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POTTSVILLE

POTTSVILLE was named for Captain John Stephen Potts. The town site was formed from a part of his farm, and on a portion of the farm belonging to Edmund T. Goggin, grandfather of L. D. Bratton. Mr. Goggin stipulated that intoxicating liquor could never be sold within the bounds of Pottsville which is twelve miles west of Hamilton. Capt. Potts also donated land for the Pottsville Public Cemetery. Thomas Jefferson Burks  became the first postmaster at Pottsville on 2 January, 1879.

EARLY SETTLERS

Henry Hoover and Tom Patterson were the first settlers in the Pottsville area before the Civil War. The Hoover Knobs were named for Henry Hoover. The early 1870's was the time the following pioneers moved to Pottsville: Edmond T. Goggin, Capt. John Stephen Potts, Thomas Jefferson Burks, Frank Burks, Mr. Conner, James Hamilton Collett, L. S. Bratton, and William McPherson.

 

In the 1880's William McPherson and two brothers went to San Antonio to buy 4,000 sheep which they had to herd back to Pottsville because there was no railroad. The Indian Gap and Pottsville Telephone Union was organized in the early 1900's and served the area until about 1963. I have the share purchased for $25.00 by my great-grandfather, William Henry Jarius Fergusson, on 22 February., 1909. The certificate was signed by L. S. Bratton and S. H. McPherson. The Fortunatas William Bryan family arrived in Hamilton County in 1889, settled at Pottsville, and opened a store selling groceries, dry goods, and hardware.

Thomas Solomon Vaughn brought his family to Hamilton County following the Civil War. Vaughn pre-empted land on the Leon River near Jonesboro, later exchanging it for a gin and a 240 acre farm at Pottsville on the Hoover Branch of the Cowhouse. On 11 November, 1875, he bought the R. J. Rosser place.

 

John Potts bought 240 acres of the Levi Sellick Survey land in West Hamilton County, for $500 in gold in 1869. Later Mr. Potts purchased 277 acres of land on the Cowhouse Creek in Hamilton County from Julius Benjamin Kennedy ( of Bastrop County), assignee of Laura Burleson on 9 July, 1879. (Hamilton County Deed Book 1, pg. 151.) Laura Burleson had received a land grant of one million, eight thousand and nine hundred square varas of land in Hamilton County twelve miles from the town of Hamilton from the Commissioner of the General Land Office on May 21st, 1873. Laura Burleson transferred the land to B. F. Jones on 24 June, 1874, who in turn transferred the land to Julius Kennedy on 29 June, 1874. William Henry Jarius Fergusson purchased this tract of land from John Potts on 2 November, 1895, for $550. (Hamilton County Trust Deeds, Book K, p. 526)

Joseph Samuel Miller "Joe" Poston came to Pottsville in 1892 and purchased a 3,000 acre ranch where he raised sheep, cattle, horses, and mules. In 1895 Joe married Maggie Belle Jones. At one time Mr. Poston owned the Hamilton County Oil Mill and several gins. In 1908 he purchased a ranch one mile west of Hamilton and built a colonial two-story home in 1910.

 

"Miss Anna Rea Writes History of Pottsville"

Published in a March, 1977 issue of The Hamilton Herald-News

 

By Anna Louise Rea

 

(Born 17 February, 1886, to Ole K. Rea and Anna Carolyn Zschiesche Rea, Miss Rae was 93 when she died 20 February, 1979.)

 

"Pottsville was named in honor of Captain John Potts, one of the first settlers in about 1870. Tom Burks was the first postmaster. James Hamilton Collett was Justice of the Peace, and Mr. Harralson (D. I. Haralson) was the first minister of the Gospel.

 

The second minister was William Strong Harrison. He was the grandfather of Dr. W. W. Fowler of Dallas. There were three Fowler girls: Marie, Anne, and Ola.

 

Early settlers around Pottsville were Tom, Frank, and Billie Burks, James Hamilton Collett, Oleander Hamilton, Jr., John and Charley Collett, Tom Patterson, Mr. Vaughn, Mr. McPherson, Henry Fox Hoover, Harris Fowler, Jessie Goggan, Kate Walton, Gabe and Edgar Smith, and Alice Smith who married Hal Williams of Hamilton.

 

The Indians roamed the countryside, and there were many raids. The Hoover Knobs were named after Henry Fox Hoover who with his wife and child, fought off one Indian attack. He and some of his family were later buried inside a little rock fence just south of the farm-to-market road from Pottsville to Indian Gap. In 1870, the burying place was on the Hoover Ranch.

 

Miss Alice Goggin was the first school teacher of Pottsville about the year 1876. The school building was a log cabin on my family’s ranch west of Pottsville.

 

Her pupils were Ras Rogers, (son of Mrs. Tom Patterson by her first marriage), Lavie Patterson, Sarah Collett, Alex Bratton, Ed Bratton, Lona Bratton Cunningham (brothers and sister of Dee and Norman Bratton), Inez May, Louis Owen, and Louise Vaughn, Julia Vaughn Martin, Bessie Abernathy, Conrad Steward, Tom, Charley, and Ike(Hugh Isaac) Moore, Jake and Lula Simmons, and Julia Martin.

 

Alice Goggin married Tom Burks. She was the mother of Mrs. Sam McPherson, now of Hamilton."

 

 

On Saturday evening before Easter Sunday in 1944, a tornado swept through Hamilton County cutting a path two miles wide and fifteen miles long causing damage in Pottsville, Blue Ridge, and Aleman. Eight-month old Glenda Jean Glover was torn from her mother’s arms and later found dead a short distance from their home. Five people in Pottsville were injured--Mrs. A. D. Glover, Jr., mother of Glenda Jean; Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Moore, Mrs. Otto Schultz, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Glover, Sr., and Juan June Glover. Fourteen houses, thirty-four barns, and fifty-seven others buildings were destroyed in Hamilton County and fifty houses, thirty-two barns, and forty other buildings were damaged.

 

"The following list of the homes totally destroyed was furnished by the Red Cross Relief Committee: J. E. Oustad, John. Stegemoller, Carl Cox, Mrs. William Griffie, Otto Schultz, J. S. Moore, Lawrence Rice, George Rudolph, Mrs. Ida Schultz, D. T. White, and N. E. Wilkins in the Pottsville area." The church building of the Pottsville Church of Christ was destroyed.

 

My great-grandfather, William Henry Jarius Fergusson, and his nephew’s family who lived with him--Herbert and Neva Adcock and their children, as well as some neighbors took refuge in the Fergusson storm cellar. After the storm they found that their house had been moved from its foundation. The kerosene lamp was still setting undamaged on the kitchen table, but my great-grandfather’s reading glasses which had been beside the lamp were never found. Until the storm my great-grandfather had daily walked to the store in Pottsville to get his mail and newspaper to read. After the storm macula degeneration quickly robbed him of almost all vision.

"POTTSVILLE, TX." The Handbook of Texas Online

POTTSVILLE, TX, - TEXAS ESCAPES

POTTSVILE, TX

 
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People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
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Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

A Work In Progress