Jackson County

Biography - Edward K. Porter

EDWARD KININGER PORTER. A resident of Carbondale during the last thirty years, and for twenty-eight years of that period one of the city's active, enterprising and progressive merchants, Edward K. Porter, a leading druggist in this section, has secured a firm footing in the regard and good opinion of the business world of Southern Illinois. And, as he has also taken an earnest interest and a serviceable part in the public affairs of the city and county, he has risen to corresponding esteem among the people generally as a wide-awake, progressive and public-spirited citizen.

Mr. Porter was born at Salem, Illinois, on January 2, 1860, and is a son of Alfred and Lucy (Kininger) Porter. The father was an industrious, skillful and prosperous shoemaker for a number of years, then turned his attention to farming with good results. He had adaptability to circumstances and resourcefulness in meeting requirements, however unexpected they were, and so made all his efforts in whatever occupied his intention tell to his advantage and steady advancement.

The son secured a common and high school education, which he extended by private study and reading. He attended the pharmacy department of the State University at Champaign, from which he was graduated in 1885, legally qualified to practice pharmacy in all its departments. Prior to this time, however, he had served as clerk in a drug store in Moberly, Missouri, during the year 1879. He was also in the same capacity in Carbondale from 1881 to 1893, except while attending the University. In this way he obtained both practical and theoretical knowledge of the business, and was well qualified to conduct it in the most acceptable and capable manner when he became possessed of a drug store of his own in 1893.

In that year he bought an interest in the store of P. A. Prickett, and the name of the firm conducting the establishment became Prickett & Porter. The partnership lasted until 1902, when Mr. Porter purchased Mr. Prickett 's interest in the business and became its sole proprietor. Since then he has carried it on alone, keeping pace with the progress of events and the course of trade, meeting all the requirements of the community in his line, and winning a steadily increasing volume of patronage. He handles drugs, paints, oil, wallpapers, and all kindred commodities, and keeps his stock in each up to the utmost demand and filled with the latest productions of the factories. The prescription department is a specialty to which he gives his personal attention, and in this he uses only the best and purest drugs, and compounds them with the greatest care and highest skill exhaustive study and long practice can give him.

Mr. Porter has given close attention to the public affairs of the city, county and state of his residence, and rendered the people valuable service in the performance of public duties, especially in connection with the cause of public education. He has for years been a member of the city school board, and under the administration of Governor Tanner was treasurer of the Southern Illinois Normal University. When Governor Deneen first became the state executive, Mr. Porter was again appointed to this important position, and he still retains it. His second accession to it was in 1905, and his incumbency has been unbroken since that year.

It is an easy inference from his' repeated appointment to this office that Mr. Porter is a loyal Republican. But while he is always active and effective in the service of his party, he does not let his partnership interfere with his business or overbear his sense of duty to his community. In reference to these interests he is non-partisan, but none the less energetic, enterprising and progressive. No move for the development or improvement of Carbondale or Jackson county goes without his effective aid, and in contributing his help he is found to be both wise in counsel and intelligent, practical and zealous in action.

On the 26th of May, 1886, Mr. Porter was united in marriage with Miss Nellie Davis, of Carbondale, a daughter of John and Martha Davis, esteemed residents of this city, from which the father covered an extensive territory as a traveling salesman. Mr. and Mrs. Porter had two children: Margaret, who is the wife of Harlan P. Curd, of Amarillo, Texas, auditor of the Santa Fe Railroad; and Evelyn, who is living at home with her father and is a student in the Southern Illinois Normal University. Mrs. Porter ended a very useful and appreciated life on April 28, 1899. For years she had been an ardent and faithful worker in her church, the Methodist Episcopal, and in the activities of the Women's Club, of which she was a charter member. Her hand was ready and open, too, in connection with all worthy charitable work in the community. Mr. Porter is a member of the official Board of Methodist Episcopal church, and fraternally he is a Freemason. In this order he gave his lodge valued service for years as secretary.

Extracted 15 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 800-801.

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