Wednesday, February 17, 2016

1910-1919: Warren, PA

Gladys and George Potter were living in Warren, Pennsylvania when my mother, Mary Potter (1911-1994) was born.

Mary Potter (1911-1994)
George was working as a machinist in a machine shop; the town of Warren was a center of the oil industry of the time (and there is still an oil refinery operating there in 2016).

Gladys Effie Potter, 1910's
(from Forrest Pugh's collection)

However, by the time her sisters Elaine (1914-2000), Dorothy (1916-1997) and her brother David (1918-1977) were born, the family had moved to the city of Erie, Pennsylvania.

Mary and Dorothy, 1916

George was then owner/operator of a grocery store,  which we know from his World War I draft registration card:

George Potter's WWI Draft Card
credit: Natl Archives/
George Potter Draft Registrar's Report

George was way too old to be much at risk of being sent off to war (he is 43...and 14 years older than Gladys), and the war would be over on November 11, 1918.  Gladys' half-brother Hiram, however, did serve in the War:

Hiram Perry (1893-1970) holding
David M. Potter (1918-1977)
Hiram was Gladys' half-brother

Forrest "Doc" Pugh sent me this photo of David Potter and Mary Potter which is dated  1919.  David was born in August, 1918 so I suppose this is springtime 1919.  Mary would be around seven years old.

David M. Potter (1918-1977)
Mary L. Potter (1911-1994)

This photo which includes Elaine and Dorothy at about the same time is somewhat out-of-focus.  The handwriting is Gladys'.

Elaine (1914-2000)
Mary (1911-1994)
Dorothy (1916-1997)

The family would soon be moving on to Quay, Oklahoma as George resumed his trade as a machinist in the oilfields.  Gladys and her children were about to take a very, very long train ride.

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