Dr. J. W. Porter, the late well known practitioner of Pittsburg, was numbered among the medical fraternity of Crawford county for more than fifteen years, and established his large practice in Pittsburg in 1901. Outside of caring for a representative and extensive practice, he had been prominent in his profession in the association and literary lines, and had also taken part in public affairs as far as his private interests would allow.
In the death of Dr. J. W. Porter, the medical profession as well as the social arena of Pittsburg met with a loss that will be deeply felt. He was of that affable, genial and cordial nature which passed as rays of sunshine in the sick chamber as well as at home and the social circle. He was a ripe scholar, and a man who aspired to elevate his worthy calling and profession to a place of prominency in the county of Crawford. He was so well and favorably known in the city of Pittsburg and southeast Kansas in the medical profession, that all classes had learned to revere him for his erudite knowledge and skill as a physician and surgeon. The news of his sudden death occasioned by appendicitis complicated with peritonitis, was received by the city with sorrow. He had, apparently, been in normal health previous to his sudden attack at Kansas City, whither he had gone on a business trip. He realized the serious and grave nature of the attack and came home, where he was confined till his death, which occurred December 14, 1904, at Mt. Carmel Hospital after an operation had been performed.
Dr. Porter was a man of more than passing prominence and importance in the medical profession, as he was a prominent factor in the medical associations of Crawford county and southeastern Kansas.
He cared for his family, befitting his position, and left an affectionate wife and four intelligent children to mourn his death, as well as a large circle of friends, who knew him as a man who was devoted to the noble and self-sacrificing profession of physician. It is with pleasure that these few sentiments of tribute can be truthfully written of Dr. J. W. Porter, to be placed on the pages of the history of Crawford county, where he had prosecuted his labors for almost seventeen years.
Dr. Porter was born on a farm in Jefferson county, Indiana, February 9, 1856. He received his early education in the country schools and the Madison township high school, remaining on the home farm until 1877. He then went to Piatt county, Illinois, where he was engaged in teaching school for four years, and at the same time read medicine. He graduated from the Kentucky School of Medicine at Louisville in 1883, and for a short time practiced at Deland and Parnell, Illinois. In 1885 he moved out to Jetmore, Kansas, and in 1888 established his practice in Litchfield, Crawford county, and in 1901 in Pittsburg.
Dr. Porter was a member of the Crawford County Medical Society, the Southeastern Kansas Medical Society, the Kansas Medical Society and the American Medical Association. He was the organizer, in 1891, of the Southeastern Kansas Medical Society, and served as its president in 1902. He organized the medical society of this county in 1904. He was corresponding secretary of the state society in 1899, and its president in 1902. He was a prominent Mason, belonging to the Pittsburg Lodge and Chapter, the Mt. Joie Commandery and the Abdallah Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He was a worker in the Republican ranks, and was elected and served two years as coroner of Crawford county. He was chairman of the Crawford county pension board, and also county health officer. He had been a leading contributor to medical journals, perhaps more so than any physician in the county, and the interesting chapter on the history of medicine in Crawford county, to be found in this volume, is also the product of his pen.
Dr. Porter married, at Mansfield, Illinois, September 6, 1882, Miss Josie Sheppard. They have one son and three daughters: Herbert, aged eighteen; Leila, fifteen; Glenn E., thirteen; and Mary, eleven.Pages 500-504 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
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