Surnames: POTTS, POTT, ELLIS, BAIRD, LEAWREN, SCHRACK, REED, GEISENHEINER, MILLER, REIFSNYDER, SPIES, HERMAN, POULTON, STAPLETON, KAUFFMAN, KESSEL, EVANS, KEPHART, SMITH, FLINT
Andrew J. Potts, residing on a farm near Douglassville, is a native of Union township, Berks Co., Pa., born March 27, 1841.
The Potts family is a very old one in Berks county. The towns of Pottstown and Pottsville in Montgomery and Schuylkill counties, respectively, perpetuate the name. The early history of the family is most difficult to trace. One David Potts, Jr., lived in Douglass township and he had daughters, Ruth, Martha and Anna (m. John Ellis). He also had a sister, Rebecca (m. John Baird). A Pott or Potts family in Berks county had its origin in a Hessian soldier, who after the American Revolution lived in Heidelberg township, in the mountains.
Edward Potts, Jr., grandfather of Andrew J., was born in Berks county, Oct. 8, 1776, and died at the home of his daughter Julian in Union township Aug. 27, 1856. He was a farmer and made frequent trips by team to Philadelphia with grain, produce, etc., bringing back on his return trip all sorts of merchandise. He married Maria Magdalena Leawren, born July 17, 1781, daughter of Jacob and Margareta Leawren. She died Jan. 9, 1849, and both she and her husband are buried at Amityville on the south side, second row from west wall (Tablets). They had nine children: Julian m. David Schrack; Maria born March 25, 1805. m. William Reed, and died Aug: 1, 1882; Charlotte, born July 22, 1812, died unmarried April, 29, 1853; Eliza died unmarried; William, born Oct. 13, 1811, lived at Monocacy and was killed Oct. 14, 1870, on the railroad: Lewis, born June 21, 1814, died Feb. 28, 1889, lived at Monocacy; Jacob, born April 4, 1818, lived at Monocacy Hill, and died July 29, 1851; David, born Oct. 13, 1820, died July 19, 1843; and Amos. Maria, Charlotte, Jacob and David are buried on the same lot with their parents (Tablets). Edward Potts. Jr., made his last will and testament Aug. 23, 1853, and it is recorded in Will Book 10, page 344. The executor was his son-in-law David Schrack. At the time of making the will he lived in Amity township, where He owned a farm.
Amos Potts, son of Edward, Jr., and father of Andrew J., was born at 8:00 A. M., July 4, 1808, in the sign of the Scorpion, in Pottstown township, Montgomery county, and was baptized at the same place Sept. 16, 1808, by the Rev. Frederick William Geisenheiner. He was a farmer in Amity township, where he owned and operated the farm until lately the property of his son Andrew J. This farm He purchased in 1843, later selling it to his son, who on Dec. 28, 1901, presented it to his daughter, Emma J. Mr. Amos Potts built the present set of buildings on this farm. He was confirmed a member of the Evangelical Lutheran church at Amityville April 28, 1827, by Rev. Conrad Miller, pastor, and held the offices of deacon and elder. He was a school director and interested in the public affairs of his township. About the year 1833 he married Sarah Reifsnyder, born May 12, 1810, daughter of Samuel and Mary Reifsnyder. She died Aug. 26, 1846, and is buried on the south side of the Amityville church, near the gate (Tablet). To this union were born : Henry F., born March 27, 1836; Mary Ann, born July 16, 1838; William H. and Andrew J., twins; and James K. P. The twins were born March 27, 1841, the fifth birthday anniversary of their elder brother Henry F. Amos Potts married, (second) Nov. 18, 1848, Maria Spies, daughter of Ludwig Spies, born April 2, 1813, in North America, and baptized the same day by the Rev. Mr. Herman. Amos Potts died suddenly Sunday morning, May 19, 1895, and was buried at Amityville Cemetery, Row four, on Ascension Day. He left three children, twelve grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren, all of whom were present at the funeral. Mrs. Maria (Spies) Potts died at the home of her brother Daniel Spies, on Monocacy Hill, Jan. 9, 1899, and was buried beside her husband in Amityville cemetery, Jan. 14th following.
Andrew J. Potts, son of Amos, was born March 27, 1841, and grew to manhood on his father's farm in Amity township, two miles from Douglassville. He made farming his work until 1902 when he retired, and was succeeded by his daughter Emma J. The farm consists of sixty acres. Mr. Potts was one of the organizers of the Mission Manufacturing Company, at No. 74 North Charlotte street, Pottstown. They manufacture paper boxes and do fine printing, employing altogether thirty-five persons, four in the printing department and the others in the box factory. The firm enjoys a large local trade. The company was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania Sept. 24, 1907, and is capitalized at $25,000. Mr. Potts is a stockholder and vice president of the company. In politics he is a Republican. He and his wife are members of Baltzell United Brethren Church of Pottstown, and while a member of Amityville he was trustee of the same denomination for twenty-five years, and for twenty successive years an exhorter. He gave liberally toward the church at Amityville, and is one of the loyal supporters of the church at Pottstown.
On May 20, 1869, Mr. Potts was married by the Rev. C. T. Poulton, to Willemine Spies, born in Amity township July 20, 1849, baptized Nov. 18, 1849, by Rev. George Miller. She is a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Stapleton) Spies, of Amity township, and granddaughter of Ludwig and Mary (Reifsnyder) Spies, the former a merchant at Weaverstown.
Emma J. Potts, daughter of Andrew J. and Willemine (Spies) Potts, was born at Douglassville, Pa., Feb. 25, 1870, and was baptized in August, 1874, by the Rev. A. H. Kauffman. On March 21, 1905 (the twenty-seventh birthday anniversary of her brother Wilmer S.), she married George W. Kessel, son of Ferdinand Kessel (of Wurtemberg, Germany), the ceremony being performed at Pottstown, Pa., by Rev. L. K. Evans, D. D., pastor of Trinity Reformed Church. Mr. Kessel was born at the foot of Monocacy Hill in Amity township Sept. 6, 1880. They have a son Herbert, born April 20, 1906.
Wilmer S. Potts, son of Andrew J. and Willemine (Spies) Potts, was born at Douglassville, Pa., March 21, 1878, and was baptized July 21, 1878. by Rev. A. H. Kauffman. He acquired a common school education in the township schools. On Jan. 22, 1895, he began the study of telegraphy in the Philadelphia & Reading Station at Douglassville, and in July of the following year qualified as an efficient operator and is at present a commercial telegrapher in Pottstown, Pa. Mr. Potts was one of the original members of the Citizens Band of Douglassville, which was organized Oct. 18, 1903, and had a successful career of several years. Mr. Potts played the bass drum. On Wednesday, May 23, 1906, at 12 o'clock noon, Mr. Potts was united in marriage to Miss Ruth Kephart, daughter of Jonathan and Martha Kephart, at her home No. 74 South Charlotte street, Pottstown, by Rev. O. P. Smith, D. D., pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration. On Sunday morning Sept. 8, 1907, Mr. and Mrs. Potts were admitted into full membership of the Temple M. E. Church in North Coventry township, Chester Co., Pa., by Rev. John Flint, pastor. Mr. Potts is the historian of the Potts and Spies families.
POTTS, HOWARD JEWELL, p. 797
Surnames: POTTS, ECKERT, MAPLES, GRIFFITH, TYLER, VAN SCIVER
Howard Jewell Potts, secretary and treasurer of the General Advertising Company at Reading (manufacturers of enameloid art signs), was born March 18, 1864, at Philadelphia, Pa., and received his education in the local schools until he reached the age of seventeen years. He then entered the service of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as a clerk, and he continued to fill that position at Philadelphia until 1885, when his proficiency won his promotion to chief clerk to the Superintendent of the Pennsylvania-Schuylkill Valley Railroad at Reading, shortly after the railroad was opened to that point for traffic. He then removed to Reading and filled this important position to the great satisfaction of his superior officers until August, 1903, when he resigned for the purpose of engaging in the manufacturing business. He had assisted in organizing the General Advertising Company in 1901, and had served as one of its directors. Upon resigning the chief-clerkship mentioned, he was elected secretary and treasurer of the company, and for the past six years has devoted all his time to the development of its increasing business, with trading relations extending to all parts of the United States.
In appreciation of his superior business character, Mr. Potts was selected as one of the directors of the Farmers' National Bank of Reading. He was one of the original members of the Wyomissing Club, and also of the Berkshire Country Club, continuing an active member of both of these prominent social organizations until the present time.
In 1896 Mr. Potts was married to Sarah Hunter Eckert, daughter of George B. Eckert, a prominent iron manufacturer and banker at Reading for nearly thirty years until his decease in 1899. They have three children: Mary, George and Amelia.
His father was Howard Jewell Potts, of Germantown, Pa., where he was brought up and educated. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1872. He died in 1890, aged fifty-one years. He was married to Amelia Maples, daughter of Thomas Maples, of London, England, where she was born in 1840. They had five children: Matilda, Howard Jewell, Hiram (m. to Sallie Crozer Griffith), William (who died in 1895, aged twenty-three years), and Allan.
Mr. Potts's grandfather was William Potts, of Burlington, N. J., where he was born July 13, 1792. He died in 1857. In 1827 he married Elizabeth Tyler, who was born at Philadelphia in 1804, and who died in 1851.
His great-grandfather was Thomas Potts, born in 1761, at Burlington, N. J., and died in 1824. He was married to Sarah Van Sciver in 1786.
POTTS, WILLIAM HARRISON R., p. 845
Surnames: POTTS, REIFSNYDER, BISBING, SPIES, BOWER, LIVINGOOD
William Harrison R. Potts (deceased), who was for many years a well-known and prosperous agriculturist and influential citizen of Amity township, Berks county, was born in Union township, Berks county, in 1841, son of Amos and Sarah (Reifsnyder) Potts.
Amos Potts, father of William H. R. was also a farmer of Amity township, where his death occurred in 1895, at the age of eighty-seven years, and that of his wife, Sarah Reifsnyder, in 1846. To Mr. and Mrs. Potts the following children were born; Henry F.; Mary A., married to John Bisbing; Andrew J. and William Harrison R., twins; and James, who is deceased. Amos Potts married (second) Mary Spies, but there were no children born to this union. In religious belief Mr. Potts adhered to the faith of the United Brethren Church. In politics he was a Republican, but it is not known whether he ever held office.
William Harrison R. Potts was reared upon the home farm in Amity township, and he made farming his life work, continuing in agricultural pursuits until his death in 1888. In 1869 he was married to Susan M. Bower, daughter of Daniel Bower, of Amity township. And there were two children born to this union, namely: Tillie B., who died at the age of three years; and Minnie, who married Howard m. Livingood, and has three children: William P., Howard L. and Catherine M. In religious believe Mr. Potts was of the United Brethren Church and his political principles were those of the Republican party. During the Civil war Mr. Potts enlisted in the Union army, in Company G, 175th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, in which regiment he served nine months.