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Among this section's prosperous and substantial citizens is Fred Potthast, whose fine farm of one hundred and fifty-two acres, purchased in 1902, is located five miles southwest of Greenville. He is helpfully interested in all that pertains to the welfare of the community and is of well-proved public spirit and progressiveness. Mr. Potthast was born in Madison county, December 5, 1871, and is of German descent, his father, Henry Potthast, having been born in the Fatherland. He came to America at the age of twenty-one years and located in Madison county, where he engaged in farming. He married soon after coming to America, the young woman to become his bride being Agnes Rommerskirchen, a native of Prussia. To their union were born the following six children: Joe, Frank, Fred, Herman, Theodore and Mary. Mr. Potthast, the elder, continued to reside in Madison county until his death, which deprived the community of one of its most estimable citizens. The mother is still living in Greenville, Bond county. After the death of her first husband she married Antoine Wolf. The subject's father was a Democrat in his political conviction and in the matter of religion was a communicant of the Catholic church.

The early life of Fred Potthast, immediate subject of this review, was spent in Madison county, in whose public schools he was a student until the age of fifteen years. He then came to Bond county and located near Pierron, and in a school near that place continued his studies. The family then removed to a homestead southeast of Greenville, and here Fred reached manhood. In 1889 he was united in marriage to Miss Lena Sharer, daughter of Fred and Julia Scharer, who has proved an ideal helpmeet and been of great assistance to him in securing his present prosperity. They share their home with two children, Agnes and Frederick.

For a number of years Mr. Potthast lived with his wife and family south of Greenville, but in 1902 they purchased their present farm, a property possessing many advantages, and which under careful and intelligent management has been greatly increased in value. Mr. Potthast is the friend of the. best education procurable, (as he is of all good measures) and for some time served with faithfulness and efficiency as a member of the school board. He has given hand and heart to the men and measures of the Democratic party since his earliest voting days and his religious conviction is that of the Catholic church, in which he and his family are zealous communicants.

Extracted 10 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, volume 3, pages 1213-1214.

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