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Amador County








            Eleazer S. Potter, who is living in Plymouth, Amador County, came to the sate at an early era in its development.  He is numbered among the native sons of Connecticut, his birth having occurred in Harwinton, Litchfield County, on the 16th of November, 1826.  The family is of English lineage and was early founded in the New England states.  Isaac Potter, the father of our subject, was born in that state and married Miss Hanna Scovill.  They were farming people and staunch Presbyterians in their religious faith.  The father attained the age of sixty-four years, while his wife departed this life in her sixtieth year.  Three of their eight children are still living, namely:  Synthia, now the wife of B. F. Wyne, a resident of Platteville, Wisconsin; Abijah, who also is living in Wisconsin; and Eleazer Scovill, of this review.

            The last named was reared on his father’s farm, acquired a good common school education and entered upon his business career as a peddler in his native state.  In 1847 he removed to Illinois and thence to Platteville, Wisconsin, remaining in the latter place for three years.  He afterward spent two years in Missouri in search of lead ore and then returned to the Badger state, where he occupied a clerkship for a time.  In 1852 he paid seventy-five dollars for the privilege of coming with an ox train across the plains to California.  He also worked for his passage.  One boy in the train died of cholera on Big Sandy River, but with that exception all reached their destination in safety.  Mr. Potter arrived at Volcano, Amador County, in the fall of 1852 and at once engaged in placer mining, making from ten to twelve dollars a day.  Like others, however, he lost much that he made in mining operations and after two years went to Tuolumne County.  In 1853, in Drytown, he saw the heads of Joaquin and Jack on exhibition.  They were atrocious murderers and robbers who had been captured and killed.  On one occasion during those early mining days Mr. Potter and two companions were engaged in placer mining when a young, green-looking fellow came along and asked them where he had better begin digging; thinking to play a joke on him, they told him to dig near a certain tree.  He followed their advice, and much to their surprise, secured more gold than all the others.  His findings soon enabled him to return home with a handsome competence.  After a time Mr. Potter engaged in merchandising at the Arkansas diggings, purchasing his goods in Sacramento.  That venture proved a profitable one, and after five years he removed to the Buckeye Valley, where he was engaged in business for four years, when he came to Plymouth.  In 1866 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land adjoining the town, and has since been engaged in farming, raising grain, hay and stock.  His industry has been rewarded with success and he is now one of the substantial citizens of the community.

            In 1858 Mr. Potter married Miss Harriet Louisa Howard, of Forest Home and a native of Michigan.  They have fourteen children, five of whom are now living, namely:  H. E., a prominent merchant of Plymouth; F. M., who is a successful farmer; Mary, now the wife of L. G. Griffith; Kate, the wife of Dennis Madden; and Charles, who is now living with his father.  Mrs. Potter, who was a true and loving wife and mother, died in 1897 and her loss was deeply mourned throughout the community.

            In politics Mr. Potter has always been a stalwart Republican, and in 1883 was chosen by his party as a candidate for county supervisor.  Being elected, his service was most creditable, gaining him high commendation.  Since 1851 he has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is now the treasurer of his lodge.  His life has been characterized by unfaltering activity and by reliability in all business transactions, and all those who know him esteem him for his sterling worth.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 252-253. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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