J. W. Porter

by Edmund Starling, 1886


J. W. PORTER was born in Donegal, Ireland, in the year 1835. In his young manhood, Mr. Porter immigrated to America, and for quite a number of years followed peddling on foot for a living. He traveled mostly throughout the Southern States, and dealt largely in such goods as Irish linens, embroideries and silks. After his first year's experience in thus merchandising, he employed seven or eight men and kept them constantly on the road. At the outbreaking of the War of the Rebellion, he was at Holly Springs, Mississippi, where he lost some fifteen hundred dollars worth of goods. He then started across the plains, and, arriving at Hot Springs Arkansas, sold his entire stock to the men then in his employ. During the year 1855, Mr. Porter visited Todd County, Kentucky, and while sleeping in the second story of a country house, a terrible tornado swept over that part of the county, demolishing the building in which he was sleeping. Strange, as it may seem, his vest was torn half in two, and he blown one hundred yards, to find himself unhurt. In 1853 he first came to Henderson County, and, in 1858, purchased of James Bottoms, two hundred acres of land lying in the Niagara Precinct, for which he paid fifteen hundred dollars in gold, cash down. He returned to New York, and there opened a grocery house, but owing to his strong Democratic proclivities, was unsuccessful and returned to Henderson and settled upon the land bought of Bottom. IN 1867 he purchased of George S. Morris ten acres of land, and built his present residence. In 1870 he built his tobacco stemmery, and engaged in merchandising and the stemming of tobacco, in which business he is yet engaged. his business life has proven successful, and, by industry and prudence, Mr. Porter enjoys a handsome estate. He has been three times married, first, to Miss McLaughlin, of New York; then to Miss Nunn, daughter of Hugh Nunn, of Henderson County, and lastly, to Mrs. Triplett, widow of Robert Triplett. He is the father of eight children, four of whom are living.

The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 782-82;

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