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Student Profile
The Honorable William W. Potter
Class of: 1895

Source: Portrait from the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society website


William W. Potter was born at Maple Grove township, Barry county, Michigan, August 1, 1869. His father, Lucien B. Potter, was a farmer. He worked on the farm of his father until he was 21. When he was 20 years of age he attended the public school at Nashville, Michigan, starting in the ninth grade, but at the end of seven weeks he was stricken with typhoid fever and compelled to return home. He resumed his studies at the same school the following year, and when spring arrived he worked on the farm until the following autumn. Then he received a third grade teacher's certificate, and taught school during the winter of 1890 in Assyria township, at $22 per month. He returned to the family farm in the summer, and in the fall attended the Nashville high school for eleven weeks; then taught the same district again. That spring he was given a teacher's certificate of the first grade, and in April was tendered the position of principal of the city schools at Harrison, Michigan. He remained at the Nashville school until June, and then graduated. He was graduated on Friday, and the following Monday entered the Summer Normal School at Ypsilanti, where he remained until his school opened at Harrison, in September, 1891. He taught there until vacation, earning $550 a year. He was reappointed the following term at Harrison, at an increased salary. He followed this course the next year, and his salary was increased to $850 a year. During all this time he had been studying law in the office of Hon. George J. Cummins, at Harrison, and June 26, 1894, in Judge Dodds' court, he was admitted to the bar. During that summer he again worked on the farm, and the following term entered the University of Michigan senior law class, and was graduated in June, 1895.
He opened his law office in Hastings, Michigan, in August, 1895. He formed a partnership with J. Edmund Barrell in November, 1895, under the name of Barrell & Potter, which continued until August, 1896, when he became associated with Hon. Philip T. Colgrove; the partnership continues up to date. In November, 1898, William W. Potter was elected on the Republican ticket to the State senatorship by a majority of 596.
He married, at Harrison, Michigan, Marguerite, daughter of Charles J. Richardson, and they have two daughters, Louise, aged five years, and Dorinne, aged nine months.
Mr. Potter is a Royal Arch and Chapter Mason, and a member of the K. of P.
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Adams, Frank De Forest
Addleman, Robert Milligan
Albertson, Ulysses Simpson
Allor, Elmer Louis
Anderson, Henry Boardman
Anderson, John G.
Arbeiter, George John
Atherton, Marvin Melville
Bailey, George Emerson
Baird, Charles
Baker, Sanford Gadcomb
Barr, Richard James
Bartels, Arthur Calvin
Bayliss, George Howard
Beemer, John Wesley
Bigger, James Harvey
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Bland, Joseph Edward
Blatchford, Henry
Bowman, George Lowden
Bradfield, Thomas Parks
Brayton, Claude Arthur
Bright, Henry Lewis
Brown, George Washington Peritory
Brown, Harry Elmer
Brown, John William
Brownlee, Emory David
Bulkley, Harry Conant
Burnet, John Sidney
Burnham, Philo G.
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Campbell, Arthur DeLancey
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Crozier, Hubert Richmond
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Dann, Lewis J.
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