Pages 638-640, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




"The Gods give naught to sloth," said the sage Epicharmus many centuries ago, and the truth of this admonition has been verified through all the ages down to the present time. Certain laws of business are as immutable as are the principles of nature. Never can success be attained without continuous and earnest effort on the part of some one, and the only success of which man has reason to be proud is that which he himself gains. In this regard Mr. Porter has an enviable record. Starting out in life on his own account he has put his dependence upon the substantial qualities of enterprise, unflagging perseverance and indefatigable industry, and as a result he is now numbered among the prosperous and prominent farmers of Woodson county, where he has made his home since 1867.

A native of the Empire state, Mr. Porter was born in Monroe county, near Rochester, April 24, 1847. His father, Augustus Porter, was born in New York in 1815, and his brother, Gilbert Porter, is still living in that


state. The former married Cynthia Hindman, and unto them were born three children: Harriet, wife of Theodore Brown, of Morton county, Kansas; Henry, deceased, and Stephen. The father was a stalwart Republican and was serving as trustee of Eminence township, Woodson county, at the time of his death, which occurred in December, 1873. His wife, long surviving him passed away in 1890, at the venerable age of eighty years. They had gradually moved westward, living in several states before taking up their abode in Kansas, where they were soon recognized as people of sterling worth and of the highest respectability.

In leaving the state of his nativity, Stephen E. Porter accompanied his parents on their removal to La Grange county, Indiana, and was afterward a resident of Bureau county, Illinois, for five years. He then went to Iowa with the family and from Wappello county, that state came to Kansas. He had attended school in the various communities in which he had resided and had been trained to the practical work of the farm. On reaching Woodson county in 1867, he first located on section twenty-two, township twenty-six, range sixteen, from which place he came to his present home—the north half of the northeast quarter of section eighteen. This was a tract of land claimed by the railroad company, whose title he contested and won his case, but he afterward lost in an appeal to the general land office. In early life he began dealing in stock and has considerable prominence as a stock dealer, his business in that line being quite extensive.

In Douglas county, Kansas, November 6, 1858, Mr. Porter was united in marriage to Miss Alma Fearer, a daughter of David and Sarah (Coffman) Fearer, the former born in Maryland, in 1829, while the latter was born near Hagerstown, in Washington county, that state, in 1831. Their marriage occurred in Ogle county, Illinois, and their children were: Alma, who was born January 12, 1851; John, who died in childhood; Mary, who is living in Oklahoma, and is the widow of Tillman Elam and Martha, wife of Frank Van Trice, of Douglas county, Kansas. The father was killed by bushwackers at Independence, Missouri, in 1862, and the mother afterward became the wife of F. H. Baker, who did[sic] in Sumner county, Kansas, in 1892. Their children were: Charles, of Blackwell, Oklahoma; Erastus, of Wellington, Kansas, and James, who died at the age of twenty-one.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Porter has been blessed with three children: Bertha, wife of Arthur Evans, a resident of Victor, Colorado; Ollie, wife of James Clark, of Tulare, California, and Niel, who married Ora Smith and is living in Rose. Mr. and Mrs. Porter have spent their entire married life in Woodson county and through the passing years the circle of their friends has been constantly enlarged. In his political views Mr. Porter is a Republican manifesting a deep and active interest in the success of the party. He has served as delegate to county and other conventions and aided in nominating the successful ticket of 1900. He has


served his township as treasurer, and to those who are acquainted with his upright career it is needless to say that his duties were most faithfully discharged.

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