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Harriet Susan Kimpton Potter

First wife of Wallace Edwin Potter, this includes information about Wallace. Wallace's second wife was Olive Andelin.




NO 1113




                        Name:              Harriet Susan Kimpton Potter


                     Born:                March 21, 1856


                                                In Salt Lake City, Utah.


                        Died:               March 1, 1948


                                                In Redding, California


                        Married:          Wallace Edwin Potter


                                                August 21, 1871


                                                Salt Lake City, Utah.


                        Written by:      Crystal Potter Lewis


                        Submitted by: Crystal P. Lewis


                        Camp:              Vernal


                        County:           Uintah


                        Camp Historians:        Ona B. Taylor & Crystal P. Lewis


                        County Historians:      Iva C. Gray




Native Utah Pioneer


            Harriet Susan Kimpton, was born in Salt Lake City, March 21st, 1856—the year the first handcart company came to Utah.  She was the first daughter and fourth child of Jerome Bonaparte and Rosetta Anis Chapman Kimpton.  Jerome was a skilled stone mason, carpenter, gunsmith and blacksmith.  He had learned much of the Indian ways and language after spending a winter with a tribe up the Missouri river, hence he became useful as an interpreter and peacemaker between the Indians and Pioneers after settling in Salt Lake City, and other towns in Utah later.  He was ill quite a bit of the time and took a plural wife, one year after marrying Rosetta, the family suffered from poverty a great deal of the time.  He moved the family up Big Cottonwood Canyon where he established a blacksmith and gunsmith shop in 1858.  Their fourth son, George C. was born there.  In 1859 Jerome was given the position of Indian agent at Ft. Bridger where he and family remained about 2 ˝ years.  Here James 5th son was born 1860.

            From Ft. Bridger the family moved to Manti, where Rosetta’s  parents, Welcome and Amelia Risley lived and were prominent in church and civic affairs.  Here they (the Kimptons) lived for several years.  Harriet attended school and spent her early girlhood days.  About 1870 the family moved back to Salt Lake City where Jerome became a contractor and builder.  Here Harriet met Wallace Edwin Potter whom she married when 15 ˝ years old in the Endowment House Aug. 21, 1871.  Edwin was 21 ˝ years old at the time.  They went to live at Bingham that fall where Edwin worked part time in the mine and hauled prop logs for the mine.  Harriet worked in the boarding house there and earned her own and Edwin’s board and a small wage.  The next spring they moved to Murray and were soon able to buy a home on State Street north of Murray.  Edwin worked in the smelter and started a farm on their 10 acres, with livestock and crops.  Here in Dec. 1872 their first child Elizabeth Rosetta was born.  In Aug. 1874 Wallace Edwin Jr. was born, followed by John W. 1876, and George J. 1879 in the Murray home where they prospered and were able to buy more land.  About 1881 Edwin decided to move to Sanpete Co.  They settled in a small frontier village named Dover.  At first they did well but one year their crops were partly washed away by floods and the next year they were burned up with drouth.  In 1883 Edwin married Olive Andelin as a plural wife.  In 1882 a son was born to Harriet.  They named him Amasa.  A daughter, Elva, was born in 1885, both in Dover.  It was about 1884 when the drouth took their crops.  Edwin went to Salt Lake to find work, 1886.  In the early summer of 1887, Frank Brown, Edwin’s half brother came to Dover and took Harriet and 6 children to Salt Lake City, to Edwin’s mother’s home, where 6 weeks later, Arnold, her 7th child was born.  When the baby was 3 weeks old Harriet and her 7 children started for Ashley Valley, where her brother Teancum Kimpton lived.  Her oldest brother Jerome Jr. and family accompanied them in another wagon.  The road to Uintah was scarcely more than a trial, very rough and steep in places.  They were 3 weeks on the road, landing at Vernal, about Sept. 21, 1887.

            Harriet and seven children lived with her brother, but two older sons Edwin Jr. 13 years old and John 12, worked for neighboring ranchers and helped a little with the support of the family.  The next spring Edwin came in, bought a piece of land in Merrill’s Ward, (now Naples) and built a house for his family.  They lived there about a year then moved to Dryfork, where another son Elwyn was born Mar. 1890.  Late in 1891 the Potter’s moved again to Snyderville, Summit Co., Utah.  They moved into a house there that had recently been vacated by a family that had diphtheria and had not fumigated the house.  Seven of the eight Potter children contracted the diphtheria and for 6 weeks were all very ill.  About the middle of May 1892, they were able to fumigate the house and all recovered.

            In June 1892, Crystal D., Harriet’s third daughter was born and in Sept. 1892 little Elwyn just 2 ˝ years old, was killed by a drunken man’s horse, who drove into their yard.

            They lived in Snyderville until 1893, when they moved to Provo river, near Hailstone.  In Jan. 1894 Anna, another daughter was born there.  In the Spring of 1894 they moved to Midway, Wasatch Co.  Here Edwin set up a blacksmith shop.  They did well there.  In about 1898, Edwin took a course in Optometry and graduated as an Optical doctor.  He began fitting glasses but he had no capital to put up much of a business place of his own.  He rented a small shop later in Heber and did quite well.  Three more children were born to Harriet in Midway, James R. in 1896, Amelia (Millie) 1898, and Royal E. in 1900.  In 1904 the family again moved to Heber City, where they lived about three months, then moved to Provo, where Harriet had a boarding house for two years, where she boarded B.Y.U. students.

            Edwin, was never contented to live in one place very long so in 1907 he again moved the family again back to Uintah Basin.  Harriet had a carpet loom which made some revenue to help support the children.  Five of the older children were married by 1906, and lived in the Wasatch valleys.  Later on some of them came to Uintah and lived on farms near Roosevelt.

            Edwin was planning to go away from Uintah again.  They had bought a little home in Glines Ward, Vernal, with the money from the sale of the Midway home.  Harriet said she wouldn’t move again but stay in her home.  He had planned to go soon before winter started but suddenly on Sept. 30, 1909, he was stricken with a heart attack and died that same day.  

            Harriet stayed in her home in Glines for about two years more and received help from her older children.  She moved closer to town in a house for which she traced her Glines home.  About 1921, she lived one winter with her daughter Crystal P. Lewis, and in 1922 she went to Park City, where she lived alternately with her son George and her daughter Amelia Daniels, but worked one year for an invalid lady in Park City.  In 1936, she moved with her daughter and family, Amelia Daniels, to California, where she spent the rest of her life.

            She had three sons there with whom she also lived, besides with her daughter Amelia.  She made many quilts by hand and did all the mending in the family where she lived.

            She was ill about a year before she died at Amelia’s home.  She died there in Redding, on March 1, 1948, just 20 days before her 92nd birthday.  She raised twelve children to manhood and womanhood and all raised families.  She lived an exemplary life and was a good mother.

                                                                        --Written by Crystal  P. Lewis

                                                                        Oct. 6, 1968.

Owner/SourceUtah County Library
Linked toWallace Edwin Potter

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