biographical data

Katherine Wellford biography: 13 things about Memphis, Tennessee woman


Katherine Estes Potts Wellford attended White Station Junior High School and the Lausanne Collegiate School, which are both in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, United States. She was named after her mother’s lifelong friend Katherine Estes Nesbit.

Wellford was 2 years younger than her husband Harry Walker Wellford Sr. She is Henry Buckner “Bucks” Potts and Minna Treadwell Beasley Potts‘ first child and Minna Treadwell Potts Thompson and Anne Buckner Potts Eddins‘ older sister.

Katherine graduated from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, USA. Her younger sisters and their mother also attended the school.

After working briefly as a teacher, Katherine ultimately chose to take care of her husband and their four children as a housewife. Still, she managed to hold leadership positions in the community including the Brooks Art Museum board of directors, as Tennessee’s representative for the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and as an officer of the Junior League of Memphis and Garden Club of Memphis.

Moreover, Katherine was actively involved in fundraising efforts for the Pink Palace of Memphis. She was associated with Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis.

An avid gardener, Katherine was involved in the maintenance and planning for the gardens at the Dixon Art Gallery in Memphis. Here are 13 more things about her:

  1. In 1951, she and Harry got married.
  2. In 1953, she gave birth to Harry “Hal” Wellford. He is married to Amanda Wellford.
  3. In 1954, she gave birth to James Beasley Wellford. He is marred to Adele Orgill Wellford.
  4. In 1956, she gave birth to Buckner Wellford. He is married to Jennifer Wellford.
  5. In 1959, she gave birth to Katherine “Kate” Wellford Pritchard. Kate is married to Alan Pritchard.
  6. During the 1960s to the 1970s, he and Harry were active participants in the emerging Shelby County Republican Party. In 1965, she gave birth to Allison Wellford. Allison is married to Thomas “Tommy” Parker.
  7. On March 17, 1966, her father died in Memphis at the age of 76.
  8. On January 4, 1979, her younger sister Minna died at the age of 56.
  9. On March 22, 1991, her mother died at the age of 98.
  10. On July 28, 1994, her younger sister Anne died at the age of 64.
  11. In 2011, she started battling a terminal illness. 
  12. In 2012, Idlewild Presbyterian Church honored her as Presbyterian Woman of the Year.
  13. On December 24, 2014, she died at the age of 87. She was buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis.

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