Friday, July 1, 2011

Potter County, Pennsylvania

How did Potter County, Pennsylvania, get its name? Years ago, the librarian at the Coudersport Public Library answered my letter of inquiry about this. She said that the first name proposed for the county was the Indian name Sinnemahoning, meaning Stony Lick, but the Senate wished to have a county named in honor of Gen. James Potter, and this name was chosen. This Gen. James Potter was born in Co. Tyrone, Ireland, in 1729 and came to this country when 12 years of age. He served under Col. John Armstrong, the noted Indian fighter, and in the Revolution as Commander of a Battalion of the militia under Gen. Washington at Trenton and Princeton, and also as Brigadier General at Brandywine and Germantown. He held carious public offices before and after the Revolution. He came into the Susquehanna area soon after the Treaty of 1768 as the agent and surveyor of the land company on the Sinnemahoning; he died in 1789. Some one who new Gen. Potter described him thusly:  A stout, broad-shouldered, plucky, active man, 5'9", of dark complexion, and of a hopeful disposition which no troubles could conquer. Potter County is honored in bearing his name even though he never trod upon its soil.

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