Updated Thu, Jul 4, 2013 7:39 am
According to Potter's granddaughter, Jaclyn Fraley, Cottrill then transferred the house into her own name. Upon discovering this years later, the family took Cottrill to court to reverse the property transfer.
Initially, the Vinton County Common Pleas Court ruled in Potter's favor, Fraley said, until an appeals court ruled that the transfer's statute of limitations had expired. Thus, the house belonged to the daughter.
Earlier this year, Cottrill served her father with an eviction notice.
"The efforts of the family to convince Janice to allow John to live out his life in his home have failed. Janice states she needs the money, so the old man must go," Fraley wrote on the website GoFundMe.com.
A market appraisal of the home showed a value of around $50,000, Gleeson said.
Hoping to raise the funds for Potter to pay his daughter the market value of the house, Fraley set up an online fundraiser on GoFundMe.com in April. Within a few months, the post went viral, with celebrities such as actor Patton Oswalt giving the fundraiser publicity.
"This 91-year-old WWII vet's gonna get booted from the home he built himself? ... This injustice will not stand," Oswalt wrote.
Soon, donors from throughout the world helped the fundraiser reach it's $125,000 goal quickly, with 16 donations of $500 or more. One anonymous donor gave $5,000.
After reaching the campaign's goal, an offer for the market value on the house was made to Cottrill and her attorney. However, Gleeson claims he received a counteroffer requesting more than twice that amount.
Having declined Potter's offer to buy the home outright, Cottrill and her attorney, Lorene Johnston, will take the eviction to court.
Cottrill's attorney said she would not comment on the case, citing confidentiality and not wanting to "negotiate with other legal parties through the newspaper."
The two sides' attorneys convened last week in preparation for the upcoming trial, a date for which has not been announced.
"I don't know that there is a middle ground. Hopefully we'll be able to find something," Gleeson told The Courier.
According to Fraley, Potter has served as a former mayor of Zaleski and as Vinton County Sheriff.