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Deacon John Porter, Buckland, Mass., circa 1865
TitleDeacon John Porter, Buckland, Mass., circa 1865
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SubjectPorter, John, deacon, 1792-1872; Congregational Church (Buckland, Mass.); Teachers--Massachusetts--Buckland; Buckland, (Mass.)
DescriptionAccording to The History of Buckland 1779-1935 by Fannie Shaw Kendrick, Deacon John Porter (1792-1872) was an orphan who was adopted and raised in Buckland by Nathan Bachelor. Porter spent most of his life in Buckland, Mass. except for a brief period when about 1860 he removed to Cedar Falls Iowa but soon returned. Porter taught in many of the schools in Buckland and is said to have not only taught Mary Lyon (1797-1849), founder of Mount Holyoke College, but that he was instrumental in Lyon securing her first teaching position. In an 1879 letter to the people of Buckland in honor of the towns Centennial celebration, Bushnell White, U. S. Marshal at Cleveland, Ohio wrote of Porter, We have famous teachers and famous schools in this city, but none of the former equaled Deacon John in his method of teaching, in the interest excited, and in the results accomplished. He taught in that house in winters of 1826-27-28. He was a good and great man; lieutenant and captain of the artillery, the best drilled company in the county or state; superintendent of the Sunday-school and leader of the church choir. According to White, in 1829 Deacon Porter brought the first barrel of wheat flour to Buckland. Another record from Buckland's Centennial festivities provides a rather humorous report of all the roles that Porter played in the community. George D. Crittenden, in his speech about Buckland's Town Fathers, told this anecdote to the thousands of folks gathered: Years ago a party of Buckland people settled on the Holland Purchase, 300 miles west of here, in the state of New York. Years afterwards a Buckland man went out there and they asked him who was the first Selectman in town, and he replied, John Porter. Who is your Deacon? was the next question, and the answer was, John Porter. Who leads your choir? John Porter. Who is Superintendent of your Sabbath School? John Porter. Who is Justice of the Peace? John Porter. Who commands the Militia company? John Porter. Whom did you send to the Legislature last year? John Porter. Out of patience, the next question was, For heaven's sake, who made you? And promptly came the response, John Porter.
RelationFrom the collections of the Buckland Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 88, Buckland, MA, 01338,
Coverage42.60 N, 72.77 W
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