Biography of Albert Edwin Potter

A member of an old Rhode Island family, Mr. Potter, like his father before him, entered, at an early age, the employ of the Union Railroad Company, one of the predecessors of the United Electric Railways Company of Providence. Again, like his father, he worked his way up through positions of ever-increasing importance and responsibility, until he became president of the company with which he started in a comparatively modest position almost thirty years ago. He is one of the most able men in the street railway field in New England and enjoys to a remarkable degree the liking and respect of his associates and of his employees. He is a member of several of the leading clubs of Providence, as well as of several civic and other organizations, and he is regarded as one of the substantial and representative business executives of Rhode Island’s capital.

Albert Edwin Potter was born in Cranston, June 16, 1873, a son of the late Albert T. and Minnie H. (Wilber) Potter. From both his parents he is a descendant of old Rhode Island families, one of his mother’s early ancestors having been Stephen Hopkins, signer of the Declaration of Independence, from Rhode Island. Mr. Potter’s father was a native of Cranston, while his mother was born in Foster. His father, at the age of sixteen years, became associated with one of the early horse car systems that later became part of the present United Electric Railways Company. He eventually became general manager of the company and later vice-president which latter position he occupied at the time of his death, April 23, 1920. Mr. Potter’s mother died April 2, 1927, in her seventy-fifth year. Albert Edwin Potter received his early education in the public schools of Providence and then attended the Bryant and Stratton Business College. When he was eighteen years old, he entered the employ of the United Electric Railways Company of Providence. Showing unusual ability and strict devotion to the various duties assigned to him from time to time, he received frequent promotions and eventually was elected president of the company, a position which he has filled with much ability and success and which he still occupies. His offices are located in the headquarters of the United Electric Railways Company, No. 100 Fountain Street, Providence. Mr. Potter is a member of the Providence Engineering Society, the Providence Chamber of Commerce and its Traffic Club, the Providence Safety Council, of which he is one of the directors, and of the Sons of the American Revolution. His clubs include the Pomham Club, the Warwick Country Club, and the Turks Head Club, and he is also a member of Corinthian Lodge, No. 27, Free and Accepted Masons.

Mr. Potter married, December 21, 1896, Blanche Mason Shaw, of Providence, a daughter of Eddy Mason and Clara C. (Mitchel) Shaw. To this union were born two children:

  1. Barbara, who died at the age of six years, one month and one day.
  2. Charlotte, who was educated in the public schools of Edgewood, at the Lincoln School, a private girls’ school in Providence, and at the Erskine School, one of the leading girls’ finishing schools of Boston, Massachusetts; she is now Mrs. Alfred D. Hill, of Brookline, Massachusetts.

The family residence is located at No. 148 Shaw Avenue, Edgewood, one of the most attractive suburbs of Providence.

Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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