Josiah J. Porter

Male 1855 - 1900  (~ 44 years)


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  • Name Josiah J. Porter 
    Born Oct 1855  Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 22 Jan 1900  Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • The following excerpt is from John Marshall Porter's "Sketches of Maryland Porters", circa 1976. Scott Carter Williams brought it to the attenetion of Michael A. McKenzie in 2018.

      Josiah, "Si" Porter... Second son of John S. and Rebecca Porter.

      I must say of Uncle Si, I have no recollection of him. He married Lizzie Rase, a sister of Uncle Will's wife Mary. They went housekeeping in the old log house that was vacated after the family moved into the new house. From what I have heard, Uncle Si was a much smaller man than Uncle Will, but he was renounced as the fastest worker in all the area. It was said that he almost ran at his work, and unless the work Was too heavy for his size, he would do as much as any two men who worked with him.

      Those were the days of making hay with a mowing scythe and raking it with a hand rake. It was also the days of harvesting grain with a cradle and raking it into sheaves and tying them with bands made of the grain straw. Uncle Si
      was too small to stand up to a twelve hour day cradling grain because it was very heavy work. But at raking and tying the grain into sheaves, he could follow the best of cradlers, a task that it took two men to do. Long years after Uncle Si died, I heard old men say, "He was the only man in the area who could take up grain after a good cradler."

      Two daughters and a son were born to Uncle Si and Aunt Lizzie up to the year 1890, Cecelia, Sophia and Gilbert, in that order. The two girls grew to young womanhood at Play Place. Gilbert was younger.

      It was always a financial strain for so many families to live from the meager and dwindling income from the hilly farm. So, Uncle Si, being known for the amount of work he could do was much in demand to help neighboring farmers at harvesting and butchering. The wages were a dollar a day. And at harvesting a day was from sunrise to sunset. A day at butchering was from long before daylight to midnight in many cases when they tried to finish the job in one day.

      But the outside income helped support the growing family, and Uncle Si was one of whom it was said, "No matter how small the wages, Si would save a little." Most likely his frugal wife was a great help.

      I have heard it said many times that "The honeymoon lasted all their short life together for Si and Lizzie," which could hardly have been more than twenty years. They never had any words but kind words for each other and their children.

      Uncle Si didn't have robust health either. His small body couldn't stand up to the pace his inner drive demanded of it. With his resistance low from the summer work, he would catch colds during winter, and usually pneumonia would
      follow. This happened winter after winter, and each siege would leave him a little weaker for the hard summer work of planting and harvesting. But he simply could not slacken the pace of running at his work. He said that to work at a
      slower gait tired him out. Many years later, his cousin Frank Porter who knew him so well wrote of him, "What a pity that Si had to try to do sixty years work in thirty years and leave his family when he was only 44.

      His fifth or sixth bout with pneumonia killed him in January of 1900.

      Uncle Si's daughter Cecelia married Walter Engle, a butcher, and lived on a large farm at Eckhart. They had one son,Lester. Cecelia died in I960, aged around 80. Her son Lester worked all his life as a meat dealer with his father. Lester retired a few years ago, and moved to Florida. He died there on December 13, 1975. Aged 72. His body was brought back to Eckhart for burial.

      Sophia, Uncle Si's second daughter married Herbert Griffith around 1905. She had three sons, Gilbert, Herbert and Homer. Homer died of cancer at 45. Herbert and Gilbert are still living.

      Sophia has long been a widow. She has been in Cumberland Nursing Home for the past three years. I go to visit her frequently. She is very frail, almost totally deaf at 93. I can hardly read of another Porter who lived that long.*

      Gilbert, Uncle Si's only son married Gladys Sleeman around 1919. They ran a dairy farm on old Frog Hollow Road, which was the road that led from Eckhart to Play Place farm on Piney Mountain. Sometime in the middle 1920's,
      Gilbert bought the old log house in which he had been born at Play Place. He tore it down and moved it to his farm and rebuilt it for use as a machine shed.

      Gilbert died in November of 1935. He and Gladys had no children.
    Person ID I13378  McKenzie Genealogy
    Last Modified 27 Sep 2018 

    Father John Samuel Porter,   b. 27 Jan 1828, Play Place, Piney Mountain, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1882, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Rebecca Porter,   b. 1 Oct 1824, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Mar 1900, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 6 Mar 1851  Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F03750  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth (Lizzie) Rase,   d. UNKNOWN 
    Married 30 Aug 1877  Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Sophia Porter,   d. UNKNOWN  [natural]
     2. Gilbert Porter,   b. Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Nov 1935  [natural]
     3. Cecelia Porter,   b. Abt 1880, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Mar 1960, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 80 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 27 Sep 2018 
    Family ID F06118  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart


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