JOHN C. POTTER
JOHN C. POTTER is eminently deserving of consideration in a compilation of the province assigned to the one at hand, since he is not only one of the representative business men and citizens of Charlotte and Eaton county, but was born and reared in the county, and is a representative of one of its prominent pioneer families, the village of Potterville having been named in honor of his father, the late George M. Potter, concerning whom a memoir appears elsewhere in this volume. John C. Potter was born on the homestead farm, in Benton township, January 2, 1863, and after duly availing himself of the advantages of the public schools in Potterville he took a course in a business college in the city of Grand Rapids. He then became associated with his father in the operation of the homestead farm and also the flouring mill at Potterville, eventually becoming superintendent of all the business interests of his father. In December, 1892, he took up his residence in Charlotte, where he engaged in the retail grocery business. shortly afterward he removed the mill and machinery from Potterville to this city, and transformed the same into a manufactory, the products of the concern at the present time being principally scythe snaths and wooden hay and malleable garden rakes, while the enterprise is conducted under the title of the Benton Manufacturing Company. The manufactory was started on a modest scale, but its trade now extends into diverse sections of the United States, while a growing export business is being built up. the capacity of the plant is large and the equipment modern in every particular, so that the industry has important bearing on the commercial prestige of the city in which it is established. Mr. Potter is a man of much executive force and initiative ability, and his progressive ideas have been exemplified in divers ways. He was the first person to take up the propagation of peppermint in Eaton County, starting in 1902, with four acres, and securing such excellent returns in the valuable oil product that he now has two hundred acres devoted to this crop. He gives a general supervision to his farming interests and manufacturing and is also the owner of a number of valuable business buildings in Charlotte. He gives an unqualified allegiance to the Republican Party but has never had any desire to enter the field of "practical" politics. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Knights of Pythias. In 1883 Mr. Potter was united in marriage to Miss Belle C. Hartwell, who was born and reared in Eaton County, and they have two children: Harry O., who is a member of the class of 1907 in the law department of the University of Michigan, and Clifford J., who is at Culver Military Academy, Indian.