More on the Porters- Maureen Smith
Nathaniel Porter, son of Nathaniel & Mary Porter, was born in 1801 in Fairdown County Down Ireland according to his obituary.
He was the second of 14 sons, who came to this country with his parents in 1816 and settled in West Springfield, MA. He came to Ohio in 1820 with his parents and settled in Elyria. He had returned to West Springfield shortly afterwards as we learn from a letter written by Justin Ely in West Springfield to his brother Heman Ely in Elyria, dated July 12, 1822, it says..
“…Nathaniel Porter has paid in $25.00 which he wishes to have paid to his father. (in which I will then credit) I believe that with John or Nathaniel will go out this fall to their parents. Either of them would make good inhabitants of a new country.”
Nathaniel had planned to go to Elyria in the fall of 1822 with his brother John, Thomas, and possibly Alexander. My guess is that he did not make the trip as he married Hannah Kneeland a few months later in West Springfield on November 9, 1822. She was born abt 1793, the daughter of Edward Kneeland Jr, and Elizabeth Betsy Peck.
Hannah and Nathaniel had one child, a daughter Hannah born November 27, 1824 in West Springfield MA. His wife, Hannah Kneeland Porter, died January 2, 1828, at the age of 35, and is buried in Ashleyville Cemetery, Riverdale Street, West Springfield. MA. Three years later, on October 23, 1831, Nathaniel married Clarissa Kneeland, sister to Hannah, in West Springfield, MA. Clarissa, the youngest daughter of Edward Jr. and Elizabeth (Peck) Kneeland, was born about 1809. A year after their marriage, they left West Springfield for Elyria, Ohio on Sunday, October 21, 1832 according to a letter written by Heman Ely, which says in part…
” Your letter of September 22 was duly received. I did not forward you the mortgage from Mr. Brooks as I understand that Nathaniel Porter was to go in a few days by whom I preferred sending it rather than by the mail. I gave it to him last Saturday and he left here on Sunday evening (October 21). He said he expects to get to Elyria in about two weeks from that time in which case he will probably arrive there before this reaches you. I put up and send by him a package of books which I got at the Sunday School Depository at Springfield some of which you will find interesting for you and your family.”
Eleven days after he left West Springfield, Nathaniel was naturalized a citizen of the United States on October 31,1832 in Elyria Court of Common Pleas, Lorain County along with his brothers, Alexander, James & Thomas. He purchased an acre of land in Elyria, north of the river in 1834, and a year later, along with his brother Robert, purchased 54 acres of land that adjoined his lot. He was said to be one of the first brick makers in Sullivan, and his kilns were used to make bricks that built buildings from Cleveland to Sandusky, and that he also had an active part in the logging business.
It is also said, that in 1833, he and Clarissa move to Black River Township, when their first born son James was two weeks old, however, Nathaniel first purchased land in Black River on Nov 1st, 1836. He purchased lot # 96 in the original Charleston Village located on the south side of Erie Street (2nd Street) and west of Mechanics Alley (Hamilton Ave). The lot being where 224, and 226 Hamilton Ave is today.
His brother Thomas also purchased land in Black River Twp in the year 1836. Whether they rented or lived with a family prior to their purchasing land, is not known. In the 1870 census, we find for the first time, Nathaniel not listed as head of the household, in fact James was listed as head of the household with Nathaniel residing with him.
Nathaniel and Clarissa together had 8 children. James, the eldest was born October 20th or 21, 1833 in Elyria Oh, Clarissa Cornelia, born January 22, 1835, Samuel born July 17, 1836, Edward Kneeland, born July 28, 1838, Caroline, born Jan 26, 1841, Alexander, born March 15 or 16, 1843, and twins, Juliaette born March 16, 1846 and Julian born March 17, 1846. Clarissa died December 8, 1855 and is buried in the north eastern section of Charleston Cemetery, Lorain OH.
Her headstone reads;
Wife of Nathaniel Porter
Died Dec 8, 1855
Aged 46 years
Nathaniel died March 27, 1877. His funeral was held in the M. E. Church. There is no headstone nor are there records to indicate where Nathaniel is buried, one can only assume that he is buried beside Clarissa.
Following is his obituary from the Elyria Republican, April 5, 1877.
(Nathaniel Porter: died March 27th, 1877)
Mr. Nathaniel Porter, father of Capts. Jas. and E.K. A. & D. Porter, was found dead in his bed at the Porter house, between 6 and 7 o’clock on the morning of the 27th inst. Mr Porter was born in the town of Fairdown, County Down, Ireland, and came to this country in the year 1817, settling in Massachusetts, from whence he removed with his folks to Elyria in 1820(?). He was the eldest, but one of a family of 14 boys. The deceased has been a great sufferer for many years. Mr P., was 76 years of age at the time of death. He was the father of a family of 10 children, all of whom survived him. The funeral services were held in the M.E. Church on Thursday afternoon. The Rev. J.B. Stocking, of the Congregational Church, preaching the sermon. p.90 12th v.; the Rev. A.P. Jones assisted in the services.