Abraham Potter
and Sarah Sally Wright

Abraham Potter In Middle Age
Sketch by Annette Potter From Old Photo From Sue Blevins Kovak
Abraham Potter and Sarah Sally Wright
Abraham Potter b 13 Aug 1837 Letcher Co KY d 13 May 1913 Pike Co KY; buried Potter Family Cemetery, Payne Gap KY; s/o Isaac Potter and Mary Polly Houston. Great Grandfather, Abraham Potter died shortly after hearing the news about his son, Joel Martin Mart Potter being severely wounded in a battle with moonshiners while trying to make an arrest. Abraham's heart gave out on him because of the stress of this news. He was age 76 years. The 1913 Big Sandy News ran a story about the incident. (Article Transcript). Abraham Potter m. 15 Jul 1869 to (2) Sarah "Sallie" Wright b 10 Mar 1847 d 8 Nov 1925; buried Potter Family Cemetery, Payne Gap KY; d/o Joel Ellis Wright and Eliza Agnes Bates. Children of Abraham Potter and (2nd) Sarah "Sallie" Wright;

1. Elizabeth Potter b Jun 1870.

2. Albritton "Britt" Potter (aka A. B.) b 13 Sept 1872 d 19 Dec 1929. Britt Potter once saddled and mounted the biggest Jack Ass in the county that no man had ever been able to ride. Albritton Potter was 6'6" tall and weighed 300 Lbs. For this reason, he was called "Big Pap" by his family. Britt was a US Marshall as his brother, J Mart Potter was as well. When his brother, J Mart Potter was shot by moonshiners in a raid and Mart's men, were killed, Britt went to get the men who wounded Mart and killed the other 2 deputies. Albritton "Britt" Potter m. 14 Aug 1891 to Mardelia Mullins b 22 Jan 1871 d 2 Apr 1962; d/o William Bitters Mullins and Winnie Mullins.

3. Joel Martin Mart Potter b 4 Mar 1875 d 20 Apr 1949; buried Potter Family Cemetery, Payne Gap, KY; m. 6 Oct 1894 Whitesburg, Letcher Co KY to (1) Eliza Francis Reynolds b 16 Dec 1877 d 1975; d/o William Henry Reynolds and Matilda Frances Baker. Joel Martin Mart Potter m. (2) Mary Callie Potter b 14 Nov 1889 d 21 Aug 1938, buried Potter Family Cemetery, Payne Gap, KY; d/o Abraham Potter and Selena Phillips. (thanks to Linda Potter Whitt for finding this information for this family). Joel Martin Potter m. to (3) Leona Smith b 14 Apr 1884 d 12 Aug 1966; buried Isom Cemetery, Isom, Letcher Co KY; behind Presbyterian Church; d/o Hilliard Jackson Smith and Armelda Melda Combs. Leona Smith m. (1) James Jim Hale; s/o Thomas Hale. Eliza Frances Reynolds m. (2) Thomas Davis.

4. Minnie E Potter b 14 Aug 1877 d 31 Aug 1886 at age 9.

5. Creed F Potter 1882 was described as a hero by Noah Reynolds (our Granny Eliza Frances Reynold's brother) in his book about the noted "Reynolds-Wright Feud". This feud involved many of our ancestors on both sides.

6. Queen Dallas Potter b 8 Mar 1884 d 31 July 1890 at age 6

7. Mary Rebecca Jane Potter b 15 Sept 1887 d 31 Mar 1947; buried Potter Family Cemetery, Payne Gap, Letcher Co KY; m. 5 Sept 1904 to John Henry Addington b 15 May 1878 d 15 Dec 1953; buried Potter Family Cemetery, Payne Gap, Letcher Co KY; s/o James Taylor Addington and Cecelia Adams.


Abraham Potter
and Margaret Peggy Newsome

Abraham Potter, Sarah Potter and 1st Wife, Margaret Peggy Newsome
Abraham Potter b 13 Aug 1837 Letcher Co KY d 13 May 1913 Pike Co KY; buried Potter Family Cemetery, Payne Gap KY; s/o Isaac Potter and Mary Polly Houston. Abraham Potter m. 15 Jul 1859 to Margaret "Peggy" Newsome b 1834 VA d 1868; buried Dunham Cemetery, Letcher Co KY; d/o Hartwell "Will" Newsome and Sarah "Sally" Tolley. Children of Abraham Potter and Margaret Peggy Newsome;

1. Sarah Ann Potter b 1860 Letcher Co KY d 10 Feb 1944 Letcher Co KY; m. 17 Feb 1879 Letcher Co KY to Calvin Washburn "Wash" Brummett; s/o Alexander Brummett and Catherine Sabrina Masters.

2. William "Henry" Potter b 17 Sept 1862 Letcher Co KY d 10 Feb 1944 Mercer Co KY; m. 11 Jan 1884 Wise Co VA to Diadeama Hall b 16 Mar 1868 Letcher Co KY d 17 Jul 1858 Kona, Letcher Co KY; age 90 years 4 months and 2 days; buried Potter Cemetery, Kona, Letcher Co KY; d/o Thomas Hall 1840 and Martha Patsy Whitaker.

3. King Solomon "Sol" Potter b 11 Aug 1865 d 23 Jul 1943; m. 30 Jul 1885 Wise Co VA to Matilda Hall b 4 Dec 1862 Letcher Co KY d 27 Jan 1946 Hemphill, Letcher Co KY; buried Potter Cemetery, Hemphill, Letcher Co KY; d/o Thomas Hall 1840 and Martha Patsy Whitaker.

Mt Eagle Newspaper Obituary 1943 - Uncle Sol Potter Dies At Hemphill - Uncle K. S. (King Solomon) Potter who was about 80 years old (about 78 years old), died at his home at Hemphill, Friday, July 23, (1943) at 8:00 P. M. Surviving are his wife, Matilda (Hall) Potter, two daughters; Angeline Bates and Jane Rogers and one son: Henry Potter, Jr., all of Jackhorn, KY. Two brothers: W. H. Potter and J. Mart Potter and one sister, Rebecca Addington; three grand children, Mary Bell Quillen, Tilda Yonts and Jessie Bates, also two great grandchildren, Jacqueline Quillen and Marie Yonts. Mr. Potter was a life long resident of Letcher county and had hundreds of friends and relatives who are deeply grieved at his passing. Funeral services were held at the school house at Jackhorn, Ky., Sunday, July 25th, with Revs. G. B. Adams, Newt Meade, Shade Sexton and Bud Sexton officiating. Burial took place in the family cemetery, at Jackhorn, Johnson Funeral Home in charge.


Sarah Sallie Wright raised the 3 children of Margaret Peggy Newsome from the time King Solomon Potter was age 3, William Henry Potter was age 5 and Sarah Potter was age 7.


Abraham's Death

Great Grandpa Abraham Potter died at age 73 when he heard the news that his son, Joel Martin Mart Potter had been shot and was in bad shape in the hospital. It was too much for him and his heart gave out from the stress of his son being hurt. Joel Martin Mart Potter lived another 36 years after having been shot several times. The doctor counted 23 holes in his body and said that some of them appeared to have been hit more than one time, so probably more. Mart was a US Marshall at the time and moonshiners shot and killed two of Mart's men and tried to kill Mart, but didn't succeed. Bill Stewart, our sister, Billie's first husband, was given our Grandfather's badge according to our sister, Billie Joyce Potter Jaynes.


Big Sandy News Article 1913
OFFICER POTTER'S FATHER DROPS DEAD

Uncle Abram Potter, aged 76, of near Jenkins, in Letcher County, died of heart failure at the home of his son, Mart Potter here Tuesday afternoon at 3 o'clock. Hearing that his son was badly shot in the fight with moonshiners two weeks ago, Mr. Potter came to Pikeville immediately to be in attendance at his bedside, and it is thought that the worry over his son's condition was the chief cause of the attack that removed him. The Masonic lodge here, of which he was a member, accorded his remains a Masonic rite funeral Wednesday morning and immediately after the obsequies the body was placed aboard the train and shipped to his home in Letcher County.


The Mountain Eagle, Whitesburg, Kentucky
Thursday, Sept 20, 1956
This, That and 'Tother
By BURDINE WEBB

During the early days one area of Letcher County that of the head of the North Fork of the Kentucky River is in the forefront of most sections of the county, as I remember today. Some of the oldsters were Uncle Abraham Potter, his wife, Aunt Sarah, Sam Wright and wife Martha, Uncle Alex Bentley whose first wife was a Webb, reared on Cram Creek and the daughter of Aunt Ellender. a mid-wife of marked distinction. While lower down on the little tributary, Webb Branch, were several of the old Webb's, among them being Uncle Enoch, known as '"Uncle Chunk" and his wife Aunt Frankie both of whom sleep today in the Old Webb Cemetery at Mayking.

Among the pioneer postoffices of the county was Wright, named for the Wright Family, which was maintained for many years in the home of Uncle Abraham Potter, with his wife, Aunt Sarah (Wright) as postmistress, and they lived pretty close up to the present Payne Gap. At the death of these two exemplary good citizens Alex Bentley became postmaster, and the site moved further up stream. But I have not said that the late Henry Potter and J. Mart Potter were sons of Uncle Abraham. Henry for years being identified as an active agent for The Northern Coal and Coke Co., from which The Consolidation Coal Co sprang, and J. Mart was sheriff of Letcher County for a four years tenure.

The writer was well versed on the community so far as law and order was concerned in the old days, for just over the border line was a section pretty well contamined with moonshine whiskey, the waters of "Bad" Branch, a three mile tributary of Pound, terminating right up to the top of the Pine. No one lived along this "Bad" Branch and it was free to moonshine operations and they were numerous. This moonshine element, of course, found free reins in peddling their distilled product on the head of the river with little or no interference. A little further up, and just over the border line of the two states, the notable Will Wallen was active for many years, and it was said in that day that "Will Wallen made the best moonshine liquor that ever flowed from a still". There were many who would have sworn to that title for Wallen.

There was a young man, well up in the twenties, a native of Long Fork who often visited the section, as name was Jim Johnson, known as "Red Necked Jim" who often visited places of ill fame where whiskey was sold in the open. On one occasion "Red Necked Jim" contracted with Sam Wright to do carpenter work on a new residence he was constructing. To promise Johnson worked about three weeks, and concluded, on a week-end to go over home for a few days visit with his folks. Wright paid him off, the amount of his payday being small, as wages were low in the old days. Johnson took into the pathless mountain for a direct pilgramage to Long Fork but he never reached home, it was learned a week or so later.

Then his folks worried that "Red Necked Jim" might have fallen prey to the moonshine element that infested the mountains in most areas. About this time the family dog of Uncle Abraham Potter carried a human foot with part of the leg still intact onto his premises. A search was immediately started, which reached into the intricasies of the vast wooded area between the river and Long Fork. Pretty soon a body was found, much of it having been eaten away by dogs or animals, but it was thoroughly identified as that of "Red Necked Jim" The badly decomposed body was buried near the scent roadside leading up the tributary. From that day till this the fate of Johnson has been wrapped in mystery, but that he was robbed and murdered is a foregone conclusion.

In the quietude of the Old Thornton Cemetery beside the busy throughfare, lying side by side are three old graves, that of Uncle and Elder Archaelus Craft minister for nearly fifty years, Aunt Letty Webb Craft and Wiley Craft their son. Eld. Craft's birthdate was 1818, and he died in 1885. Aunt Lettie was born in 1817, died in 1901, at 84. Wiley was killed by his first cousin, Wash Craft, under the boughs of an old poplar tree just past much of the golf course property on the old road. The tree has been gone for years. Wash Craft fled the county, locating in Clay county, but he was never indicted nor never tried for the crime. Yet a sickening tragedy, I recently took a perspective of the Thornton cemetery and just who, of the many hundreds of people, who mold there. Several were born long before 1800. There are many graves of accident victims, mine casualties, auto tolls, tricycle victims, and nearly every form of casualties, besides a possible dozen or more who sleep under Old Glory, dying in defense of their country, generally on foreign soil. Though well acquainted with the old cemetery I never realized that so many of the victims met lamentable, tragic deaths, all of which tells a grim and pathetic story of death in its varied forms.

Next to Rosedale postoffice which I detailed in my first effusion is Rockhouse, I believe the third oldest postoffice in Letcher County where Uncle Madison Collins, father of the late Dr. John Collins, widely known in his day, was its first postmaster. Many years later, of course, the office was changed to Colson, named in honor of Dave Colson, old-time Congressman from the old Eleventh district, native of Middlesboro. Rockhouse post-office was first supplied by the long foot-path route from Gladeville, Virginia (now Wise) and Hindman, Kentucky about sixty miles.

The old postoffice at Democrat, and it's in a strong Republican community, was ordered established by Dr. T. A. Cook for many years a highly reputable physician of the county, who, by the way was an astute Republican. He asked and urged that the office be named Republican, not thinking that just over in Knott County there was already a Republican postoffice, and the Postoffice Department were ironclad on having but one postoffice of the same name in the state. It was with much reluctance, however, that Dr. Cook bowed to the will of the "Powers that be" in Washington, and without consulting Dr. Cook the office was designated, Democrat. Mrs. Williams, relative of Dr. Cook, and highly efficient is the present postmistress.

About one hundred and ten years ago a few of the old pioneers of the Adams, Craft and Webb families in the community that is now Mayking met to worship, and from that day of devout and fervent prayer they discussed the organization of a Baptist Church at regular intervals. At length the congregation organized themselves into a body, and the church became the Thornton Church of Old Regular Baptists. Today the Thornton Church is a power in the community, with a large, growing membership, and a splendid building in which to worship. Thanks to the late Eld. G. Bennett Adams, long since deceased who was the church's pastor for many years. Today the memory of Eld. Adams is honored beyond measure by the people of the community, and every church member, although his passing was more than six years ago, his great work will live on and on. Eld. Ray Collins is the Thornton Church's present pastor, and he is doing a splendid work, while the church grows on in influence and importance.


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