History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 536
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536 HISTORY OF TEXAS.
part in the greater conflict which came off
W few years later, and of which this fight was
in the nature of a prelude to a play. He died
in 1833, of cholera.
John W. Porter, the other member of this
pioneer family and the father of the subject
of this notice, came to Texas six years later
than his brother Beverly. He was then married
and the head of a family. He left Nashville,
Tennessee, April 3, 1833, with a flatboat
loaded with pork and staves. Upon this
boat he and his family started down the
Cuinberland river for New Orleans, which
city they reached by way of the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers. At New Orleans he disposed
of his "barter" to good advantage, and
taking a sail-boat turned his face toward
Texas. Reaching Velasco lie fitted up a
wagon train, and striking northward journeyed
as far as what is now Burleson county,
in the western portion of which he found a
beautiful stretch of country, where he pitched
his tent and turned loose his stock. This strip
of country, since called Porter's prairie, in
honor of this pioneer, has always been one of
the best settled portions of the county and
noted for the superiority of its citizenship.
John W. Porter resided where he first cast
his lot in the then unsettled regions of
Central Texas until his death in 1846,--
twelve years later.
He N as for a number of years actively and
conspicuously connected with the history of
t lis locality. His principal business pursuits
were farming and stock-raising. mainly the
latter, the open country affording abundant
range. He filled the offices of Justice of the
Peace, County Clerk, and JChief Justice, the
functions of which offices he discharged
always with a view to the public good, and
died in the enjoyment of the efteen and
respect of those among whom he had lived.
The wife of John W. Porter, one of those
courageous, self-sacrificing women whose
devotion to their husbands and families, and
whose skill in domestic affairs as much as
anything else rendered the problem of the
settlement of this country possible, was a
native of Tennessee, where she was trained to
the habits of industry and usefulness and
brought up in the practice of the ways of
pioneer life. Her maiden name was Susan '
Eaton, and she was a daughter of the Rev.
Robert Eaton, a Baptist minister well known
in southern Kentucky and central and western
Tennessee from half to three quarters of
a century ago. This family of Eatons has
furnished a number of distinguished citizens
to Tennessee and Kentucky, among them
being teachers, preachers and politicians. The
present Congressman of that name from
Tennessee is a member of the family, and the
Rev. T. T. Eaton, of Louisville, Kentucky,
the able Baptist divine, another member.
Mrs. Porter died in Burleson county in
1856, about the age of fifty-five. Eight sons
were born to her and her husband, most of
whom were. born and reared in Texas. Jerome
B., the eldest, died in Burleson county, about
1856; Robert U. is the subject of this notice;
Newell died in 1862, in Burleson county;
Milton was a minister of the Methodist
Church for a number of years, and died in
Anderson county, Texas; John lives in Bell
county; Beverly A. is a citizen of Burleeon
county, a sketch of his life appearing in this
work; William died in infancy; and Thomas
lives in Bell county.
Robert U. Porter, the eldest of the family
now living, and the one whose name forms
the caption of this article, was born in Butler .
county, Kentucky, December 12, 1825. He
was in hlis eighth year when his parents
came to Texas. His boyhood and youth were
HISTOR Y FTXS
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/579/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .