William W. Potter (1792-1839)

William Wilson Potter was born into a distinguished Revolutionary family at Potter's Mills - in what is now Centre County, Pennsylvania - on December 18, 1792. He was one of seven siblings, which includes, George Latimer Potter, his younger brother. He attended a Lewisburg, Pennsylvania Latin School under the Reverend Thomas Hood and then, along with his brother George, entered Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with the class of 1812. He did not graduate but returned to Bellefonte in Centre County to read law with Charles Huston, his future brother-in-law.

Called to the Centre County bar in 1814, Potter built a large practice and a reputation as a hard-working advocate. In 1836, Potter was nominated as the Democratic candidate for a seat in the Twenty-Fifth Congress of the United States and was overwhelmingly elected. He gained a name for himself in Washington D.C, especially concerning the thorny matter of the United States Bank, and was re-elected in 1838.

Potter married Lucy Winter in March, 1816. At what appeared to be the point of a rising national notice, he died suddenly on October 28, 1839 in Bellefonte. He was forty-eight years old.

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Dickinson College Archives
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