting place; he who passes that way can read the monumental inscription; it is as follows: "Here resteth Solomon Q. POTTS, father of Ezekiel and Washington A. POTTS; also his son Ezekiel, who lost his life in Her Majesty's service (Queen Anne) in foreign lands. May they rest in the hope of a glorious resurrection." We will deal no more with the ancestors of the subject of our sketch; suffice it to say they are of pure Norman origin. We will now return to Joseph W. POTTS. After his marriage, in 1862, he settled on a farm near Pleasant Hill, in Montgomery County, where he resided for eleven years, at the expiration of which time, he, becoming wearied with farm life, entered into the mercantile business in Raymond, Ill., a town which sprang up as if by magic on the Wabash Railroad in the year 1871, where he has since constantly resided. During his residence in Raymond, Ill., he has been engaged in various pursuits of life, filling many offices of trust, and is now editor and proprietor of the Raymond Independent, a weekly newspaper of large circulation and unlimited influence wherever circulated. Joseph W. POTTS is now forty-one years old, hale and hearty, and bids fair to live long and enjoy the rewards of a well-regulated life, and the blessings of his wife and their two sons, Lemuel L. POTTS and Roy A. POTTS.

Extracted 20 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1882 History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois, Part 2 Biographical Department, pages 230-231.

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