Like many successful people, Hugh Potter*, home builder and community planner, might have had a career in any of a half-dozen fields. His fellow Houstonians considered him one of their city’s greatest assets. Mr. Potter, sharing the conviction of his neighbors that Houston was destined to become the greatest city in the Southwest, in 1923 walked out on what promised to be a brilliant legal career to undertake the conversion of 1,100 acres of woodland on the banks of the Buffalo Bayou into a residential community. A nationally recognized model of sound land use, beautiful River Oaks continues to be one of Houston’s most outstanding residential communities.
A former member of the Houston law firm of Gill, Jones, Tyler and Potter in 1920 was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. He was at one time a special district judge, serving as master of chancery in a federal court. A former president of both the Houston Chamber of Commerce and of the Houston Real Estate Board, Mr. Potter also served his city as president of the City Planning Commission and was active in the service of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
President of the National Association of Real Estate Boards during the NRA period and during the drafting of the National Housing Act, which created FHA, Mr. Potter worked closely with government officials to secure stabilization of the home mortgage structure. He led a successful fight to keep home building under its own code separated from the Construction Code. Later he became chairman of the Code Authority for the Code of Fair Competition for Real Estate Brokerage negotiated under NRA, which became the source of codes of ethical business conduct incorporated in many state real estate license laws. Mr. Potter also served on the FHA Advisory Council.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).