Monday, March 7, 2016

1933: Move to Missouri

The Potter's stay in Arkansas only lasted until 1933 at latest.  Here is my mother, Mary Potter's, version of the story in her own words:

Excerpt, Mary Potter memoir 1978

This story is, perhaps, tough on the locals (Mary only visited the farm, she was in secretarial school in Tulsa during this period).   The stillborn birth in 1931, when Gladys would have been 42-43, had complications for Grandma Potter which she was still being treated for years later.  

The Arkansas farm was traded (note the strike-out of "sold" above) for one in Sargent, Missouri.  George Potter arranged this deal by hitch-hiking (or more likely just hiking) the 140 miles each way to Sargent.  There are no on-line records that show the land transaction. The family loaded up the old touring car, now in disrepair, and set off for Missouri.

Nothing came down to me about when the move happened.  

Word got back to one of David Potter's admirers in Yale, OK who sent him a birthday card in August 1934.

Earliest mail I have for Cabool, Missouri 

David Potter received this card for his 16th birthday

Card was sent from Yale, OK by a 15 year old friend...
don't look to long at the pianist's is an eldritch horror!
(As a paper industry engineer, retired, I'd add that this card is one of the oddest pieces of paper I have ever seen.  It is some grade of sack paper, but calendered (polished) to a very high gloss; unbleached southern pine Kraft paper)


  1. Some details on the move as my mom related it to me years later: supposedly George heard of the Cabool farm being vacated on short notice--with a strong implication that the prior owner was somehow compelled to leave, or in legal trouble, or something. So George set forth on foot from Berryville to check it out, armed with some sandwiches and a pint of whiskey for the trip. After looking the vacant place over, he first decided that he would NOT take it. But then, he caught a ride back to Arkansas--"on a bread truck"--and decided during the return trip that they would go ahead with the swap after all.

    1. Thanks for adding these details. Perhaps the other party to the land swap was motivated to get himself across the state line. The deal isn't otherwise a self-evidently good one for whoever it was.

      I had a run-in with a litigious neighbor myself and it would have been worth a long walk to get away from him.....fortunately, he moved first.