Lewis Potter, owner of the "natural bridge" farm in the town of Highland, was born at Ft. Montgomery, August 17, 1825, and the first fourteen years of his life were passed in the place of his birth. He then came to Forest of Dean, and for the four ensuing years was in the employ of Daniel Slosson, upon the farm which he now owns. As soon as he had a sufficient amount saved to warrant independent action, he began farm work on his own account, and for a number of years thereafter he rented farms in Forest of Dean and Ft. Montgomery. His next venture was the purchase of a yoke of oxen, and thus equipped he engaged in teaming for three years, after which he was employed on the Hudson River for one years, and for two years tilled the soil in partnership with his brother.
After his marriage, Mr. Potter rented a farm near Ft. Montgomery, and this place he worked for nine years on shares. He then was employed for a year in New Jersey, but the following year returned home and began the cultivation of the place where his family had resided during his absence. On this property, which was situated near Ft. Montgomery, he engaged in general agricultural pursuits for three years, and later rented a farm near the mines for ten years. Desirous, however, of having property of his own, in 1873 he bought one hundred and twenty-six acres, and upon that tract he settled two years later. He has since added several hundred acres to the estate, which, under his efficient management, is one of the most productive farms in the neighborhood. The place is a very old one, and one field was cleared and has been in cultivation since a period antedating the Revolution.
It is worthy of note that our subject's grandfather, Aaron, and great-grandfather Potter were participants in the Revolutionary struggle and took an active part in the Battle of Ft. Montgomery, where the latter was killed and the form had part of his ear shot away.
For a time after the Revolution Aaron Potter lived on Long Island, whence he came to Orange County and took up a large trace of land near Highland Mills. After his death his son Thomas, our subject's father, removed to Ft. Montgomery, and died at the home of his daughter there. His wife bore the maiden name of Margaret Weyant, and was the daughter of Tobias Weyant, of Highland Mills.
The marriage of our subject took place at Forest of Dean, February 16, 1850, at which time he took as his wife Miss Phoebe, daughter of James and Catherine (Vought) Clark. Her father, who was a farmer by occupation, was a son of Moses Clark. Her mother was a daughter of Joseph and Amelia (Conklin) Vought, and the latter in turn was a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Nelson) Conklin. Henry, father of Joseph Vought, was a soldier in the War of the Revolution. Mrs. Potter is the eldest of eleven children, of whom all but two are living. Our subject was the eighth among fourteen children, and he and his brother John M., who was third in order of birth, are the only survivors.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. Potter consisted of five children, namely: Millie Ann, who married Thomas Cox and is now deceased; Sarah Jane, who died in infancy; Jane, wife of George VanTassell; Catherine, who passed away in infancy; and Mary Emma, wife of Fred Holman, a fireman in an apartment house in New York City. The latter has one child, Arthur J., a fine lad of six years.
In politics Mr. Potter upholds the principles of Democracy, and has been prominent in the local ranks of his party. For thirty years he has served as Collector, and he has also filled the position of School Director.