Submitted by Ron Pottinger
Typeset and reformatted by Nicole Pottinger
Pottingers Have Family Reunion
Over one Hundred Present Near Site of Nelson’s Oldest Fort
Kentucky Standard, August 23, 1923
There was held at Miller’s Spring, near New Hope, on the 15th of this month, a reunion of the Pottinger family. Because of the fact that the meeting was to be in the nature of a picnic, this spot was chosen rather than the old Pottinger homestead, which was the more appropriate place. The spring is owned by Hardin Miller, and the adjacent “shack” and camp site are the property of Rollie Guthrie, both members of this family, and to them is due the credit for the splendid arrangements made for taking care of the crowd and the bountiful dinner that was served on the grounds.
The clan began to gather the previous Sunday when the families of Samuel Pottinger Steele and Virgil Talbott Steele, with several friends and immediate relatives, arrived from Peru and Marion, Indiana, followed by Dr. John A. Graft and his wife and daughter from Hamilton, Ohio. With these are forerunners the party rapidly grew in both number and spirit; and although this locality has long been noted for its true Kentucky hospitality, merry parties and an all-round good time, it is conceded that this gathering exceeded in these respects, anything heretofore known by the oldest inhabitants thereabouts.
There were many genuine disciples of Isaac Walton in the crowd and more perhaps who had never before cast a line in quest of the finny tribe so with the adept and amateurs, the table was never lacking in fish, frog-legs and turtles before, on and after the day of the reunion.
One of the main features of the occasion was the playing of old-time tunes on the violin. Colonel Robert Pottinger and Sam Steele were the leaders in this, and when the tunes would swing into the rhythm of the once popular square dances the crowd joined in and danced heartily. Speeches were called for, and readily given, the opening one being by Hon. George R. Daniels, mayor of the hustling city of Marion, Indiana, who is a corking good fellow, and he was followed by Dr. John A. Grafft, who did eminent < line is missing > cal corps overseas in the world war. “Dock” is also a good scout and endeared himself to every member of the party by his sunny disposition.
In the evening, around the camp fire, those who had not previously initiated, were inducted into the mysteries of the “Stuck Up Club” which is an adjunct of the clan. In the strictest sense no one can “belong” until he has conferred upon—or her—the three ordeals constituting the three more or less solemn degrees of the order. The High Jinx and head of the degree team is Virgil Steele; and it should be explained that the idea for a family reunion was first mentioned at the initial meeting of the “Stuck Up Club” at his house a year ago in Peru, Indiana, when some of his Pottinger kin from Kentucky were visiting him. The charter members of that occasion were all present at this gathering and saw to in that all the candidates got all that was coming to them.
It is planned to have a similar reunion somewhere each year; and all the descendants of the inmates of the old Captain Pottinger fort, (built in the spring of 1781), are cordially invited to attend, no matter where they may reside. It is probable that a suitable marker or tablet will be erected at the site of this early settlement.
On this occasion more than one hundred persons were present, of whom were the following: Lee Pottinger, Boston, Ky.; Mrs. Mollie Pottinger and Col. Bob Pottinger, of Gethsemane; Mrs. Bettie Pottinger Rosenham, of Louisville, Mrs. Julia Pottinger Baird and several of her children and grandchildren who reside nearby; Rollie Guthrie and his wife, Susan Pottinger Guthrie, of Swanders, Ohio; Forrest Pottinger and his wife, Bertha Huston Pottinger, together with their son, Remey Pottinger, and his classmate John L. Hays, of Washington, D.C.; Butler Remey Pottinger, who occupies the old Captain Pottinger brick house near Gethsemane, which was erected in 1788; Mrs. Ruby Pottinger Darimore and her daughter, Alice Anderson, of Lebanon, Ky.; Rebecca Vienna Pottinger, Curtis Millard Pottinger and his wife, Varina Vittitoe Pottinger and their daughter, Thelma, of Gethsemane; Robert W. Taylor and wife, Birdie Miller Taylor, and daughter, Mildred, and son, Carl. W. Taylor and the latter’s wife, Ruth Taylor, all of Lebanon, Ky.; Wallace W. Peterson and wife, Vida Miller Patterson with their children, Hardin, Mabel, Russell and Allen, of Raywick, Ky.; Marion Head and wife, Oma Miller Hood and their daughter Grace and ler, who own the Miller Springs and occupy the homestead of the late Hardin Miller, husband of Julia Pottinger; George H. Fields and wife, Hise Baird Fields, who also live at the Hardin Miller place; Mrs. Maude Guthrie Harned, of Miamisburg, Ohio, and daughter, Virginia; Rollie Moore Guthrie and wife, Daisy Byrd Guthrie with their son Floyd Byrd Guthrie, of Lexington, Ky.; Samuel Pottinger Steele and wife, Alice Johnson Steele with their daughters, Adelina, Louise and Josephine, of Peru, Indiana, and their son, Arthur Hogarth Steele, of Marion, Indiana, and their friend, Miss Lorene Mary Blue, of that city; Virgil Talbott Steele and wife, Nellie Shadinger Steele, with their children; William, Richard, Mary Jane, and Robert Earle, of Peru, Indiana; Samuel Shivell Ford and wife, Bessie Walker Ford, of Washington, D.C. and the latter’s mother; Mrs. Bracken Walker, of Lebanon, Ky.; Dr. John A. Grafft and wife, Jane Beale Graft with their daughter, Marjorie Eunice of Hamilton, Ohio; Spurgeon Fields and wife, Ruth Pottinger Fields, with their son, William Arthur, of the Union Band neighborhood; Hon. Geo. R. Daniels, mayor of Marion, Ind., and his wife, Anna Daniels and daughters, Anna and Mary; Mrs. Mary Daniels and daughter Harriett, of Marion, Indiana; Mrs. Lillian Johnson Morrissey and her sister, Miss Blanche Johnson and her sister, Miss Paul William Shadinger, of Peru, Indiana; James Eckles, Sr., and wife, Wilma Steele Eckles and son, James Jr. of Marion, Indiana; Mrs. Ella Exelby Steele, of Marion, Indiana; Miss Esther Rockey, Miamisburg, Ohio; Pinck Danner, Doniphan, Missouri; W. A. Hildebrand, Louisville; William T. Miller and William B. Miller, New Hope; Miss Grace Irvine Walker, Lebanon; Dr. G. P. Oldham, Raywick; S. P. Vittitoe and James W. Settle, Gethsemane; Howard Cecil, Howardstown; Miss Elizabeth McDonald, Matthew McDonald and Green Harris, Gleanings, Ky.; Samuel Smith, New Hope; J.W. Miller, the official photographer and Vernon Robey, Lebanon.
Among the belated arrivals were, Walter Steele, a prominent newspaper man of Muncie, Indiana, with his wife and brother-in-law; also Mrs. Commie Jackson Maguire, formerly of New Haven, but now of Tampa, Fla.