John Potts (Pennsylvanian)

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John Potts (c. 1710 – 6 Jun 1768)[1] was the founder of the town of Pottstown.[2] He was also an ironmaster, merchant, and English Quaker.

John Potts, oldest son of Thomas[2] and Martha (Keurlis) Potts, was born about 1710, probably in the City of Philadelphia. He married Ruth Savage, daughter of Samuel and Ann (Rutter) Savage, on April 11, 1734.[1] The marriage was accomplished after the manner of Friends, though not under their care or jurisdiction.[3] John and Ruth had the following children: Thomas, b. 1735, Samuel, b. 1736; John, b. 1738; Martha, b. 1739–40; David, b. 1741; Joseph, b. 1742; Jonathan, b. 1745; Anna, b. 1747; Isaac, b. 1750; James, b. 1752; Rebeccah, b. 1755; Jesse, b. c. 1757; Ruth, b. 1759.[4]

John Potts, like his father, was an enterprising businessman, and for many years was the largest and most successful iron-master in the American Colonies, operating mines, furnaces and forges in Pennsylvania and Virginia. He long filled the office of Justice of the Peace, and was also a Judge of the Court Common Pleas.

In 1752, he purchased two tracts of land at the confluence of the Manatawny Creek and Schuylkill River, aggregating nearly 1,000 acres. There he laid out the town of Pottsgrove.

Pottsgrove Manor[edit]

In 1752, Potts built a Georgian style home, Pottsgrove Manor, in Pottstown,[5] which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The house has been restored and is now an 18th-century historic house museum owned by Montgomery County.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b History of Pottstown from Pottstown Official Website Archived 2008-08-08 at the Wayback Machine (accessed March 30, 2011)
  3. ^ Thomas Maxwell Potts, Historical collections relating to the Potts family in Great Britain and America, self published, 1901, Canonsburg, PA,
  4. ^
  5. ^ Kornwolf, James D.; Kornwolf, Georgiana Wallis (2002). Architecture and town planning in colonial North America, Volume 2. JHU Press. pp. 1221–1222. ISBN 0-8018-5986-7.

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