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BIOGRAPHY: WILLIAM PORTER ... (Descendent of Edward PORTER, b. by 1770, VA)
Posted by: Cathy Porter-Maynard (ID *****9734) Date: June 15, 2007 at 17:45:58
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THE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF HENRY COUNTY, ILLINOIS
(Illustrated)
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company.
1901.
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BIOGRAPHY: WILLIAM PORTER.
[Page 694]
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Among the honored pioneers and highly esteemed citizens of Henry county [Illinois] is numbered William Porter, who located here in the spring of 1843 and has since been prominently identified with its growth and development. He is now the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and seventy-three acres on sections 3 and 4; Cornwall township, which is under a high state of cultivation and well improved.
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Mr. Porter was born in South Huntington township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, on the 15th of September, 1815, and is a son of Daniel and Catherine (Gaffney) Porter, the former a native of Virginia, the latter of Mt. Pleasant township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. In 1834 the father [Daniel Porter] brought his family to Illinois, and after traveling all over the state took up his residence in Decatur on the 6th of October, that year. On account of the frequency of prairie fires he avoided the newer settlements. He spent the 4th of July in Danville, and remained for about four weeks in Bloomington on this trip. He bought a farm of two hundred and forty acres adjoining Decatur, which was already fenced and under cultivation.
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William Porter is the fifth in order of birth in a family of eleven children, the others being John, who was drowned in the Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania; twins, who died in infancy; *Edward [b. 1813, Rostraver Township, Westmoreland Co., PA], who died in Reno, [Cass County] Iowa, at the age of seventy-seven years, leaving a large family living near that place; Isaiah, who went to California in 1849, and lived on the Pacific coast until his death, which occurred at Tacoma, Washington; Harriet, who married William White and died in Stark county, Illinois; Lucinda, wife of Daniel Gingrich of the same county; Catherine, who married Samuel Airhart, and also died in Stark county. Both were graduates of Knox College, of Galesburg. Aaron, a resident of California; and Elizabeth, who died at the age of three years.
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The subject of this sketch came with his parents to Illinois and remained on the farm near Decatur until June, 1837, when he went to Stark county. There he entered one hundred and sixty acres of unbroken land, to the improvement and cultivation of which he devoted his energies until coming to Henry county in the spring of 1843. He purchased eighty acres of land in Cornwall township, and traded his Stark county farm for a partially improved tract of two hundred acres. It is now under a high state of cultivation with good and substantial buildings, all of which have been erected by Mr. Porter. The neat and thrifty appearance of the place plainly indicates careful supervision.
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In Stark county, on the 5th of May, 1840, Mr. Porter married Miss Eleanor Hamilton, who was born on the 16th of February, 1818, in South Huntington township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and died in Cornwall township, this county, May 20, 1885. She was one of a family of six children whose parents were Alexander and Elizabeth (Steele) Hamilton. The children born to our subject and his wife were as follows: Mary Martha, now the wife of John T. Rondema, farmer of the state of Washington; Alexander Hamilton, who died in infancy; Jane Ellen, who died at the age of four years; William C., deceased, who married Amanda Turpin and followed merchandising at Hartwell, Nebraska; Charles, who died in infancy; Ella and Daniel, twins, the former of whom first married Horace G. Benedict and, second, Charles S. Terpening, a farmer and school teacher, and the latter married, Sarah Lloyd and follows farming; Epaphroditus J., who married Miss Mary Jewett Sears and is a physician at Grand Island, Nebraska, having graduated from Rush Medical College, Chicago, in 1878; Josie, wife of Allison Orville Taylor, a merchant of Minatare, Nebraska; Viola, wife of James Dysart, a stock raiser of Eagle, Nebraska, and Bowen, who married America Ernst, , and died at Gold Hill, Oregon, of which place he was a physician, being a graduate of the Chicago Homeopathic Medical College; he was also a student in the Rush Medical College.
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Mr. Porter has always taken an active and commendable interest in public affairs, especially educational matters, and has efficiently served as school director. Politically he is identified at present with the Peoples party, and has always been a warm supporter of the principles advocated by Abraham Lincoln, and fraternally is connected with the Grange. In religious belief, he is a Baptist, and is an earnest and consistent member of that church. Through the fifty-eight years of his residence here Mr. Porter has become widely known, and his many excellent traits of character have gained him the high regard of a host of friends.
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In 1849, in company with two others from Bureau county, Illinois, our subject started for the gold fields of California, making the trip with ox teams in about four months' time. On the Little Blue River they joined a wagon train, so that when they finally crossed the great plains there were sixty-five men and one woman and baby, the wife of our subject's brother Isaiah. He remained in California two years, prospecting and mining. His trip did not prove a financial success. The return trip was made by water, via New Orleans, and the Mississippi River to Peoria, then by stage to Henry county.
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In 1861 he again went to California, via New York City by boat to Aspinwall, by rail, ocean, and the Isthmus to Panama and then by boat to San Francisco. He engaged in mining in Nevada and remained four years, returning in 1865 by water to New York, thence by rail to Henry county. He crossed the isthmus over the now proposed canal route by stage and river steamers. In 1883 he went to the state of Washington, via the Northern Pacific, being a passenger on the first train to cross the mountains from St. Paul.
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[end]

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[NOTE 1: These Porters descend from Edward Porter Sr. & Elizabeth Morgan,
(born by 1770, Virginia).

NOTE 2: * Edward Porter lll (b. 1813, Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, PA; died Cass Co., IA), married Clarissa POWELL (b. 1819, NY; d. Cass County, Iowa); dau. of Clarissa Richardson & Calvin POWELL ].
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SOURCE:
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THE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF HENRY COUNTY, ILLINOIS
(Illustrated)
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company.
1901.
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INDEX:
William Porter, pg. 694

ALSO SEE:
http://www.usgennet.org/usa/il/county/stark/books/henrycobr/index2.htm

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