Homer W. Porter, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Homer W. Porter

HOMER W. PORTER, a prominent farmer of Porter county, and in his earlier life identified with the educational interests of this favored section of the state for many years, is a native of the Empire state, born in Onandaga county, on March 9, 1842. He is the son of Hiram and Lucy (Porter) Porter, both natives of the state of New York, where the father followed agricultural pursuits all his life. They were the parents of nine children -- four sons and five daughters, of which number Homer W. of this review was the first born. The others were Jane, Isabel, William, Helen, Hial, Loretta and Orlando.

In common with other members of his family, Homer Porter attended the district schools of Apulia, New York, and later he became a student in the Syracuse high school, after which he taught two school terms in New York, receiving as his salary the first year the sum of $8.00 a month and his board. His second term he received an advance in wages, which aggregated him $11.00 and board per month. After teaching two years the young man came to Valparaiso, Indiana, where he took a complete course of instruction to fit him for the life of a teacher, between intervals of study being employed as a clerk in the store of Bartholomew and McClelland. His education completed, Mr. Porter began teaching, and before he finally withdrew from the profession he had taught forty terms of school in Porter county. In the winter of 1863-4 when he was just beginning his lifework, he taught in Kouts, at that time being only one house in the village. Later he taught in the grammar school of Valparaiso, and it would be hard to estimate the amount of practical good that Mr. Porter had been able to accomplish in his long professional career, for he is one who has recognized to the full the wonderful opportunity given to the conscientious teacher to inculcate in the growing mind principles of honor and integrity, as well as the fundamental principles of book lore, which is but one of the duties of the real and successful teacher. In 1881 Mr. Porter was elected to the office of county superintendent of schools, a position which he held for eight years and in which he accomplished much for the schools of the county. That his work as teacher and superintendent was appreciated is evidenced in various ways, but the one testimonial which Mr. Porter feels most proud of is the gift of a fine album containing the portraits of thirty-nine teachers who were one time pupils of his, and who presented the album to him during one of the county institutes held by him.

In 1894 Mr. Porter withdrew from educational work and engaged in mercantile business, continuing for four years, when he sold out his store and purchased a fine farm of eighty-seven acres located one mile west of Kouts, and there engaged in farming. In the years that have elapsed since that time Mr. Porter has made many improvements on his farm, and has enlarged upon the many possibilities which the farm offered. He has gone into the raising of Holstein cattle and has a splendid dairy farm. His dairy products are shipped daily to Chicago, and have a reputation for excellency that is most pleasing. He also raises a fine lot of Shropshire sheep annually, which are especially productive in a wool bearing way, nine to ten pounds being clipped from each. On the whole Mr. Porter's success is of an order of which he may well be proud, in view of the fact that he passed his entire life up to the age of about fifty-five in educational work.

Mr. Porter is a staunch and true Republican. He cast his first vote for "Abe" Lincoln, and has given his allegiance to the party since that time. He was for thirteen years a justice of the peace in Kouts, and has always been a highly esteemed citizen. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, affiliating with Lodge No. 229, of Hebron.

On October 17, 1868, Mr. Porter was united in marriage with Miss Caroline A. Haste, born near Toronto, Canada. She is the daughter of Richard and Catherine (Shoemaker) Haste. Mr. Haste was a farmer in his occupation and he immigrated to Illinois from Canada while his family was still young. Mr. and Mrs. Haste were the parents of the following children: Henry, Aaron, George, Richard, Moses, Mary, Nancy, Catherine, Caroline and Ageline, twins, Lovina and Angela. The older members of the family attended school in Waukegan, Illinois, and later the family removed to Wisconsin, and the younger children attended school there. Richard became a student at Valparaiso and later graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Aaron became a soldier in the Civil war, and a wound in the shoulder received at the hands of a sharp-shooter in the southern army necessitated the amputation of his arm, which later resulted in his death.

After the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Porter at Valparaiso, where he was engaged in teaching, they remained there continuously until in 1894, when Mr. Porter gave up his teaching work and entered mercantile business, which he later exchanged for a farm. A son and a daughter were born to Mr. and Mrs. Porter -- William Haste and Edith A. Both were given every educational advantage available, the son finishing with a thorough course in business training and the daughter specializing in music. She became a successful teacher of that branch in Porter county, and continued in that work until her marriage with Glenn Crosby, who died some little time after, and she later became the wife of Ralph Knoll, who is connected with the grain elevator at Kouts. The son, William, married Blanche McDowell, a student at Valparaiso. She is the daughter of General McDowell of Civil war fame. For a number of years they lived in North Dakota, where Mr. Porter was engaged in mercantile business, but he is now a prosperous and successful rancher in Montana. He has a fine ranch of three hundred and twenty acres, well improved and equipped. They have one daughter, Lucille Gladys, now a student in the University of Valparaiso, who will graduate in music with the class of 1912.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 622-624

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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