Porter, William

Born: 1803 Massachusetts

Died: 1851-06-10 Springfield, Illinois

Flourished: 1823-1851 Springfield, Illinois

Porter moved from Middleborough, Massachusetts, to Montgomery County, Illinois, during the early 1820s. In 1823, he moved to Springfield and took up position as clerk to Pascal P. Enos Sr., who had just been appointed receiver of the federal land office there. Porter supported the Whigs in politics and worked as a financier and land agent. Porter married Margaret Kline in Sangamon County in 1832, and later that year he volunteered for the Illinois militia to fight in the Black Hawk War. Upon his return to Springfield, he ran a steam mill, and in 1840, he a was partner in a Springfield auction and commission sales agency. In 1837 and 1838, Porter was one of the leading Springfield citizens who pledged funds to secure the move of the state capital from Vandalia to Springfield. In March 1842, Federal District Judge Nathaniel Pope appointed Porter as the assignee for the federal bankruptcy court in Springfield.

Christiana Holmes Tillson, A Woman’s Story of Pioneer Illinois, ed. by Milo Milton Quaife (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1995), 17, 91, 113-14; Bond of Thomas Mather and Others for the State of Illinois; Promissory Note of John Hay and Others to State Bank of Illinois; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Sangamon County, IL, 74; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 10 May 1832, 3:2; 11 August 1832, 3:3; 30 March 1839, 2:2; 14 January 1840, 3:7; 26 November 1841, 2:2; 11 March 1842, 2:4; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 12 June 1851, 3:1; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 18 March 1832, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Ellen M. Whitney, comp., The Black Hawk War, 1831-1832: Illinois Volunteers, vol. 35 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1970), 1:407.