Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Sola M (Mrs. W.E.) Potter, 1865-1935

By Kami Horton, Oregon Public Broadcasting

Sola M. Potter (née Owens) was born in 1865 in Oregon to Thomas (b. 1807) and Sarah (b. 1817) Owens. She married Willis Edward Potter (b. 1862). Census records show the couple living in Portland until their deaths in the 1930s. Census records also indicate the couple took in several boarders, at least two of which were raised as foster children. Carl Sheldon (b. 1892) is listed as an adopted son, and a court document lists Olivia Osterhang (b. 1914) as having lived with the family since she was a toddler. Sola left most of her estate to Olivia in her will. There is no indication the couple had children of their own.

Sarah was elected as treasurer to the Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association in 1906, and newspapers continue to list her in the position until at least 1910. An Oregonian article dated October 25th, 1914 named her as one of the women enlisted to work for Republican causes that election season. Several newspaper articles from 1915 also list her as a member of the Portland Psychology Club, which met weekly in her Portland home.

She died October 13, 1935 in Portland.


My Heritage

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1930 Oregon Census, 1920 Oregon Census

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