By Heather Regula, Correspondent
Local twins, Roy Cochran Potts and Arthur Neale Potts, celebrated their 90th birthday a few days early on Saturday, March 4. Parking was scarce at this event as generations of family members and many friends braved the rainy weather and cool temperatures to gather at the Family Center of the First United Methodist Church, located at 205 East 3rd Street in Belton. Approximately 90 people were in attendance at the come and go event which featured a buffet-style barbecue dinner, followed by birthday cake.
Photographs of the twins at various times of their lives – as infants, young boys and after high school in their Navy uniforms – were on display. Guests were encouraged to leave a message and sign their name on two photographs – one for each of the birthday men. While many friends and family live in the local area, some family members traveled from as far as Lubbock, San Antonio, and Austin in order to join in the festivities and honor these two dynamic men.
Roy Cochran Potts and Arthur Neale Potts were born on March 7, 1927, in Belton, Texas. Technology, such as the fetal ultrasound, has only been in existence since the mid-1950’s and prenatal care was far less advanced in the 1920’s compared to today. Their mother did not know she was pregnant with twins – Roy was born first and then Arthur was born unexpectedly, a number of minutes later.
As children, Roy and Arthur attended Tyler Elementary and then went on to graduate from Belton High School in 1944. They both attended Texas A&M in College Station briefly before joining the Navy. After their military service, both young men returned to school at Texas A&M in College Station and graduated a few years later with degrees in Business. After graduation, both young men returned to Belton and immersed themselves in the local family run businesses – Roy at Cochran, Blair and Potts Department Store and Arthur at Potts Hardware.
The names Roy Cochran Potts and Arthur Neale Potts are synonymous with selfless service, commitment, loyalty and community pride.
County Judge Jon H. Burrows and the Bell County Commissioners have proclaimed Tuesday, March 7, 2017, as “Roy Cochran Potts and Arthur Neale Potts Day in Bell County, Texas.” The Proclamation states that “The City of Belton, Bell County and entire Central Texas area would not be the same without the service and contributions of Roy Cochran Potts and Arthur Neale Potts.”
“They’re a piece of history,” explained Debbie Potts, daughter-in-law of Arthur Neale Potts.
The charismatic, comical and kind-hearted Potts brothers are well-loved by many. These men are a cornerstone of support in the Belton community. Roy Cochran Potts and Arthur Neale Potts have created a legacy of love, loyalty, and service to others that is being carried on by their children and grandchildren. “We are so happy to still be able to be here to enjoy this day,” said Roy Cochran Potts.
Their sense of humor has not faltered either.
“Can we do this again when we turn 100?” joked Arthur Neale Potts.