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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   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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JOHN PORTER ESQ. “In the scarlet splendor of the summer morn, July 12, 1825, he was born,” near old Drumore, Ireland.

Early in life the family emigrated to America, and after a perilous voyage over sea and mountains took up their residence in Robinson township, this county. At the death of the father, they removed to Pittsburgh, then, compared with the present city, a small place. At the early age of twelve the subject of this sketch entered the employment of Jones & Coleman as a carriage-spring apprentice, afterward becoming foreman of that department of the mill, and the acknowledged leader of car-and carriage-spring-makers in the city. He remained with this industry about thirty years. On October 3, 1847, he married Miss Eliza Jane Dunseath, a worthy Christian lady, also a resident of Pittsburgh. This happy couple were blessed with two sons and two daughters, James Oscar, superintendent of the Ironton (Ohio) Nail-works; Ida, now Mrs. Samuel J. Brown, who resides on a part of the old homestead, in Penn township; John, a practicing physician of McKeesport, this county; Eva, the youngest, at home. Always possessed of a keen taste for nature, in 1859 Mr. Porter’s ambition to own a country home was gratified. This he named Salem Hights, and, on a beautiful eminence overlooking the picturesque Allegheny valley, in after years he built his mansion home, which he surrounded by fruit and shade trees, vines and flowers of the choicest varieties. In this lovely home the beloved wife of his youth and daughter Eva now live.

In politics Squire Porter was clean and honest, acting most of his life with the republican party, only stepping aside when he thought them in the wrong. His religious belief was always clear and generous, hating hypocrisy, and dwelling with pleasure upon the immortality of the soul. An active and respected member of Mount Hope Lodge, I. O. O. F., serving them many years as representative in the grand lodge, also of the Verona Lodge, No. 548, F. & A. M., having been a charter member of both, they followed him in their respective bodies to his last resting-place. Having not yet reached on life’s highway the stone that marks the highest point, he became weary, and in the wintry hush of the eventide, Feb. 26, 1884, he died at his home, Penn township. In the family burial-lot, on a lovely sloping mound, in the Allegheny cemetery, while the setting sun threw a splendor of glistening shadows over the beautiful snow, beside his dear old mother, loving hearts bade him “good night.”

Dead? No!
There is no death! what seems so is transition:
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call death!

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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