The subject of this sketch, Bert Porter, is one of the enterprising young men of Cloud county, who within a short period of time has risen from a farm hand to one of the most prominent farmers and stockmen in the Solomon valley. He has made a wonderful record, perhaps no man in the county can produce a better one. Ten years ago, Mr. Porter's worldly possessions consisted of a span of horses. He became associated with his father and bought the Vance Thompson homestead in 1891. In 1899 he purchased his father's interest in the farm and now owns four hundred and eighty acres of land with two hundred and eighty acres under cultivation. Eighty acres of this lies along Fisher creek, is heavily timbered and is a very valuable piece of ground; the other two hundred and forty acres are in Summit township. Mr. Porter married at the youthful age of eighteen years, December 28, 1888, Florence, one of the five daughters of Henry Stout, at this time a farmer near Simpson, but now living in the vicinity of Clyde. Her sisters are, Minnie, wife of Frank Campbell, a farmer of Republic county, ten miles north of Concordia; Maggie, wife of James Joslyn, a farmer of Republic county; Nellie, wife of Ulysses Nicols, a farmer near Randall, Randall county, Kansas; Myrtle, who was adopted into the family of D. Joiner, her mother having died when she was an infant two weeks old. The Joiners live on a farm near Virgil, New York. Mrs. Stout was Mary Long, of Iowa.
Mr. Porter is a son of Major and Eliza (Forgy) Porter. Major Porter was born in Thelma, Fulton county, Ohio, in 1833. In his early life he was a carpenter and shoemaker. In 1875, he located in Clay county, Illinois. In 1884, he came to Brittsville, where he worked for five years at carpentering, then began farming, which occupation he followed until his wife's death, when failing health caused him to retire, making his home with his sons until his death in the autumn of 1901.
Bert Porter is one of two sons; his brother E.H., is a blacksmith and wheelwright, located in Glasco. When Mr. Porter was married he began the stockraising business with one cow, a calf and a hog presented to Mrs. Porter as a wedding gift. He now raises from two to three hundred hogs annually and keeps on an average one hundred head of cattle. He has placed nearly all of the buildings on the farm, as it was in an unimproved state when he bought it.
In 1900, he built a large basement barn, 32x64 feet in dimensions. The basement (used for feeding purposes) is 32x52. His farm is equipped with all sorts of modern farming implements and machinery. It is said the largest and best span of mules ever in Cloud county were raised on his farm. Many buyers pronounced them the best they ever saw. They were seventeen and one-half hands high and weighed one thousand five hundred pounds each. They were dead matches, Mr. Porter being the only person who could distinguish them, and he did not want to be very far away. He sold them when the mule market was low for three hundred and forty dollars. One year later they would have brought an advance of one hundred dollars. If Mr. Porter accumulates in the same proportion in the next ten years he will certainly be one of the best demonstraters of what energy can do in Kansas without capital.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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