During a residence of more than two-score years in Atchison county, Kansas, Tinsley Potter has not only witnessed, but has also been a material factor in the great and important changes which have taken place here. He comes of a fine old Virginia family and his father, Thomas Potter, who was born and reared in that state, was a hero of the war of 1812. Once, when fighting some of Tecumseh's forces, he narrowly escaped death, his horse being shot under him. Following the stream of emigration toward Kentucky, he there met and married a lady of that state, Miss Seliah Jackson. Their union was solemnized in Lincoln county and eleven children came to bless their home, namely: Nancy, William, Frances, Joseph, Ephraim, Moses, Tinsley, Marion, George, Andrew and James Henry. The father lived to be seventy-seven years of age, his death occurring in Kansas, and the mother departed this life when in her sixty-eighth year.
The birth of Tinsley Potter took place in the old homestead in Lincoln county, Kentucky. December 15, 1826. He was reared on farms in Missouri, chiefly, and attended the district schools. In 1854 he came to Kansas and located upon a quarter-section of land on section 2, Benton township, being the first settler of that township. As an agriculturist he has made a success and, besides providing well for his family and meeting all of the duties of citizenship, he has accumulated a competence for his declining days. In addition to his valuable homestead, on which stands a commodious modern residence, he owns a fine tract of some three hundred and twenty acres of land in Oklahoma. In his political convictions he is a Populist, as are so many of the residents of Kansas and other western states. A sincere friend to education, he formerly acted in the capacity of school treasurer for ten years and did much for the cause in this locality.
For forty-four years Mr. Potter has had a faithful helpmate with whom to share his joys and sorrows. April 24, 1856, his marriage to Susan Anne Bohannon was celebrated, in Buchanan county, Missouri. She is one of the eleven children of John and Talitha (Foust) Bohannon, both of whom died in Buchanan county, the former at the age of seventy-three and the latter at the age of seventy-eight years. The father was a native of Tennessee, whence he removed to Indiana and later to the vicinity of Chicago, Illinois, and finally to Missouri. Mrs. Potter was born in Fountain, Indiana, February 11, 1833, and passed her girlhood in Missouri. She had four brothers and five sisters, namely: Margaret, Elizabeth, Martha, Gaines, Talitha, Thomas, Mary, William and John. Mrs. Potter was the third one of the family of children.
Mr. and Mrs. Tinsley Potter have four surviving children. Talitha, who before her marriage was a successful teacher, is now the wife of James Lower, of Lancaster township, and their children are named respectively: Claude, Erna, Ada, Lillie and Ray. Mary Elizabeth, the wife of William McLenon, of Lancaster township, and the mother of two little girls, Elsie and Edna, also taught school successfully prior to her marriage. Ella Florence is the wife of John Searles, of Lancaster township, and John B. Potter, a prosperous farmer of Benton township, wedded Della Killingsworth, of Jackson county, Kansas, and has one child, Lelia. Two of the children of our subject and wife died in infancy. Two others are Alice, who died when in her seventh year, and Madora was blossoming into noble womanhood when death called her to the better land, at the age of twenty-three years. Mr. and Mrs. Potter are earnest members of the Effingham Christian church and are beloved and looked up to by the entire community.