Mercer County PAGenWeb

Thomas J. Porter  

Thomas J. Porter,  retired was born in Chambersburg, Franklin Co. Pa. December 29, 1800. His father, Washington Porter, was a son of David Porter, was born in Shippensburg, PA. July 13, 1778. He there grew to manhood and December 17, 1799, was married at Chambersburg, PA to Miss Rachel Shannon, a native of that town, born April 25, 1778. They reared three sons: Thomas J., David T. (deceased) and Alexander W. The first and last mentioned are residents of Sharon, where David T. died February 21, 1876. In 1802 the family removed to Butler Co. PA and in 1804 to the borough of Mercer, where Thomas J. grew to manhood and attended the pioneer schools. In April, 1825, Mr. Porter located in Sharon and was the second postmaster of the town and one of its early hotel keepers. He was also one of the pioneer merchants of Sharon, and among the first to go into the coal business and for many years was engaged in developing the coal fields of the Shenango Valley. His parents moved to Sharon many years after our subject, where the mother died June 14, 1852, in her seventy-fourth year and the father August 26, 1860, in the eighty-third year of his age. Mr. Porter was married August 14, 1827 in Sharon, to Miss Julia A., daughter of Samuel and Achsah (Parks) Quinby, natives of New Jersey, who settled here in 1808 or 1809. Mrs. Porter was born in Warren, Ohio, March 15, 1807, and was the mother of four children: Salina, widow of Henry Forker; Samuel Quinby, who died in 1874, and for several years one of the prominent business men of the borough; Julia, and Anna (deceased). Mrs. Porter died in the faith of the Baptist Church, October 13, 1849, and her husband has since remained unmarried. Politically Mr. Porter has always been a Democrat though he has never taken an active interest in political affairs. He cast his first presidential vote for Andrew Jackson in 1824, and has never since missed casting his vote for the presidential nominee of the Democratic party. Since early manhood Mr. Porter has been a member of the Masonic fraternity and is one of the few living links connection the historic past with the ever eventful and changing present.


History of Mercer Co. PA  1888  p.748; Submitted by Theresa Davids

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