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PORTER FAMILY

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GEORGE W. and MARTHA PORTER


I have had a great deal of difficulty in finding George Washington and Martha (Wallace) Porter. I now know that my difficulty in finding George and Marth stems from the fact that George W. Was an apparent scoundrel and Martha divorced him in 1891, in McDonough County, IL. The grounds were desertion, adultery, fraud, and possible bigamy!!! The following facts are from the transcripts of the trail which are on file with the clerk of the district court, Macomb, McDonough County, IL. George and Martha were mar. April 30, 1862, at Elyria, Lorain County, OH. I have obtained a copy of their marriage license but unfortunately there was no additional family info on the license. In the spring of that year, 1862, they moved to Hancock Co., IL, where they resided for approx. 16 yrs. While in Hancock Co., they lived, " . . . not in one place all the time. We lived in Hamilton a good deal, Nauvoo one year and Basco and other small places where Mr. Porter was teaching." At one point they had, in the town of Hamilton, in Montobello Township, " . . . a town lot and we had a small fruit farm of twelve acres a little ways out of town." Upon leaving Hancock County they moved to Clark County, Missouri, where they remained for two years and from there moved to Macomb, IL, and resided about four months. In the year of 1880 they purchased the west half of the east half of the southwest quarter of section 16 in Mound Township, McDonough Co., IL. Martha resided on the this homestead at least through May of 1891. On October 5, 1885, George W. Porter, hired his elder son Reuben to a Bushnell, IL, farmer for $11.00 per month, specifying that half of Reuben's monthly wage be sent to him and, " . . . sold and disposed of all his personal property of every kind and nature except a few household goods which he left with . . . "Martha, who remained at home with George. (The monies he left with amounted to approx. $700.00). " . . . and taking a team and wagon and horses and a few personal effects which he took with him and left home pretending to go to Kansas, but as . . . "Martha," . . . has since learned, he did not go to Kansas but sold said team and wagon somewhere in the state of Missouri and went to Jackson County, Florida and after shifting around in several parts of the south he located in Henry Co., AL,and has been living there about two years part of the time teaching school, but at present . . . " . . . is engaged in a family grocery and restaurant business." In May of 1890 George returned to his home in Illinois and persuaded Martha to sign over the deed to the land which she owned there . . . the deed was in her name as they property was purchased with monies she inherited from an uncle. Five days after receiving the deed to the property he left again, returning to Columbia, Henry County, Alabama, where he had been residing for at least a year, (according to court depositions), with a woman by the name of Annie Pines (Pynes) who he led the community to believe was his wife, (it is not clear in the court records as to whether or not he actually married Annie Pines). In Columbia he ran a family grocery and dry goods store and a restaurant.

As a result of the circumstance of the marriage Judge Scofield granted a divorce to Martha W. Porter, and returned her land to her, on May 12, 1891. Mr. Porter was also ordered to pay the cost of Mrs. Porter's representation, and court costs, as at the time he left his family Mrs.
Porter had no means of support, " . . . except her own hands . . . and was unable to afford proper counsel".

At the time of their divorce George Grant Porter was aged 20 and was married and living close by and Reuben W. Porter was 23 and was living at home with his mother. There were two other children born during the marriage but they died in infancy. As to what happened to George Washington Porter I do not know and due to his wanderings I may never find out.

Macomb Daily Journal, Macomb, IL-Thurs., May 28, 1891, pg. 1
"Martha W. Porter was awarded a decree of divorce from George W. Porter on the grounds of desertion and adultery. Porter for years has been a school-teacher in many states, and at one time in the Indian Territory. He has been in the south the past seven or eight years. Mrs. P. has
remained in McDonough (Mount Twp.). Last winter Porter came north, and by threats of killing himself so worked upon his wife's sympathy that she deeded him forty acres of land that she owned here. Porter went south again, and it was learned that he was living with another woman in an Alabama town. Mrs. Porter was not only granted a decree of divorce, but his honor, Judge Scofield, also set aside the deed by which she had conveyed the property to her husband." The divorce was granted on May 21, 1891.

1880 Census-McDonough Co., IL-Page 27-Dwelling 27
PORTER, George W. -white, m, age 54, married, school teacher, born NY, father born MA, mother born CT.
Martha W.-white, f, age 49, wife, married, housekeeper, born ME, father born VT, mother born ME.
Reuben-white, m, 13, son, farm laborer, born IL, father born NY, mother born ME.
Georgie G.-white, m, 9, son, at home, born IL, father born NY, mother born ME.

1890 Census-McDonough Co., IL-Dwelling: 88-Family number: 90
George N. PORTER
-M, white, head of household, age at nearest birthday 65, married, born NY, father born MA,mother born MA, occupation school teacher, can read and write, and speak English, owns home.
Martha PORTER
-F, white, wife, age at nearest birthday 61, married, mother of 4 children-2 living, born ME, father born in VT, mother born in ME, housewife, reads, writes, and speaks English. (*maiden name was Wallace)
George G. PORTER
-son, white, M, age at nearest birthday 28, married June 1, 1889-May 31, 1890, born IL, father born NY, mother born ME, farmer, reads, writes, and speaks English.
Bianca PORTER
-F, white, 25, married June 1, 1889-May 31, 1890, born IL, father born
IL, mother born IL, daughter in law & housekeeper, reads, writes, and speaks English (*maiden name was Kepple)

Porter Surname and Generation Index
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