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The Town of Potter and Its Records


Potter was formed from more than half of the original town of Middlesex in 1832, and included the eighth township in the second range of Phelps & Gorham's Purchase. It was named for Arnold Potter, who with his father William was the original proprietor, having bought the entire enormous tract from the Massachusetts syndicate in 1789. The town developed in two halves, the southeastern being settled largely by the Potters' fellow Rhode Islanders, many of whom came to New York with the Universal Friends' Society; and the northwestern by Massachusetts natives centered around the hamlet of Federal Hollow, now the village of Rushville. In 1856 the deep valley in Middlesex's southeast corner was annexed to Potter, because the terrain made it so much more accessible from that town. 

The two halves of the town were separated by the fabulous Potter Swamp, a wetland famous among other things for the variety of birdlife that nested there, until it was drained in the 1950s for muckland farming. Potter is the only town in Yates County with no lake frontage. Agriculture is its largest business. The village of Rushville lies partially in the town, and provides its only commercial center. 

The town hall is in the hamlet of Potter Center, at 1226 Phelps Road. 


RECORDS ON MICROFILM


 
The following records have been filmed, and except for the vital records may be viewed by the public at the town hall, at the County Historian's office in Penn Yan, and at the State Library in Albany. 
ASSESSMENT ROLLS
1868-1972 (missing 1892, 1913) 

MINUTE BOOKS
1832 - 1958; 1959 - 1992 

VITAL RECORDS REGISTERS
Births, deaths and marriages 1874-1914 [INDEX], Marriages 1908-1963, Births 1914-1923 and deaths 1914-1929, Births 1924-1929, Births 1930-1963 and deaths 1930-1964, Marriages 1964-1993, Births 1965-1966 and deaths 1964-1967, Births 1977-1993 and deaths 1968-1993, Marriage licenses 1993 

HIGHWAY SURVEYS
Minute Books, 1833 - 1958, includes minutes of Highway Commissioners; and Highway Commissioners' books 1810-1888 [INDEX], 1876-1906 and 1884-1900 

CHATTEL MORTGAGES AND CONDITIONAL SALES INDEXES
Chattel Mortgages, Notes, Bills of Sale, Contracts Etc. 1879-1897; Chattel Mortgages 1910-1915; 1915-1929; 1929-1936; 1936-1955; 1956-1964; Conditional Sales 1936-1962; 1962-1964 

JUSTICE DOCKETS
Justice Herrick 1891-1896; Huie and Haviland (civil) 1896-1909; Hobart 1900-1906; Boardman (civil) 1911; Boardman (criminal) 1911; Haviland and Miller (civil) 1913-1941; Haviland (criminal) 1914-1923; Simmons (civil) 1925-1951; Simmons (criminal) 1925-1951; Bailey (civil) 1928-1929; Bailey (criminal) 1928-1931; Carson and Carr (criminal) 1932-1972; Carson (civil) 1942-1972; Justice Simmons (civil) 1953-1976; Simmons (criminal) 1964-1977; Kennedy, Rice, Collins and Clark (criminal) 1973-1982; Rice and Collins (civil) 1975-1982; Clark (criminal) 1983-1991; Clark and Shay (civil) 1984-1991 

DISTRICT SCHOOL RECORDS
School commissioners' minute book 1860-1884; Petition laying out district boundaries, undated; Minutes approving Seneca-Gorham district 1930; District tax lists and assessment papers 1925-1949; Town officials' oath of office book 1923-1952; 1952-1981; 1981-1995 

OATHS OF OFFICE AND MISCELLANEOUS RECORDS
[see under District School Records above]