Bio Sketches

Judge William N. Potts (1841-1913) of Hudson, Potts & Bernstein, began his career in Rayville

William N. Potts (1841 – 1913)

Judge, Louisiana Fifth Judicial District Court, 1894-1900 * Born in La Grange, Tennessee, March 9, 1841 * Admitted to the Bar in Natchitoches, Louisiana, August 14, 1867 * First practiced law in the town of Rayville, Richland Parish, where he was associated with former Associate Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, Robert B. Todd * Elected Parish Attorney and subsequently District Attorney * Formed the firm Potts & Hudson in 1883, remaining senior member there until elected Judge of the Fifth Judicial District in 1894 * Appointed by Governor Sanders to revise the Civil Code of Louisiana as a member of the Civil Code Commission * Died at his home in Monroe, Louisiana, April 26, 1913 * Portrait painted by Andres Molinary

Judge W. N. Potts Dies

Richland Beacon-News, May 5, 1913. Page 6; Columns 5 & 6

Judge W. N. Potts, of Monroe, of the law firm of Hudson, [Potts] & Bernstein, died at his home in Monroe on last Saturday evening. Judge Potts was the senior member of the firm to which he belonged and was recognized as one of the ablest [lawyers] in North Louisiana. He served two terms as judge of the sixth district, composed of the parishes of Ouachita and Morehouse. A recognition of the fine ability of Judge Potts was only recently when he was appointed by Governor Sanders to be Chairman of the Civil Code Commission which was created to codify and classify the civil laws of the State.

The death of Judge Potts has brought sorrow to many of the older residents of Richland parish who knew him when he was a citizen of Rayville. He built the residence in the northern part of town which is now occupied by Hon. C. P. Balfour—Richland Beacon-News.

Richland Beacon-News
May 5, 1913. Page 6; Columns 5 & 6


The Monroe News-Star, April 28, 1913
Page 1, Column 1

Judge William N. Potts, one of the best-known citizens of Monroe and a senior member of the law firm of Hudson, Potts and Bernstein, died at his home on Breard street at 8 o’clock Saturday night after a week’s illness which from the first assumed a critical turn. He was seventy-two years old. Judge Potts is survived by his wife, one son, Mr. John J. Potts and one daughter Mrs. Elvie Clarke, besides a large number of relatives and friends. Judge Potts was a consistent member and vestryman of Grace Episcopal church and as long as his health would permit took an active part in church affairs. He was an honored Confederate veteran, being a member of Henry W. Allen Camp U. C. V. Judge Potts was also a member of Western Star Lodge No. 24, F. and A. M. and his interment in the city cemetery was with Masonic honors.

It was as an attorney-at-law that Judge Potts gained his widest prominence. He practiced his profession at the Monroe bar for a long number of years and for two terms served as district judge of the sixth judicial district composed of the parishes of Ouachita and Morehouse. Of late years he was connected with the well known firm of Hudson, Potts and Bernstein and was its senior member. His death brings another grief to the firm, as it has only been a short time since the death of Col. F. G. Hudson. Judge Potts ability as a lawyer was recognized by his appointment as chairman of the Civil Code Commission which was created during the Sanders administration to codify and classify the civil laws of the State. That the work in which Judge Potts took a prominent part, was well performed is attested by any attorney practicing before the Louisiana courts.

Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon at his late residence a great concourse of people gathering to pay their last tribute of respect to a man who had deserved their love and all the honors heaped upon him. Many citizens from nearby towns were present. The services were conducted by Rev. A. R. Price rector of Grace Episcopal church. At the conclusion of religious services, the remains were taken in charge by the Masonic lodge and interred in the city cemetery with Masonic honors.

Just previous to the Masonic ceremonies Capt. W. P. Renwick, commander of Henry W. Allen Camp U. C. V., conducted the impressive service of the veterans. The pallbearers were Messrs. Henry Bernstein, W. F. Cummings, W. M. Washburn, D. A. Johnston, W. R. Gordon, and Percy Sandel. The floral offerings were of unusual beauty.

In the district court this morning, Judge Ben C. Dawkins appointed a committee to draft suitable resolutions over the death of Judge Potts and to report on May 12th when public memorial services will be held. The committee is composed of Judge A. A. Gunby, chairman; Percy Sandel, John M. Munholland, Allen Sholars, C. H. McHenry, W. B. Clarke. Court adjourned this afternoon our of respect to Judge Potts.

The Monroe News-Star
April 28, 1913
Page 1, Column 1

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