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Earliest Members of the Century Association

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William Potts


Centurion, 1889–1908

Born 5 March 1838 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Died 29 July 1908 in Devon, Pennsylvania

Buried Friends Southwestern Burial Ground, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Proposed by George William Curtis, Edward Cary, and George Haven Putnam

Elected 7 December 1889 at age fifty-one

Proposer of:

Supporter of:

Century Memorial

William Potts was seventy-one years old [sic: seventy] at death and for the last nineteen of these a member of our Association. He was frequently of our company and highly esteemed for his qualities of mind and heart. He was descended from an old and notable Pennsylvania family, but spent the important years of his life in this community. He was President of two art societies and a member of two others; likewise, he was a leader in philanthropic work. But he is best known as a devoted champion of Civil Service Reform, to the agitation of which he gave his time and his energy with enthusiasm and success. To the generals in that warfare he was an efficient lieutenant, practical in his knowledge of professional place-men, and the wiles of place bribery; rich in suggestions and expedients, shrewd and uncompromising in measures of offence. His was a distinguished circle of friends and fellow-laborers; many like himself lived to see the victory won, and the later years of our associate’s life, though troubled by heavy misfortunes, were yet years of contentment.

William Milligan Sloane
1909 Century Association Yearbook