Obituary for Sanford Porter
For a short time, I was dealing with a brick wall at my husband’s 5x great grandfather, Nathaniel Porter and his wife Tabitha Warner. After searching online genealogy sites to no avail, I finally decided to do a basic genealogy search in Google using both of their names in quotes. The only result I got was a site about Sanford Porter and his descendants. Sanford turned out to be the son of our Nathan’s father by a second wife.
The new information on this site enabled me to expand the genealogy back two more generations.
The most interesting discovery though, was detailed and extensive information about the descendants of Sanford Porter Sr. On this very interesting site, I found a treasure trove of photographs and first hand accounts of the family history.
What turned out to be most interesting and shocking though, was learning that Sanford Sr., our Nathan’s half-brother, was the noted pioneer of Utah Territory, one of the original followers of Joseph Smith of the Latterday Saints and the founder of Porterville, Utah, one of the Mormon strongholds.
Having friends that are Mormon, this information didn’t strike me as unusual, probably because my friends are not members of the branch of the church that believes in plural marriage. Therefore, it was all the more shocking to suddenly learn that Sanford and his descendants were original practitioners of plural marriage within the Mormon church, Sanford having two wives and his male descendants having as many as three plural wives.
The Porters of Utah were at the forefront of the persecution by the government and were forced to move several times to evade the hostile actions of others.
Although the first hand accounts of life in the church depict it to be everything they wanted despite the hostilities, there are some accounts by the women of later generations that express varying degrees of dissatisfaction with the practice.
In a journal of the time, the following is recorded about Sanford Porter Sr.:
“Telegraphed to Deseret News, a veteran Gone. Another Old veteran of Jackson Co. Mo–Father Porter of Porterville has Gone. Funeral 1 P. M. today.” The Deseret News Weekly of Feb. 19th 1873 noted the following “Died at Porterville, Morgan County, February 9th, of old age, SANFORD PORTER, Sen., aged 82 years, 11 months and 2 days: Deceased was born in Brimfield, Mass., on the 7th day of March, 1790. He served his country in the war of 1812, and embraced the Gospel in Tazewell county, Illinois, June 1831. He was ordained an Elder under the hands of Lyman Wight and John Carl (Corrill), and soon raised up a small branch of the church, which he organized into a company, and started on the 1st of December, 1831, f or Jackson county, Missouri, arriving at Independence on the 6th of March, 1833. From thence he was driven, in company with the Saints, in the f all of 1833. He fled with a few f amilies into Van Buren Co., where he resided until the spring of 1839, when he was again obliged to leave his possessions, and take up the line of march. He arrived in Lee Co., Iowa, the f irst of July. Here he enj oyed a season of rest in the society of the Saints. He was expelled, with the Nauvoo Saints, in 1846. Following the pioneers, he arrived in Salt Lake Valley in October, 1847. He honorably held various of f ices in the church. He was the first resident in Porterville, and had remarkable f aith. He lived as a Saint, and died in full possession of his mental powers. His children, grandchildren and great grandchildren number 157 souls, most of whom attended his funeral.”
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- Sanford Porter Sr., “Sanford Porter’s History,” Sanford Porter.org, Journal (http://www.sanfordporter.org/SanfordSr01.html#Begin).
- Nathan Tanner Porter, “Nathan Tanner Porter Personal History: Journal of Nathan Tanner Porter,” SanfordPorter.org (http://www.sanfordporter.org/NTPorterPH01.html).
- Nathan Tanner Porter, “Missionary Journal,”SanfordPorter.org (http://www.sanfordporter.org/NTPnote02.html).
- Rulon E. Porter, “History and Genealogy of the Porter Family,” article, (http://www.sanfordporter.org/PorterFamily01.html).
- “Lyman Wight Porter (1833-1914),” article, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org/LWPorter01.html).
- Nancy Rich Porter, “John President Porter,” article, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org/page10i.html).
- Francis Lysander Porter, “Autobiography of the life of Francis Lysander Porter,” article, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org/page10p.html).
- Amy Zenora Porter, “History of Amy Zenora Porter,” article, SanfordPorter.org, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org/page10h.html).
- Marcia Cluff Beatty, “David William Cluff,” article, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org f 01.html).
- Rhea Eliza Porter White, “In My Father’s House Were Many Miracles: Based on Journal Entries of Orson Merit Porter,” article, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org/OrsonMeritPorter01.html).
- Alma Porter, “History of Alma Porter,” article, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org/AlmaPorter01.html).
- Amy Hoyt Porter Hansen, “Amy Hoyt Porter Hansen,” article, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org/AHPHansen01.html).
- Bruce J. Black, “Lydia Ellen (Nellie) Porter Black: A Short Biography,” article, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org/NellieP01.html).
- Bonnie Heidenreich, “Amy Sumner Porter: A Presentation about Amy Sumner Porter based on historical records.,” article, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org/AmySumner01.html).
- “Ralph Orlando Porter,” article, SanfordPorter.org (http://sanfordporter.org/ROP01.html).
- Mildred H. Christensen, “John President Porter Jr.,” article, sanfordporter.org (http://sanfordporter.org/page10j.html).
- Eliza Ford, “Families of Nathan Tanner Porter,” article, Nathan Tanner Porter Genealogy Website (http://nathantannerporter.homestead.com/ChildrenofNathanandEliza.html).
- Ann Eliza Porter Clark, “: 22 Oct 1862 – 12 Jun 1927,” article, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org/AEPorterClark01.html).
- Nancy Areta Porter Mattice, “Wagon Companies,” article, Nathan Tanner Porter and Rebecca Cherry Family (http://nathantannerporter.homestead.com/index.html).
- “Amy Vilate Porter White: Compiled by Mildred W. Straw,” Article, SanfordPorter.org (http://www.sanfordporter.org/AVPorter01.html).
- Joseph Smith Porter, “Joseph Smith Porter (1865-1949),” article, sanfordporter.org (http://sanfordporter.org/JosephSPorter01.html).
- Veda Jane Porter Mortimer, “Biography of Hyrum Kilburn Porter: Edited by her son, George A. Mortimer,” article, SanfordPorter.org, (http://sanfordporter.org/HyrumKPorter01.html).
- SanfordPorter.org, tombstone (http://sanfordporter.org/page4a.html).
- George A. Mortimer, “Autobiography of Adria Rich Porter,” submitted by George A. Mortimer, SanfordPorter.org (http://sanfordporter.org/AdriaPorter01.html).