J.H. POTTS, of the firm of Potts & Son, breeders of fine Short-horn cattle, is located on a splendid stock farm just west of Jacksonville, and which consists of 230 acres of land. This farm has been admirably arranged for the purposes of stock raising. Messrs. Potts & Son have been very successful in their efforts to sustain a good strain of the celebrated cattle which they breed. The present head of their herd of about seventy-five cattle, is the well-known Imp King, of Aberdeen, a splendid animal four years of age, and one of the very best of the Cruikshank breed.
Mr. Potts began the breeding of Short-horn cattle in 1869, his first start being with the fine cow, Bell Morland. By intelligent purchases and a strict adherence to business, he has constantly added to his herd until he now has as fine a lot of cattle as one wishes to see. He has exhibited his stock through this State, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska, and at all points his cattle have been received with applause. He has had many competitors, but as a rule he has brought home the blue ribbon. His herd has taken more than $33,000 in premiums, and all this is the result of persistently working to get the best in his line.
In connection with their cattle breeding, Potts & Son have made a specialty of South Down sheep. They have a flock of more than fifty head, which has been a source of revenue both at fairs and fat stock shows at Chicago and Kansas City. The firm of Potts & Son was established in 1876, and has been a success from the beginning. They never omit anything in the way of aiding their ambition to own the best herd of cattle in the country.
J.H. Potts has been a resident of Morgan County since 1868. He is a native of Illinois, and was born near Whitehall, Dec. 7, 1823. His father, William Potts was born in New Castle, England, and was the son of English parents. William Potts' father was Dr. Anthony Potts, of New Castle, England. Dr. Potts married an English lady, and after the birth of William Potts, in 1796, the family came to America, and while on the sea, one child, Ann, was born. On landing, Dr. Potts lived for a few years in New York, when he later came to Fayette County, Ohio, where he located near Washington, and as a matter of course was one of the early settlers of that county. There the doctor and family lived until 1820, when they came to Greene County, Ill. This afterward became the home of Dr. Potts, except a few years when he lived in Burlington, Iowa. He died near Whitehall, this state, in the year 1852, and at the time of his death, was ninety-three years old. He was a Presbyterian, and politically, acted with the Whig party. His first wife, who came to America with him, died in Fayette County, Ohio, being then a little past middle life. She was also a Presbyterian, and was the mother of six children, each of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. After the death of his first wife, the Doctor again married, and his second wife was killed in Ohio by a runaway team. She was a Mrs. Smith when she married Dr. Potts. William Potts, the father of the one whose name appears at the head of this sketch, was reared in Fayette County, Ohio, until he became of age. He was married in Ohio, to Miss Margaret Parker, who was born in Virginia. Her parents were Absalom and Massy (Cooper) Parker. They removed from Virginia to Fayette County, Ohio, when their daughter, Margaret was ten years old. Absalom Parker lived in Fayette County until after the death of his wife, when he came West to Illinois, where he joined his children, and lived with them until his death.
William Potts and wife had one child born to them while living in Fayette County. In 1820 he started for Illinois with a keel boat, his route being via the Sciota River, thence to the Ohio River down to Cairo, Ill., when they ascended the Mississippi River, cordeling the boat; they would take a rope and go in a draft and tie the rope to a tree and go back to the boat and get hold of the rope and pull up to the tree and go again. He afterward located in Greene County, as it is now called, it then being Madison County, Ill. They lived then on what is now called the old Judge Woodson farm. Later he located in Apple Creek Prairie, and lived there until he died, at the age of sixty-eight. Politically, he was a Whig, afterward a Republican, and belonged to the Methodist Church. His wife survived him, and died in 1873, aged seventy-five years. She also died in the Methodist faith.
J.H. Potts is the third child of a family of seven, four sons of whom yet survive. He was reared at home as a farmer's boy, and when twenty-four years old, was married near Whitehall, Greene County, Ill., March 30, 1848, to Miss Nancy Smith. She was a native of Virginia, and was born in August, 1829, and died at her home in Greene County, June 4, 1855. She was one of the best of women and was deeply mourned. She left two sons, one of whom died on the 11th of July, 1855. the one living, William T., is now Mr. Pott's partner in business. He is married and lives on a farm. Mr. J.H. Potts married for his second wife, Mrs. Louisa Ransdell, nee Green, daughter of Stephen and Cynthia (Riggs) Green, now both deceased. Mrs. Green died in Jacksonville, in April 1879, at an advanced age. She was a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Green died at Jacksonville, Jan. 4, 1889, aged nearly eighty-one years. He was also a member of the Christian Church, and politically, was a Republican. Mrs. Louisa M. Potts was born in this county, Nov. 2, 1829, and here she was reared and educated. Messrs. Potts & Son are Republicans.