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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #11094

Title: Porter Family 

Dates: 1888-1943

Collection Number:  MSS 11094

Quantity: .5 foot

Abstract: Consists of the papers of Maggie (Coleman) and John Kerr Porter and two of their children, John E. and Margaret Cecile Porter. The Maggie (Coleman) Porter papers include three autograph books with notes written to Maggie while she was in school in Miles City, MT (1888-1893). The John Kerr Porter papers include a personal letter from Governor George F. Shafer’s office to Mr. Porter and an invitation to the Capitol Cornerstone laying ceremony, 1932.  

The John E. Porter papers include blank ballots for the 1928 General and Morton County elections. Margaret Cecile Porter’s papers include ration books, 1942-1943. The collection also includes a plat map for township 141, range 93, Williams County, showing where the family owned land on the northeast and southeast quarters of section 22, ca. 1888. The map is printed on the business card of O. F. Davis, Land Attorney, Bismarck, Dakota Territory. 

Provenance: The Maggie Coleman (Porter) Collection was donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Robert E. Porter on July 26, 2011. The John Kerr Porter Papers (MSS 21077), and John E. and Margaret Cecile Porter Papers were added to the collection on April 24, 2014, which were also donated by Robert E. Porter. 

Property rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.  Permission to use any radio or television broadcast portions of the collection must be sought from the creator.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Related Collections:   
2007-P-018 Robert E. Porter Photograph Collection
2008-P-012 Catherine Coleman Photograph Album

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

Maggie (Margaret) Coleman was born in Iowa to Michael M. and Margaret Coleman in May
1874. Her family moved to Medora in 1882, where her father became associated with the
Marquis de Mores in the cattle business. The family then moved to Livingston, MT. Maggie received her education at the Ursuline convent at Miles City. She married John F. Porter in 1896, and they moved to Mandan in 1910. They remained in Mandan and had four children: Cecile (b.
August 1898), Harold (b. 1902), Bernard (b. 1904), and John E. (b. May 24, 1907). She was prominent in social circles and was a member of several women’s organizations. Maggie Porter died in her Mandan home on December 9, 1931 after a long battle with heart disease and is buried in the Mandan Union Cemetery.

John Kerr Porter was born in Pennsylvania to Alexander and Margaret (McKinley) Porter on
February 7, 1866. He was employed by the Northern Pacific railroad as a conductor. He was a member of the B. P. O. Elks, the order of railroad conductors, and had served several terms on the Mandan park board. He died on August 12, 1944.

John E. Porter was born May 24, 1907, at Dickinson. He was raised and educated in Mandan and graduated from Mandan High School in 1925. He worked as a bookkeeper for Mandan Creamery and Big Van Motors before his employment as auditor for the State Highway Department. He married Millicent Fowler on September 21, 1935 in Mandan and they had one son, Robert. John retired in 1973. An avid reader, John particularly enjoyed books about the West. He was a past exalted ruler of Mandan Elks, and a past president of the Mandan Eagles. He died December 12, 1994 and is buried at the Mandan Union Cemetery.

BOX / FOLDER INVENTORY

Box 1:
1 Maggie Coleman Autograph book, 1888-1890
2 Maggie Coleman Autograph book, 1888-1890
3 Maggie Coleman Autograph book, 1888-1890
4 John E. Porter blank ballots for the 1928 General and Morton County elections
5 John K. Porter letter and invitation to capitol cornerstone laying, 1932
6 Margaret Cecile Porter ration books, 1942-1943
7 Plat map for township 141, range 93, Williams County, ca. 1888

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