Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897
[p. 145] a disciple of Esculapius, within the length of time during which he has followed his chosen profession among the people of Lawrence County, especially of Mahoning township and its vicinity, has made for himself a place and won a standing that may well be envied. Belonging to a class of men whose duties compel them to be not only healers, but also to be counsellors and advisers as well in matters of the most delicate nature, he has done well by his large clientele. That his name is respected and his individuality esteemed is but a well-earned reward for his faithful efforts.
Dr. Porter came into this life July 7, 1846, in Pulaski township, Lawrence Co., Pa. His grandparents were born east of the Allegheny Mountains, but in the first days of the development of Western Pennsylvania, they crossed those barriers and were among the pioneers of this region. The parents of the Doctor were Nathaniel and Martha J. (McCready) Porter. Nathaniel Porter's father bore the same given name. Nathaniel Porter, Sr., entered the new country from his eastern abode with a steady determination to hew out of the wilderness a home for himself and his descendants. The long journey over the mountains was performed on horseback, as wagon roads over those routes were then in the first stages of construction. He came into Lawrence County, and located on a 400-acre strip of land, all of which was practically a virgin forest. The first duty of the new- comer was to fell some trees and erect a habitable log-cabin. This done, he began to clear the farm—a task that engaged his labors for many succeeding years, with the result that he ultimately became the possessor of a fine tract of arable land, which owns not an equal in a county which is noted for its grand agricultural resources. He became as time advanced one of the prosperous and well-to-do men of the locality, having much influence and a high position as a citizen in the township.
To the son, Nathanel Porter, Jr., fell a portion of the original farm. On this place, which he had helped his father to clear of trees, he settled with his wife, who was a Miss Martha J. McCready. He lived a long and industrious life here, spending all of his time in tilling the soil, and died in June, 1893, at the age of seventy-six years. His widow still survives him, residing with her son, the Doctor, who was the only one who survived out of a family of several children born to Nathaniel Porter and his wife.
The subject of our sketch attended the district schools of the township, where he laid the solid foundations of his education. Next he took a full academic course at the Canfield, Ohio, Academy, and then began the study of medicine with Dr. Davis of Poland, Ohio, as his preceptor. He then entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Philadelphia, Pa., and was graduated with honor in the spring of 1871. He came immediately to Hillsville, where he spent two years practicing his profession. The three subsequent years were spent in Sharpsburg, Mercer Co., Pa., but at the end of that period he returned to his native town, and located again in Hillsville, where he has since resided.
Dr. Porter is essentially a broad man. While a thorough student and an up-to-date practitioner, he finds ample time to handle a large practice and to look after many other interests in a satisfactory manner. His profession has yielded him good returns, and he is considered one of the solid men of his section. His beautiful home, one of the best in the village of Hillsville, he himself erected. Our subject was wedded at the outset of his professional career to Miss Effie Davis, a daughter of William Davis, a resident of Mahoning township. She was taken from her sorrowing husband in 1895, having reached the age of forty-five years. Two children were born to them, Fred W., who at this writing is a student, and lives at home, and Anna M., who died aged two years and six months.
Dr. Porter is a gentleman who fully appreciates the duties of his profession, and at the same time does not forget the claims which the public has upon him as a citizen. He is a firm advocate of the best of educational facilities, and for nine years has been a member of the board of school directors. In politics, he is a Republican of the strongest convictions. Active in thought and movement, possessed of keen foresight, and endowed with exceptional executive abilities, the Doctor is, apart from his calling, a man of influence and force. As a physician, Dr. Porter is on all sides trusted as well as loved. Well-read in all that pertains to the well-being of the human body, keen and correct in his diagnoses, cool and collected under the strain of a severe surgical operation, it is no mistake to aver that he is an instance of the right man in the right place. The severest test to which one can subject a man's personality is to lay it open to the criticism of those who have seen him grow from childhood to manhood, and in manhood expand his career each year. This test Dr. Porter stands exceedingly well, for no more popular, well esteemed, or respected gentleman than he, has ever grown up among the sturdy sons of Lawrence County.
Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897
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Updated: 1 May 2001