J. A. Porter, who owns a fine farm property of one hundred acres in Elm Grove township which he is cultivating,
was born in Louisa county on the 5th of February, 1857. He is a son of Hugh and Lydia (Maloney) Porter, both natives
of Ireland, whence they emigrated to the United States. Upon his arrival in this country Mr. Porter first located
in New York, where he remained for fourteen years, and at the expiration of that period he came to Louisa county,
in April, 1855, buying eighty acres of land, which he cultivated with increasing success, and thus adding to his
holdings from time to time until when he died he owned four hundred and eleven acres of fertile land. His demise
occurred on the 19th of January, 1895, many years after that of his wife, who passed away on the 12th of June,
1879. Eight children were born to them in the following order: Isaac T., a resident of South Dakota; J. A. Porter,
our subject; Annie, the wife of R. H. Wheeler, of Louisa county; John D., who lives in Orange, California; and
Isabel, James, Mary and an infant, the eldest of the family, all deceased.
The boyhood and youth of J. A. Porter were spent in a manner very similar to those of the majority of farmer lads.
He attended the common schools in, the acquirement of his education, while such time as he was not there engaged
was very largely given to assisting with the work of the farm. At the age of twenty one years he left the parental
roof and began working for himself. For a time he followed farming but later worked at the carpenter's trade for
three years. At the end of that time he bought one hundred acres of land on sections 29 and 21, Elm Grove township,
upon which he has since continuously resided. He has erected a fine residence, barns and outbuildings during the
period of his residence, all of which have been constructed with due regard for the purpose they were to serve
as well as for appearancs. Here he engages in stock raising in addition to the cultivation of his fields, and his
efforts in both directions are meeting with success.
On the 31st of December, 1885, Mr. Porter's plans for a home of his own had their culmination in his marriage to
Miss Olive C. Thompson. She is a daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth (Willis) Thompson, to whom were born ten children:
Mary Harkness, who is a resident of Creston, Iowa; a daughter who died in infancy; Nancy J., the wife of J. H.
Armstrong, of Texas; Robert N., deceased; William L., a resident of Central Point, Oregon; Ella, the wife of Dr.
Grimes, of Wapello; Lois, who married W. D. Garrnoe, of Winfield, Iowa; Olive and Oliver, twins, the former now
Mrs. Porter and the latter a resident of Fort Dodge, Iowa; and Jay F., who is living in Wellington, Kansas.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Porter has been blessed by three daughters: Frances, who was graduated from the Washington
Academy in 19o5 and is now teaching school; Mary L., who will graduate from the Washington high school with the
class of 1912; and Hazel E., who is at home.
The religious faith of the family is manifested through their affiliation with the Presbyterian church, and Mr.
Porter casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party. He meets the requirements of good citizenship
by assisting in the administration of local government and has held several township offices. A man of determination
and purpose, he is meeting with success in the direction of his interests and is known as one of the prosperous
farmers of Elm Grove township, among whose citizens both he and his family are held in high regard.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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