Thomas Jefferson “Jeff” Pottinger, Sr

Thomas Jefferson “Jeff” Pottinger, Sr

New Haven, Nelson County, Kentucky, USA
Death 1 May 1900 (aged 79)
Hodgenville, Larue County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Nelson County, Kentucky, USA
Memorial ID 88934626 · View Source
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Son of Samuel Pottenger, Jr and Lucinda (Jameson) Pottenger. Age 79

T.J. Pottinger was born in Sam Pottinger's old log house on Lot No.1 in New Haven, KY and was a twin to Robert Caldwell who died at age 17. He went by the nicknames of “Jeff”, or “Thom” and was rarely referred to as “T.J.” until late in life. There was actually at least 5 Thomas Jefferson Pottingers born in the 1880’s in Kentucky. He was a good substantial farmer, owned large farmland until the war broke out, raised horses and mules, and ran several distilleries.

He was 12 years old when his father died. He lived with his mother at Walnut Hill and had private tutors for his education as well as his other siblings. He was sent to St. Mary's Seminary in 1834, two years later he was at St. Joseph's College at Bardstown, and then began his employment in 1838 for the next 8 years with the general store of Henry L. Miles in New Haven. He had various duties with the store that including the business of flat boating (moving and selling goods), collecting monies, and other general duties. When he went to trips down the river to New Orleans, he would always bring back gifts that included furs & beads traded with the Indians, wild birds such as parakeets, and other treasures for the family gathered along the way or at the big city.

In 1840, brothers T. J. Pottinger, George W. Pottinger and their brother-in-law, Dr. Joseph E. Settle, provided the funds and had erected by William Riggs, a brick schoolhouse in the Gethsemane neighborhood in Nelson County for a schoolhouse for the children of the vicinity, both Protestant and Catholic, and was available for preaching services to all denominations. T.J. married Vienna Maria Remey on Dec 24, 1846 in Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Butler Grigsby Remey and Julia Lewis. They had six children:

*Julia Lucinda Pottinger 2-3-1848 to 7-20-1937 m.1) Ben Miller 6 children: Remey, Birdie,
Vida, Naomi, Arrie, Ben Jr., m.2) James Sterrett Baird 2 children: Rollie, Hise

*Butler Remey Pottinger 4-17-1849 to 8-1-1889 m. Mary Ann Pottinger (cousin),7 children:
Davis, Alice Ruby, Butler R., Curtis, Burton, Sam C., Rebecca V.

*Thomas Jefferson Pottinger Jr. 11-30-1851to 4-28-1911 m. Carrie Willett, no children

*Susan Rector 1-21-1861 to 1943 m.Rollie Guthie 4 children: Mary, Forrest, Samuel, Rollie M.

*Vienna Maria 9-9-1863 to 11-15-1939 unmarried

*Samuel Forrest 10-18-1867 to 5-11-1956 m.Bertha Huston 2 children: Alan H., Samuel Remey

The drought of 1857 left T.J. a great opportunity to buy land that many farmers in the area had given up on, in which he began farming/distilling on a large scale. The Civil War demanded a lot of his crops to be given or taken away, although most of the Pottingers remained neutral, it seemed the southern side always paid for what they needed. There is more than one family lore about how property had to be protected to keep it from being taken in the name of the war.

In 1868, T.J. & his son-in-law Ben Miller partnered with E.L. Miles Company to produce large amounts of high quality bourbon. That was sold and he partnered with F.M. Head in 1874. That was sold in 1879 so he could establish his own distillery with his two oldest sons in 1880, located by the railroad tracks in Gethsemane; T.J. Pottinger & Company. He invented in 1881 and holds the patent for whiskey storage racking that is still used today in most warehouses.

When his wife died in 1887, he sold the business a year later, and "retired" to just farming and raising horses at Walnut Hill. After a few years of mourning, T.J. married again to Rhoda Ellen (Sanders) Rapier, a widowed plantation owner. They married January 10, 1893 in Louisville, KY. Seven years later, at age 79, T.J. died on her plantation (four miles east of Hodgenville) from pneumonia brought on by working in inclement weather. The irony of this is his twin brother had died 63 years earlier to the month of the same thing.

The Pottenger/Pottinger cemetery has two markers for T.J.;July 29, 1820 - May 1, 1900 and 1820-1900 with both spelled Pottinger. The spelling of last name from Pottenger occurred sometime around 1840 with all that generation spelling with an "I" except for James Allen who stayed with "e" whenever he could.

Gravesite Details Backside of this obelisk holds the record for wife Vienna Maria Remey

See more Pottinger memorials in:

  • Maintained by: R Pottinger
  • Originally Created by: Tom Pottenger
  • Added: 21 Apr 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 88934626
  • R Pottinger
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Jefferson “Jeff” Pottinger, Sr (29 Jul 1820–1 May 1900), Find a Grave Memorial no. 88934626, citing Pottinger Cemetery, Nelson County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by R Pottinger (contributor 47999045) .