Jefferson County, NY Pioneers


ANTHONY POTTER was born 10 July 1749 in Cranston, RI and died 9 February 1822, RI, son of JOHN and HANNAH (BAKER) POTTER. He married BETSEY STRAIT. She is, perhaps, the Elizabeth Potter, who died in Herkimer Co., NY, at age 68, on 19 March 1831. In a Boston Transcript Genealogy column, dated 17 Oct. 1936, there is a notice about the Potter family: “The Potter family moved from Cranston, RI to Norway, Herkimer Co., NY.” He was a Sixth Principle Baptist and a deacon in the church. He served during the Revolutionary War, and it is recorded that he drove the congregation out of the church at Cranston and closed its doors because some of the members persisted in praying for the king. Of his sons, Rufus, Anthony and George moved to New York State and settled first in Dutchess Co. Rufus moved on to Oneida Co., and served in the War of 1812. George had business ventures in Herkimer Co. Vital Records of Cranston, RI, however, show that Anthony was of Joseph, deceased; he married Mercy Burlingame, of Capt. Peter. They were married by William Burton, Justice, on 30 Aug. 1772. The 1790 census of Heads of Families in Cranston, RI, shows Anthony Potter with 2 males over 16, 5 males under 16 and 6 free white females. By the 1820 Federal Census, Anthony's household consisted of 1 male 36-45, 1 male over 45 and 3 females over 45. The Records of RI, printed 1862, Vol. 8, Dec. 1778 show Anthony Potter as a lieutenant from Cranston, RI, first company. The DAR Index records Anthony Potter's service and spouse as Mercy Burlingame.

Children of Anthony:

  1. ELISHA, b 8 March 1787 in RI, d. 16 March 1865 at 78 years. He married on 3 Oct. 1813 POLLY STEELE (1795-9 June 1875 at 79 years), daughter of Elijah and Margery Steele.
  2. ANTHONY was born in Herkimer Co., NY on 24 Feb. 1797 and died 14 April, 1891 in Belle Plaine Iowa (Oakhill Cemetery) On 3 Feb. 1824, he married 1) LUCY COMSTOCK (11 April 1800-d 27 Dec. 1836), daughter of Medad and Eunice Elizabeth (Lamb)Comstock. He married 1837 to 2)FANNY VANDERWAKER, daughter of Martin and Delight Vanderwaker; she died in 1883 and is buried next to Anthony.
  3. JOHN was born 30 October 1798 in Herkimer and died 20 Oct. 1854, buried Evans Mills Cem., Jeff. Co. He married 1824 SOPHY STEELE; she died 23 Sept. 1853 at 55 years, 2 months.
  4. HENRY was born in Herkimer Co., March 1806 and died June 1834. In 1827, he married CLARA NUTTING.
  6. JAMES
  7. FREELOVE married a Rice
  10. LYDIA married PETER COSSE
  11. BETSEY -unmarried
  12. RACHAEL -unmarried

1)ELISHA and POLLY (STEELE) POTTER were residents of Jefferson Co., NY.
Their children were:

Additional notes from Edgar C. Emerson's “Our County and Its People”: (Jefferson Co.)

Tozer & Davenport, millers and proprietors of the American Mills, Evans Mills, N. Y., was formed in 1895 and is composed of William F. Tozer and Arthur P. Davenport. The business consists of general grinding of wheat, corn, buckwheat and all kinds of mill feed. They are large dealers in flour, handling the Grand Republic flour of West Superior, Wis., and Rhodie & Bills's best patent of Ogdensburg. Their business is extensive, reaching out beyond what is usually termed local trade limits. The mill is of historical interest, having been erected in 1820 by Ethan Evans, the founder of the village. The individual copartners are energetic, pushing business men. Mr. Tozer was born in the town of Alexandria at Alexandria Bay, in 1861, a son of Regot and Mary (Potter) Tozer, respected citizens of Evans Mills. Mr. Tozer received his education in the schools of the neighborhood and was graduated from St. John's High School at Ogdensburg. For two years he was employed in the government survey from Little Rock, Ark., to Vermilion county, Dak. Returning to Evans Mills he engaged in his present business with W. H. Osborne which continued for three years and in 1895 he formed the present copartnership.

Mr. Tozer is a member of Pisgah Lodge No. 720, F. & A. M. He has been through all the chairs and was for two years master of the lodge. Mr. Tozer and Mr. Davenport's grandfather, Elisha Potter, was a soldier in the war of 1812 and fought at Sacket Harbor. Mr. Tozer and Mr. Davenport's families run back through two important channels, one on the Potter side reaching to Robert Potter of Warwick, Eng., who came to Rhode Island in 1600, and through their great-grandmother, Polly Wolcott, and their grandmother, Polly Steele, who desçended from the Wolcott's of Rhode Island, of which Oliver Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and governor of the State, and Roger Wolcott, also governor of Rhode Island, are representatives. Mr. Davenport was born in the village of Evans Mills twenty five years ago, a son of Platt W. and Amelia M. (Potter) Davenport. His early life was passed in his native village, receiving his education in the public schools of the neighborhood and at the academy at Holland Patent. After completing his education he went to Nebraska, and was connected with the Omaha Street Railroad for three years, when he returned to Evans Mills, and entered upon the present business, where he has remained ever since. Politically Mr. Davenport is a Democrat. His father died in 1895 and his mother still survives and resides with her son. Messrs. Tozer & Davenport are cousins.


  1. JANETTE b Philadelphia, NY 31 Oct. 1824. Married B. L. ROBERTS.
  2. JEROME B. b Philadelphia, NY 18 May 1826; married 1)ANNA B. EDWARDS and 2)JANE IRELAND
  3. HENRY EMERSON b LeRayville 29 July 1827
  4. LUCIEN C. d 6 Oct. 1862; married SOPHIA MITCHELL
  5. CATHARINE C. b 18 July 1831; d 13 Mar. 1886; married on 25 Nov. 1851 SPENCER HAWLEY (b 1829), son of Ira and Patty (Barrows)Hawley
  6. MEDAD b Feb. 1833 d June 1833
  7. DELOS S. b 28 Dec. 1834; married 24 Dec. 1857 MARY JANE BATES (b 1839), daughter of David P. and Ermina (Taft) Bates

Children of Anthony and second wife, Fanny Vanderwaker Potter:

  1. MARY E. b 12 Mar. 1839; married on 3 July 1864 to NATHAN G. ROBBINS (b 1835) son of Wm. And Margaret Robbins
  2. EMELINE b 1 Dec. 1840; married 28 Aug. 1862, J. F. ROBERTS
  3. HENRIETTA M. b 13 June 1843; married 23 Aug. 1882 J. E. ROBERTS (b1835), son of Jesse and Betsey ( ) Roberts
  4. WILLIAM OSCAR born 23 May 1845; married 25 Dec. 1871 RUBY MATILDA PIXLEY, (b 1854), daughter of Geo. and Sarah A.

Children: (Potter)

  1. a)ORRIS JOHN b 19 May 1826, d 22 June 1880; married 22 June 1851 to ELIZABETH FILINER
  2. b)ANNA MARGERY b 3 Dec. 1828; married 18 April 1858 HENRY HAZLETON
  3. c)CYRUS STEELE b 24 Jan. 1831; married 18 Oct. 1854 ADELAIDE E. WAFUL
  4. d)ADELINE SOPHIA b 5 Feb. 1833
  5. e)ALFREDA JENETTE b 20 April 1836; married 1)EPH. HAZLETON and 2) HENRY MATHER and 3)RICHARD LEWIS

1820 Federal Census records for Henderson, Jefferson Co.:

Next door was:

Additional note:

Lucy Comstock, first wife of Anthony Potter, was the daughter of Medad Comstock and Eunice Elizabeth Lamb of New Ashford, Berkshire Co., MA. Lucy's brother, Sacket Comstock, was also an early settler of Jefferson County.

Source: Part 10, ROBERT POTTER of Warwick, RI and his descendants. Edited by Charles Edward Potter. Published Boston by Alfred Mudge & Son, 1888, courtesy Cornell University Library. Oakhill Cemetery, Benton Co., Iowa-markers; federal census; Edgar Emerson's “Our County and Its People”; Cranston RI Vital Records, 1790 federal census of Cranston, RI., Herkimer Co. Genweb, DAR Index

Information contributed by volunteer Marilyn Sapienza.

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