Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

JAMES ELMER POTTER. A young man who has stamped the impress of his strong personality upon the minds of the people of Green county in a manner as to render him one of the conspicuous characters of the locality is James Elmer Potter, who is now serving his second term as county collector. Few men of his age are better known throughout the county, few occupy a more conspicuous place in public affairs, and it is a compliment worthily bestowed to class him with the representative men of this locality where the Potters have been influential since the first settlement of the county and where he has been content to spend his life as teacher, agriculturist and public servant always having the best interests of the county at heart.

Mr. Potter was born on February 2, 1875, near Strafford in the eastern part of Greene county, Missouri, and he is a son of Louis Cass Potter and Susan M. (Hankins) Potter. The father was born in the same locality as was our subject, the date of his birth being 1845, and there also, about three miles south of Taylor township line, the mother was born. These parents grew up in this locality and received their education in the common school and were married there, established their home on the farm and spent lives engaged successfully in general farming and stock raising, and there death of Louis C. Potter occurred in 1893. He was a man of industry and public-spirit and made a success in his vocation, leaving behind him at death an honored name. His family consisted of three children, namely: Susie, James E., and Ethel.

James E. Potter grew to manhood on the home farm near Strafford and there he worked when a youth, and when of proper age he attended the schools of his community and later the Springfield Normal, after which he taught school for a short time, but was compelled to give up that line of endeavor owing to failing health. He has made general farming and stock raising his main occupation.

Politically, Mr. Potter has always been a stanch Republican. He was first elected to the office of county collector in 1910, and, having served his term of four years in a manner that was highly satisfactory to all concerned and with much credit to himself he was again elected to this office in November, 1914, and is now beginning on his second term. He is faithful, painstaking and accurate in his official work. Being a man of uniform courtesy and fair dealing, and being straightforward, candid and sincere, he at once enlists the good will of everyone.

Mr. Potter was married on August 10, 1904, near Strafford, to Susan E. McCraw, who was a native of California, from which state she was brought to Greene county, Missouri, when young by her parents and here grew up on a farm and received a common school education. She is the daughter of Gabriel and Elizabeth C. (Waterson) McCraw. These parents were early settlers here, locating on a farm. They went to California, where the mother died. The father later returned to Greene county, Missouri, where he still lives on the old homestead on the James river. Our subject's wife is the oldest of two children, the youngest being James G. McCraw, living with his father on the farm.

John L. McCraw, paternal grandfather of our subject's wife, was one of the pioneer settlers of Greene county, and was a surveyor by profession. He surveyed a great deal of land in this locality.

Thomas Potter, paternal grandfather of our subject, was among the first settlers in Greene county, was prominent among the pioneers and was sheriff of the county in the early fifties.

Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. James E. Potter namely: Eldred McCraw Potter, born May 16, 1905, died in infancy; and Howard Cass Potter, born July 5, 1910.

Fraternally, Mr. Potter is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a Republican. The family are members of the Presbyterian church.


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