|Birth: ||Oct. 23, 1785|
|Death: ||Oct. 12, 1851|
Chester Potter was the son of Jacob & Abigail (Blakeslee) Potter, and he was born in Plymouth (Northbury Parish), Litchfield Co. CT. In 1796, his parents removed to Western, Oneida Co. NY, along with a large contingent of relatives, in-laws, and other Northbury residents, who established one of the first settlements in this area.
When he was 19 (about 1804), he returned to Plymouth (formerly Northbury) CT, to work at shoe making, his health being too poor for farming. He lived with Titus Seymour and his wife, Leve (or Levia) Blakeslee, Chester's cousin and daughter of Experience Blakeslee (his mother's sister). He worked with Titus and others until he was 23 (about 1808), then he married Avis Newton.
When he was 31, Chester and his family removed to Ashtabula, Ohio, arriving on the 15th of September, 1816. They had one little girl, named Maryann, who was 5 years old. Avis Newton died 13 days after their second daughter, Avis Maria, was born on 2 Mar 1818. Chester hired a woman and kept his children together, and then married Eliza Castle (widow of George Goff). Eliza had three children from her first marriage: Betsey, Pamela & Rufus Standley. Chester and Eliza's three daughters were born in Ashtabula: Harriet Abigail in 1822, Cecelia Eliza in 1826, and Clarissa Emeline in 1828.
In 1831, the Potters moved to the State of Illinois, Fulton County. Chester and his family probably sailed from Ashtabula to Chicago aboard the sailing vessel "Telegraph" and then traveled overland to Fulton Co. The next spring, they moved to Warren County, Illinois. Chester rented the mill owned by former Ashtabula neighbors, Jonathan Buffum & L. Rockwell. This was the year of the Blackhawk War, and they had to stay in the fort, built at the mill, all summer.
In April of 1833, the Potter family moved to the banks of the Henderson river, where Chester established a mill of his own. He is renowned for two 12" burrs, which despite their small size, were able to grind the grain for much of the surrounding area. Chester retired from the milling business in 1846.
The family was living near the mill in June 1851. On June 4th of that year, Chester narrated his personal history, which was written on blank pages in a schoolbook, the Mitchell School Atlas, which is still in the family. It's easy to imagine a fresh spring evening with his family gathered round, and Chester begins to reminisce about his life and ancestors. Someone in the family finds a source of paper - blank pages in a schoolbook (the Mitchell School Atlas, publ. 1849), so that his words can be written down and preserved. It's a good thing - Chester died just four months later.
Eliza Castle Potter (1788 - 1873)*
Avis Maria Potter Long (1818 - 1863)*
Harriett Abigail Potter Chilson (1822 - 1871)*
Cecelia Eliza Potter Ingersoll (1826 - 1892)*
Created by: Nancy
Record added: Jul 29, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20688280
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