Biography of James Porter (1807- )
History of Lincoln County, Missouri (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1888), pp. 601-602.

James and Lydia K. (SITTON) PORTER are among the oldest settlers of Lincoln County, Mo. The former was born in Williamson County, Tenn., August 10, 1807, and is the son of David and Elizabeth (HOPKINS) PORTER, who were natives of Virginia and South Carolina, respectively. In early life the parents moved to Tennessee, where the mother died when James was about nine days old. He was taken by his grandparents and remained with them until about ten years of age. The father married again and moved to Missouri about 1810, where they made a settlement on Big Creek, within the present limits of Lincoln County. In 1836 they moved to Pike County, Ill., and here the stepmother died at the age of eighty-two. Her husband in 1849 started for California, and at Fort Hall dropped dead; he was sixty-nine years of age. He was of English-Scotch extraction, was a blacksmith and farmer by occupation, was a ranger in the war of 1812, and was a man of infinite jest. At the age of ten James was brought to Lincoln County, Mo., where he had almost no advantages for an education; six months in all would cover his schooling. At the age of seventeen he was apprenticed to "Boss" WING, of Troy, to learn the tanner's trade, served his time, laid aside his apron and engaged in agricultural pursuits. March 17, 1829, he married Miss Lydia R. SITTON, who was born near Nashville, Tenn., January 24:, 1807, and who was the daughter of Lawrence B. and Rachel S. (GIBSON) SITTON. Her father was born in 1785, in North Carolina, and her mother in South Carolina in 1776. They immigrated to Davidson County, Tenn., were married there and afterward moved to Warren County in 1811, and moved to their farm on Big Creek in 1812. The war coming on, Mr. SITTON left that place, secured a home within one and three-fourth miles of Kennedy's Fort, Warren County, and then enlisted in Capt. Callaway's company, serving fourteen months. After returning from the war he built a house near Auburn in 1816, and moved there the following year. He was a farmer all his life. The mother died in 1824 and he in 1863. He was magistrate for about twenty-four years. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. PORTER made a settlement in what is now Monroe County, and in 1835 they returned to Lincoln County, where they have resided ever since. To their marriage was born five sons: James C., a farmer of Reno County, Kas.; William C., farmer of Lincoln County; David D., a merchant of Paris, Tex.; John L., deceased, and GeorgeW., a farmer of Lincoln County All the sons, with the exception of the one in Texas, are Republicans, and four of them were in the late war. George W. was captain in the Union army; David D. was captain in the Confederate army; William C. was orderly sergeant in the Union army, and James C. was a private in the State militia. Mr. and Mrs. PORTER are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. When they were first married he had a horse, a cow, and she had a cow and a bed. They have seen almost every side of the wheel of fortune. Having giving their children a good start in life they still have enough to keep them in their old age. Mr. PORTER cast his first presidential vote for John Q. ADAMS, was a Whig in politics, then a Know-Nothing, and is now a Republican. When he first settled in Monroe County he had to go twenty-two miles to get his ax re-set.

File submitted to HERITAGE PAGES of LINCOLN COUNTY, MISSOURI by Phyllis Lake, 21 October 1998.  Link change or update: 23 May 2000

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