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PORTER, G. Ellis, M.D.


G. Ellis Porter, M.D., was born near Frostburg, Allegany Co., Md., July 9, 1830. He is a descendant in the fifth generation of John Porter, a native of Glouscestershire, near Bristol, England, who had made himself obnoxious to the party in power by singing a song of his own composition at a gathering of his farmer neighbors which was very uncomplimentary to the reigning monarch, George the First, on which account he was obliged to flee the country. He came to America about the year 1715 and settled in Baltimore County. John Porter, his son, and great-grandfather of the doctor, was born in Baltimore County and married a Miss McKenzie, and was the first of the name who settled (1782) in Allegany County. He first purchased a farm near Mount Savage, which he supposed was located in Maryland; but upon the establishment of the boundary line between the States if was found to be in Pennsylvania. On this account he sold it and purchased the farm near Mount Savage now owned and occupied by Henry Weld. He subsequently sold this farm and settled on one near the Eckhart mine, where he died in 1810. His children were Michael, Samuel, Thomas, Gabriel, Henry, Moses, John, and Nellie. The first six were born in Baltimore (now Carroll) County, the two latter while he was living on the farm in Pennsylvania. Gabriel McKenzie Porter, his fourth son, born September, 1776, married, first, Rebecca Frost, of Frostburg, by whom he had five children, vis.: Jane, Josiah, John, Moses, and Margaret, all of whom were married and settled in Allegany County. He died at the residence of his son Moses, April 20, 1842. Moses Porter, his fourth son, born at the homestead, Jan. 10, 1804, married Amy Wade, of Frostburg, April 20, 1826. She was born in Allegany County, April, 1810. Fifteen children were born to them, eight of whom are living, viz.: Margaret Rebecca, wife of John Keyser, a farmer living in Tyrone township, Fayette Co., Pa..; G. Ellis, the subject of this sketch; Samuel Smith, teacher and farmer in Westmoreland Co., Pa.; James Dennis, farmer in Tyrone; George Westley, farmer in Westmoreland Co., Pa.; Elisha, a farmer in Tyrone; Lydia, living at Tyrone; and Lutellus Lindley, physician in Moingona, Boone Co., Iowa.
In 1836, Moses Porter moved to Tyrone township, Fayette Co., where he carried on a farm, and died there June 9, 1880. His wife survives him, living at Tyrone with her daughter Lydia.
Dr. G. Ellis Porter received his primary education in the common school at Tyrone, his academic at the Connellsville and Uniontown Academies. He began the study of medicine with Dr. James M. Porter, of Frostburg, in 1848, with whom he remained eighteen months. He continued his studies in the office of Dr. Lutellus Lindley, of Connellsville, Pa., until September, 1850, after which he attended lectures at Jefferson Medical College during the years 1850-51 and 1852-53, receiving his diploma from that institution in March of the latter year. In April following he entered upon the practice of his profession in company with his former preceptor, Dr. J. M. Porter, at Frostburg, and was associated with him till September, 1856. He then located at Lonaconing, where he built up a large practice, and was its only physician until the breaking out of the war, in 1861. From the first the doctor took a decided stand on the side of the Union, and made the opening speech at a mass-meeting called at Lonaconing for the purpose of raining volunteers in response to the President's call for 75,000 men. A company was raised for the three months' service, and Dr. Porter was elected its captain. Upon the organization of the Second Maryland, Potomac Home Brigade, August, 1861, he was appointed major. In January, 1862, he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and from December, 1863, to the time of its being mustered out of service, Oct. 2, 1864, had command of the regiment. The doctor was appointed in October, 1864, acting assistant surgeon and post surgeon in charge of the hospital at Cumberland, which position he held till the close of the war. In October 1865, he returned to his old field of labor at Lonaconing, where he has since continued in the practice of his profession.
The doctor has made a specialty of surgery, and, located as he is in the centre of the coal-mining region, has been called to do more than ordinary work in that branch of his profession. He has published in the Medical and Surgical Reporter of Philadelphia articles upon the "Sub-Periosteal Excision of the Tibia," "Anterior Extension Splint for Fractures of the Lower Limbs, " and "Wire Extension Splint for Fracture of the Forearm." He is a member of the Medical Society of Allegany County, and was its president in 1876; and a member of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, of which he was second vice-president in 1880. Though enjoying one of the most extensive practices in the region in resides, the doctor has always taken an active interest in politics. He was elected to the Legislature in 1871 on the Republican ticket, and was the candidate of his party for comptroller of the treasury in 1876, but was defeated. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, of the subordinate and Encampment lodges of the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, and of the Knights of Honor. Of the latter he had been twice a representative of the Grand Lodge of Maryland He is a member of the Presbyterian Church of Lonaconing. Dr. Porter married Oct. 18, 1853, Alcinda, daughter of Minor and Elizabeth Gibson. Mrs. Porter was born in Rappahannock County, Va., Feb. 20, 1830. The have had nine children, vis.: Muscoe Shackelford, Francis Gibson, Emma E., Elizabeth Pendleton, Monor Gibson, Alexander Shaw, John St. Pierre, Robert Bruce and Lindley. Muscoe S., John St. Pierre, Robert Bruce, and Lindley are dead.
From History of Western Maryland by John Thomas Scharf (1881)
~Genie
Posted June 21, 2013

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