Niagara County

1897 Biography - Franklin Porter

Porter, Franklin, Somerset, was born in Ontario county, N. Y., November 18, 1827, and is a son of William A. and Abigail (Sage) Porter, both natives of New York. His mother was born in Bloomfield, Ontario county, also married there and in 1833 he went to Michigan, where his father died in 1838. They had seven children, four of whom are living: Jane, the eldest, born March 7, 1826, died January 11, 1897; O. S. Porter, born July 29, 1826, is mayor of Rochester, Minn., and has been a member of the General Assembly of that State; Mary (deceased), born July 25, 1831; Elinor, born July 18, 1833, married Albert Hayes; Julia (deceased), born September 30, 1835; S. J. Porter, born October 4, 1837. On his mother's side he comes from Nathan Herendeen, who was born in Cumberland, R. I., in 1741. After he became of age he went to the West Indies, where he married Huldah Dillingham in 1764. At the one hundredth anniversary held in Farmington, Ontario county, in 1890, there were seven generations of that family present. In 1769 he moved to Adams, Mass., where his wife died; he then married Sarah Pierce in 1785 and one son was born to them. This son obtained 1,000 acres located in Farmington, Ontario county, in exchange for his farm in Massachusetts. He removed to Genesee county in February, 1790; there was Nathan, Welcome (his son), Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, his daughters, with their husbands, Joshua Herrington and John McOmber and children. The journey was made with an ox sled through a wilderness, no mills, no doctors, no roads. Nathan and son Welcome lived together. The mother died in 1807. The oldest of the third generation living are Mrs. R. Power, Mrs. Mary Jeffrey, Mrs. Carpenter and Mrs. W. W. Herendeen. There were seventy-six descendants of Welcome Herendeen at the anniversary; Mrs. Maria Sheffield, Mrs. Harriet Pearson, Mrs. Minnie Furbush and Uncle Wick represented five generations. William A. Porter, father of the subject, was born December 14, 1798, and his mother January 16, 1801. Mr. Porter was first married to Pauline Fox, February 12, 1854, and she died March 25, 1880, leaving two children; Alma, born January 3, 1861, married George Higgs; Willis F. Porter, born December 29, 1863, married Bertha Lewis, December 14, 1887. Mr. Porter was again married to Mary Spooner, September 27, 1882, who died August 3, 1884, when he married again, in 1886, Mrs. Grigg, daughter of Samuel and Sallie (Bates) Stockwell. The above Welcome Herendeen was the first white child born in Ontario county. The Porters came to Niagara county in 1810 and settled on the place now known as the Sprague farm. In 1815 David Barker, a relative of Mr. Porter's, came to Somerset and pitched his tent where the village which bears his name now stands, and where he recently died. He came with an ox team and with a wagon made by himself, the wheels being made by sawing off a log. Mrs. Porter's grandfather built the first mill in Somerset; it was erected in the top of a stump, a hole being bored out and corn for meal being pounded in it. Mr. Porter has been assessor for three years, and is a cultivated and entertaining gentleman.

Contributed 2017 by Lisa Slaski from Landmarks of Niagara County, New York, by William Pool, D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, NY, 1897

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