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Rev. Nathan Potter
Born October 26, 1835


REV. NATHAN POTTER, Jackson Twp., Sec. 22; P.O. Anamosa; born October 26, 1835, in Licking Co., Ohio. In 1844, he came with his parents to Jackson Co. In 1852, he came to Jones Co.; he owns ninety acres of land. He commenced preaching in 1864, and has been engaged in this work and farming ever since; he is now preaching as a Supply for an Independent Church. Married Clementine Demoss in 1860; she was born in Ohio; have two children—Sarah S. and Mary C. He has held about all the township offices. The first Territorial Election for Commissioners was held at his father's house, in Jackson Co.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1879, page 613.

When a good and noble man has passed from the midst of the community in which he had lived and for whose welfare and advancement he had exerted himself, the richness of his life comes strongly to the fore and his comrades realize fully, perhaps for the first time, the dignity of a fine character. So it was with Nathan Potter, who responded to the call of death November 30, 1908. His was a life worthy of emulation, whether it be regarded as that of a citizen, as that of a minister of the gospel or as that of a public servant. He was born in Hartford, Licking county, Ohio, October 26, 1835, being a son of William and Rachel Potter. The former was born in England, August 28, 1767, and was a descendant of one of the men who crossed the Atlantic in the Mayflower. In 1844 he brought his family to Jackson county, Iowa, where they experienced all the hardships of pioneer life and where the parents lived the rest of their lives. Eight children were born to them, namely, Nathan, the subject of this sketch; James G., of Monmouth, Illinois; Mrs. Charles Brown, of Anamosa; Mrs. Jacob Pitzenbarger, of Linden, Iowa; John, of Waynoka, Oklahoma; Luke, of Ruthven, Iowa; Jarvis, of Dallas Center, Iowa; and Mrs. Marion Gilmore, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. In addition to his full brothers and sisters, Mr. Potter had two half-brothers and three half-sisters, all of whom preceded him to the grave.
In 1844 Mr. Potter came with his parents to Iowa, where he grew to manhood, sharing in the hardships and privations which fell to the lot of those courageous men and women who made for themselves and their families a home in the heart of the wilderness. Regular training he did not know, but by dint of application and study at home he fitted himself to teach in the common schools. In 1865, having married five years' previously, he removed to Jones county, where he procured a farm in the neighborhood of Anamosa, on which he and his wife lived happily until her death. He improved the property and erected several large and comfortable buildings, while he cultivated the soil with skill and profit. Two years after his wife's demise, in 1896, Mr. Potter removed to Olin, which remained his home until his life was brought to a close.
While still a young man Mr. Potter was converted to the Christian faith, taking: up ministerial work shortly after his conversion, and in 1863, in Clayton county, Iowa, he was regularly ordained to preach the gospel in the Christian church, continuing in that work until his death. When he assumed charge of the congregation in Jackson township, Antioch church was in an unfinished condition, but he threw himself into the actual work of construction with a vigor that ever distinguished his acts and did as much as any other to complete the structure. His life and his interest in public affairs made him prominent, and the people, who in recognition of his abilities, elected him to different township offices and to the mayoralty of the city of Olin. He also served in the legislature as a member of the Twenty-fourth General Assembly, and being an able and painstaking man acquitted himself with honor and to the satisfaction of his constituents. In politics as in religion he was always broad-minded, respecting the opinions of others, but when once convinced that he was right or that the welfare of society and humanity demanded a certain attitude on his part, he never hesitated to assert his convictions, so that in all sincerity the house in which he had sat might pass the following resolutions:

    Resolved, That in the death of Mr. Potter the state and county in which he resided loses a worthy and honored and upright citizen; and that we extend to his bereaved wife and relatives our sincere sorrow and sympathy in their great loss; and that an enrolled copy of these resolutions be spread upon the journal of the house; and that a copy be sent to the bereaved family.
    Adopted, March 13, 1909.
    Signed by, W. M. Byerly
    J. W. Ellus
    A. W. Kendall
    Guy A. Feely, speaker of the house.
    G. R. Benedict, chief clerk of the house.
Mr. Potter was twice married. In January, 1860, he wedded Miss Clementine Demoss, of Canton, Iowa. Two children were born of this union: Mrs. J. L. Streeter, of Olin; and Mrs. Dell Olmstead, of Maquoketa, Iowa. Mrs. Potter died June 19, 1894, and November 9, 1899, Mr. Potter married again, his second wife having been Mrs. W. D. Hutton, nee Shaw. She was born in Scotland, March 9, 1858, and was a daughter of Robert and Margaret (Gordon Lamond) Shaw, also natives of that country. Her father died in 1871, but her mother is still living in the land of her birth, having attained the advanced age of eighty-two years. Four of the seven children born to her and her husband are also living. In 1877, in Scotland, Mrs. Potter was united to her first husband, W. D. Hutton, and in 1892 they came to America, locating in Jones county, Iowa, where Mr. Hutton died. Four children were born to them: A. C., who is in Olin, in the employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad; Margaret C., who is the wife of A. C. Ramsey, of Rock Island, Illinois; Mary G., who is at home with her mother; and David, who is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Potter adopted a son, James R. Shaw Potter.
Mr. Potter was a Master Mason from 1869 to within a short time of his death and was also made a member of the Mt. Olivet Commandery at Anamosa. He was a man of great physical strength and tough fiber, but the end came suddenly, without any warning, for he died as the result of a paralytic stroke which seemed to cut him off while still in the enjoyment of good health. An esteemed friend and an eminent citizen, he was deeply mourned at his death. Mrs. Potter, who was administratrix of his affairs, now owns a fine three story, brick hotel, seven lots in the village of Olin, a well improved farm in Hale township, besides having numerous interests in Scotland. These interests she manages with great business skill.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 76.

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