Silas Wright Porter, an eminent attorney and a justice of the supreme court of Kansas, is a native of Warren county, Illinois. He was born on Jan. 1, 1857, near the town of Monmouth, on the farm owned by his father, John Porter, a prominent jurist and lawyer in Warren county. James Porter, his paternal grandfather, was of Scotch-Irish descent and in 1795 accompanied his parents, William and Mary (Wilkin) Porter, to America from County Donegal, Ireland. He was married to Sarah Wray, and their son, John Porter, was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, April 26, 1824. After some years spent in farming and teaching he removed in 1852 to Illinois, where some years later he was elected judge of the county court. After nine years on the bench, he retired and engaged in practice, making his home in Monmouth until his death in 1895. His wife, Mary Ellen Porter, was the daughter of William Robb, who was also of Scotch-Irish descent, and who came from County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1801 to Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, where Mary Ellen Robb was born on Nov. 1, 1822, and in 1847 was married to John Porter.
Silas W. Porter was reared in Monmouth, Ill., where he received his education and began the practice of law. He entered Monmouth College and was graduated there with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1879. The same college later conferred upon him the degrees of Master of Arts (1882), and Doctor of Laws (1907). He taught one term in a district school while a student in the college, and another term after his graduation. In 1881, after preparing himself for the bar in his father's office, he was admitted to practice and formed a partnership with his father, in which he continued for five years, during three of which he held the office of city attorney. He came to Kansas in 1886; was elected county attorney of Ness county the same year and filled the office two years. In 1890 he removed to Kansas City, Kan., where he has since resided, and where he has been one of the prominent members of the Kansas City bar. In 1905 Governor Hoch appointed him to serve an unexpired term on the bench of the supreme court of the state, and in 1906 he was elected for the remaining four years of the term. In 1910 he was reëlected for a full term of six years. Through the success which has marked his career and his ability and integrity as a lawyer, Judge Porter is eminently qualified for the honor and duties of a member of the supreme court. He has served as president of the Kansas State Bar Association, and is a member of the American Bar Association. He has taken an active interest in political affairs as a Republican and was chairman of the Republican state convention in 1900. Among the organizations of which he is a member are: The Topeka, the Country, and the Saturday Night clubs of Topeka, and the Knife and Fork Club of Kansas City. He is a Thirty-second degree Mason and an Elk. His marriage with Jessie Kirkpatrick Babcock of Monmouth, Ill., was solemnized in 1887. Mrs. Porter is the daughter of George Babcock, who was born in Wales, Mass., in 1815, and his wife, Ellen Kirkpatrick, was a native of Perry county, Pennsylvania. They have five children: Eliot, born in 1889; Dorothy, born in 1891; Richard B., born in 1893; John Magill, born in 1899; and Garrett, born in 1903. Judge Porter resides in Kansas City, Kan., but since 1907 has made his temporary home at 927 Western avenue, Topeka.Pages 51-52 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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