Monday, February 10, 2014

Notes on Daniel Potter & wife Lydia Hale, early 1800s in NY, Part 2

Back in Potter Profiles, Vol. 11, March 1987, Virginia Zadorozny (who lived in Palmyra, NY) sent this material as it pertained to her line. She added this note that came with the material:  "This chapter on the Potters was written by Clayton Buell Potter, grandson of Daniel Potter and Lydia Hale. It is included in a handwritten book compiled in 1909 by Edward Augustus Parks, the stepson of Clayton's sister, Cassandana Potter Parks.

"There was a point of land extending into Lime Lake a little south of the dam on which was built an ashery, a place where ashes were made into some form of potash. The building itself I do not remember but some of the boards soaked with lye and leached ashes were there in my recollection. Our swimming hole was at the old ashery. Timber in those days was largely a nuisance and was but, logged and burned as rapidly as possible and the ashes were used as a sort of currency and about the only thing the early settlers had that would bring there were none around then. 

"The men would start out in the latter part of June to get into the Genessee country to help in harvesting and the grain was cut with sickles. It was long before machines were thought of and they could not have used machines had there been any because of way too many stumps.

" Along about 1836, Joseph Potter and Mary Eunice Wylie were married. I believe their acquaintance was formed one of these times when the young man had gone to Covington to work in the harvest fields. And Joseph took Mary from the town of Covington in Wyoming County to his Cattaraugus home on horseback, posterior fashion, and they were said to have been a very handsome couple anyway. Mother Potter was known as the best house keeper in the community and she carded, spun, knit and wove the material, cut and made the garments for the whole family and never had a sewing machine and no hired help in my recollection. She was more than a remarkable woman. There were few people her equal in a full understanding of current events and our national history. She was a great reader always reading while knitting and when churning for butter with the old dash churn. She would have her Christian Advocate, The New York Times or Harpers Weekly pinned against the wall where she could read until the butter came. She was a patriot and always prepared to meet and worst any rebel sympathizer or copperhead. There were ten children born to them, seven of whom lived to maturity.

"Cassandana Louise was born December 22, 18938, and is now living at Pearl Creek, Wyoming County, New York, the widow of Samuel Orlando Parks. She much resembles her mother in likeness and character. The story is told that when an infant but a few weeks of age in the strenuous times of her young parents, her father, in his sleep, picked her up and threw her clear across the living room of the log house....likely dreaming that he was throwing a band into some burning log heap. Yet she took no harm from this sort of treatment and I think never held any grudge on account of it.

(To be continued.....)

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