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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Johnson County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Judge J. B. Porter is recognized as a man of sound judgment and practical ability, and his practical sagacity, and keen insight into the motives and methods of men, have been of great benefit to him in the different official capacities in which he has served. He was born in Johnson County, Ark., February 22, 1839, to Thomas B. and Mary (Covington) Porter, both of whom were born in Tennessee, where they were married. In 1836 they removed to Arkansas, and for a long time were engaged in farming in Johnson County, their family of six sons and three daughters (four born in Tennessee and five in Arkansas) being as follows: Jane E., John W., Amanda T., Eliza, J. B., James C. C., Thomas B., William F. and Edmund L. The mother of these children died on October 20, 1858, and in October of the following year Mr. Porter married Mrs. Elizabeth Beluh, widow of Rainey Beluh, but he was so unfortunate as to lose this wife also, in May of the following year. In March, 1861, a Mrs. Chauncey became his wife, but after a wedded life of five years she, too, passed away and was succeeded by Miss Phoebe Boyer as the wife of Mr. Porter. The latter died on December 24, 1883, being then seventy-nine years of age, having lived on the place where he settled from October, 1836, until his death. His last union resulted in the birth of one child, Victory, wife of J. C. Payne, a farmer, by whom she has four children. They reside in Johnson County, Ark., and Mrs. Payne’s mother lives with her. Judge J. B. Porter was the fifth one of the family, and was the first one born after the removal of his parents to Arkansas, he and three brothers and two sisters being the only ones of the family that are living. On January 5, 1860, the Judge was married to Miss Nancy C. Baskin, and to their union the following children were born: Mary E., Dora A., John T., William, James R., Augustus F., Una S., Guy C., Amy B., all of whom are single, but Mary, who married C. F. Ogilvie, a son of James Ogilvie. John T. is a clerk in Cravens & Cravens store at Hartman. Judge Porter is the owner of 150 acres of land, 60 of which are under cultivation, and besides this property has a half interest in a cotton-gin and grist mill. In November, 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate Army, becoming a member of Company C, First Arkansas, Mounted Rifles (Churchill’s regiment), and prior to going east of the river in 1862, was in the fight at Pea Ridge, and afterward took part in nearly all the principal engagements in which the Army of Tennessee participated. He received a flesh wound at the battle of Franklin, Tenn., and soon after this was furloughed home. While there he was captured by the Federals and was taken to Little Rock, where he was kept until June 10, 1865, reaching home on the 19th of the same month. He immediately engaged in farming, and in 1880 was elected county judge, re-elected in 1884 and 1886, but prior to that had been justice of the peace for about eight years. In 1890 he was nominated on the Union Labor ticket for representative to the Legislature, but was defeated. He and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and he is a free contributor to schools, churches and all public enterprises. He is an elder in his church, has been a school director for many years, and he is a man worthy of all honor and esteem, for, as above stated, he is upright in every worthy particular. He had two brothers killed in the Confederate Army, Thomas B., May, 1862, at Corinth, Miss.; James C. C., August, 1862, at Richmond, Ky.

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This family biography is one of 65 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Johnson County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Arkansas family biographies here: Johnson County, Arkansas

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