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Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa
Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887

GEORGE S. PORTER, the pioneer druggist of Van Horne, was born in Lancaster County, Pa., Oct. 14, 1839. His parents were James and Mary H. (Hamilton) Porter, who were also natives of the Keystone State. James Porter was an extensive business man, operating a flouring-mill and distillery, and was also a farmer by vocation. In 1850 the family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where the good wife and mother departed this life in her sixty-second year. The father subsequently removed to Pittsburgh, where his death occurred at the advanced age of eighty-one years. They were the parents of fourteen children, of whom six died in early youth and three after reaching maturity. The eldest child, William H., was one of the largest dealers in iron roofing in the city of Cincinnati at the date of his demise, which occurred when he was fifty-six years of age; he left a family of seven children; Margaret married William J. Anderson, and her death occurred at the age of thirty-six years, leaving one daughter; Henry H. died when eighteen years of age. The five living are James, who went to California in 1849, thence to Australia, and, being of a roving disposition and unmarried, has no permanent home; Hays H. is living in Excelsior, Minn.; George S., our subject; Mary J. is living in Chicago; and Emma is married to O. W. Ballard, a resident of Chicago.

George S. Porter received his education in the common schools, and until his eighteenth year assisted his father in the labors on the farm. He then commenced mercantile life, clerking for his brother, in the iron business. Subsequently he "measured tape by the yard" in a dry-goods establishment, and "weighed sugar and butter" in a grocery house at Center Hall, Pa. In 1871 he went to Excelsior, Minn., but the following year returned to Pennsylvania, and the next year, 1873, came to Iowa and located in this county. Here, in the neighborhood of Vinton, he followed farming for about seven years, meeting with success in that vocation. In the fall of 1881 he moved to Van Horne and erected the second business house in that place, being at that time associated with A. L. Hopwood as partner, and they engaged in the drug business, under the firm name of Hopwood & Co., and this was the first drug house established at that place. Jan. 2, 1885, Mr. Porter became sole proprietor of the business and has continued the same until the present time. In the spring of 1864 he enlisted in Co. E, l97th Pa. Vol. Inf., and served until the close of the war.

Mr. Porter was married at Vinton, Oct. 8, 1873, to Miss Marie De Lhorbe, a native of Paris, France, who came to this country when sixteen years of age. They have five children — George, Paul, Grace, Henrietta and Louis. In politics our subject affiliates with the Republican party, giving it his stanch support. He has held some of the local offices, filling them with credit to himself and satisfaction to all concerned. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. and G. A. R.

Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies"  [database online]  Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 239.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009.  Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.

Return to: 1887 Biography Index

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