June 2, 1979 Interview with Jim Porter (son of John C. Porter, son of Andrew J. Porter)

†††† with Everett Porter (son of Jasper, son of Alex, son of Andrew J. Porter)

 

JC:June 2, 1979.Interview with Jim Porter, only living son of John C. Porter.

Grace Porter (JCís grandma): And he has one sister living.

Grace:I believe he is 85 or 86.

Jim:I know he is way up there.(Referring to Everett Porter (son of Alex, son of AJP)

JC:Iíll look him up.

Jim:Iím going on 80 you know.79 Past.

Everett:Iíll soon be 75, in July.

Jim:Oh, I remember your Dad (Jasper) and all of them.

Everett:I remember you way back before you was married.

Jim:I think I used to see you around here working at the mines.I passed you a time or two on the road.

Everett:Ya, I passed here every day for years.

Jim:But I didnít know you then.

Alice:Weíve been living here 58 years.

Grace:58 years.

Alice:Thatís a long time.

JC to Jim:Were you born in 1899?

Jim:Ya.Dec. 1899.You see, my age runs with the years.Itís 79 and Iím 79.In 1980, Iíll be 80.

Everett:That would be easy to count it.Now Swetnam Branch is right down there?

Jim:Ya, it comes right back up over in here.I worked over there.Did you work there?

Everett: Ya, I worked there.I drilled up here on Ditney? Ridge.

Alice to Grace:Was you a Manning?

Grace:No, I was an Erwin.Steve Erwinís girl.

Jim:Steve Erwin.Iíve heard of Steve Erwin.

Grace:Ya, my father died in 1923.

Jim:Ya, Iíve heard of Steve Erwin.I worked with Walter Erwin.He lived down the creek here.You know Walter?

Grace:Oh ya.Ya heís a cousin.His father was a cousin to my dad.

Everett:Let JC ask what he wants to find out.

JC:Letís see.You had a sister named Lucy?

Jim:Ya, she was the oldest.

JC: And William?

Jim:Will, ya.

JC: And Rebecca?

Jim:Ya.

JC: And Mary?

Jim:There is one between there that is living.Florence.

JC:You are the only one in your family living arenít you?

Jim:Me and Florence.

JC: Oh, you have a younger sister?

Jim:She is two years younger than I am.She lives over at Wheelersburg, Ohio.

Alice:Florence Williams, she is a widow.

Jim:We had a sister that died when she was 4 years old.I donít remember her.

JC: Did you have any other brothers and sisters?

Jim:No, just me and Florence living.

JC: There wasnít any others?

Jim:No, just six of us.

JC:You said your mom used to talk about her family?

Jim:Ya, the Catrons.

JC:Was she from the same place in Virginia that your dad was?

Jim:Well, I donít know about that.

Alice:Your daddy wasnít from Virginia.

Jim:Ya, I think he was.

JC:Ya, your dad was born in Virginia.

Alice:Oh, I didnít know it.

Jim:As I said while ago, he never told us nothing.

JC:Oh he didnít?

Jim:No.About his life much.

JC:He kept pretty good records didnít he?Didnít he keep all of his tax records and things like that?

Jim:Taxes yes, but he never did tell us, now my mother, she was born in Wythe county, Virginia, Catrons.

JC:Whatíd she say about them?When did they come here?Do you know?

Jim:I believe it was right after the civil war.They come through in a wagon.†† They was a week or two on the road you know.They come through some place down at Little Sandy or Big Sandy River.And out here at Stark (KY) was the Kegleys.See, my grandmother was a Kegley.

Everett:She was?

Jim:The Kegleys come through there.

JC:They came from Virginia also?

Jim:Ya. they come in together, the Catrons and the Kegleys.My grandmother is buried at Stark.

JC:Who was your momís father?What was his name?

Jim:Well he is buried over here at that cemetery by Johnny Catronís.He lived 10 years longer than my grandmother did.She is buried at Stark.They lived at Stark at that time.

Alice:What was his name?

Jim:I donít remember.I never seen him that I can remember.I guess he died before I was born.

Everett:(Mentioned something about Jimís grandfather on his fatherís side)

Jim:Ya, he was William Andrew wasnít he.He is buried at Fairview.

JC:Ya, Andrew Porter.

Jim:Ya, theyíre both buried at Fairview.

JC:Lucy Cornett was his wife.Andrew Porter and Lucy.Her maiden name was Cornett.

Jim:It was?See I didnít know that.

JC:Have you ever heard anything about how it was in Virginia for them?

Jim:Well my mother used to talk about the civil war a whole lot.

JC:Whatíd she say about it?

Jim:All she knowíd, she was born in 1860 you see.At the close of it, she was only 4 years old.All she got was from her mother.They lived there in the time of the civil war, and there was a lot of fighting going on there.

JC:They were probably confederates in the civil war?

Jim:Now there was a bunch come in.Along at the last, she could remember.There was a bunch of them come in, riding old horses that they had rode to death.They turned em loose and caught every horse they had but one.They just took them and went off.

JC:They stole the familyís horses?

Jim:She could remember seeing her horses go off she said.Good horses you know.They left the old plugs there.

JC:Is that right?

Jim:Ya.

Everett:Thatís pretty bad ainít it.

Jim:They didnít ask him.He was afraid to say anything,and she did tell us, my great grandpa I guess, he was kind of like I am now, I canít hear too good either.He couldnít either.So he gets on his old horse.He thinks heíll ride out to see what the war is going on, the fighting.They hollered for him to halt, but he didnít hear them.He just went on.They didnít know he was deaf.So they just shot his horse out from under him.

Everett:Oh they did?

Jim:Ya, thatís what she told us.

JC:That was your momís grandpa?

Jim:Ya, that would have been my motherís grandpa.Thatís what her mother told her.Now my dad wouldnít talk much.

JC:He didnít say anything that you can remember?

Jim:He didnít tell us much.

Everett:He may not have known much about that.

Jim: He (John C.) was the youngest of the family.

JC:He had a younger sister, Emma, she married a Hanners.She was a few years younger than him.She was born here in Elliott county. (We have since learned that is incorrect, that she did not marry a Hanners, and she was not born in Elliott county.She was actually born in 1864 Grayson co VA.)

Jim:She was?

JC: Ya, after they came here.

Jim:After they came to Stark?

JC:Ya, but your dad was born in Virginia.

Jim:He was?Well I thought he was the baby of the family.

JC:He was born in Grayson, but they were from Wythe County also.They are right there next to each other.

Jim:Uncle Levi, he was in the civil war.

JC:What do you know about that?

Jim:His father (Andrew Porter) was kind of sickly, and they could come to get you.He got on the south side you see.Which ever side came to get you, you went.They didnít ask you to go.Theyíd say come on and go, youíve got to go.Thatís all there was to it.

JC:Did he replace his dad in the warĒ

Jim:Ya, his dad (Andrew Porter) was sick.He (Levi) was just 18.They wouldnít take you if you was too young.He told them, Iíll go in dadís place.If youíll take me that way, and they did.Thatís how come him to be in it.

JC:Did you ever hear about him being captured?

Jim:No, he was never captured that I know of.

JC:He was captured, he was a prisoner for about 6 months.

Jim:Was he?

JC: Ya.

Jim:Well my dad never told nothing about that.In fact, he didnít tell us hardly anything.

JC:Leviís wife was from Virginia also.They were married before they ever came to Kentucky.

Jim:I guess they was.

JC:What do you know about her?She was a Lundy.

Jim:I never seen her in my life.

Everett:I stayed all night with her.

Jim:I never was out there at his place.Uncle Levi used to come to our place.

JC:What do you know about the Bumgardners?Steve Porterís wife was a Bumgardner.

Jim:Granville Bumgardner, I remember him.He come to our place.Oh, he was old.

JC:Ya, that was Steveís father in law.

Jim:Ya, he is buried at Fairview.

JC:He is?Granville Bumgardner is?

Jim:Ya, Granville Bumgardner.He had a brother named Stewart.Ofcourse I didnít know him.Stewart Bumgardner come here in this Rowan county war.†† Somebody laywayed him right down here by the creek.Shot him off his horse.

JC:Rowan county war?What was that?

Jim:Tolliver-Martin War.

Everett:They had a feud here.

Jim:That happened in about 1885.I got that from my wifeís uncle.He just died about a year ago.

Alice:Two years ago.

Jim:He was 101 years old.He showed me the picture of Norman Wells.He showed me the picture of soldiers come in there kept ________ trouble.The Tollivers, the Martins and the Days was into it too.I knowíd a lot of old civil war veterans.Mace Day was into it.

Everett:Iíve heard of him, but I didnít know him.

Jim:Youíve heard of Mace Day havenít you?

Everett:I think Iíve heard of him, but I didnít know him.

Jim:He used to be around Hoggtown.Great feller to pick at you.I think he was into that Rowan county war a little bit.

JC:Was that Granville Bumgardner from Virginia?Same place in Virginia?

Jim:Well, I donít know.I just can remember him being at our place one time.Some of them got us a little box of peanuts, and there was a toy in it.And how I can remember him, it had a little glass on top of it about that big around.It had a little thing like a pot? egg in there, and there was a hole in the bottom of it and you could look through that glass, and you would see if you could put that egg in that hole, and he wanted to try.He was as old as I am, and he was shaking, and he couldnít do that.He got tickled and laughed all over himself.I can remember him over here in this old log house.Thatís all I can remember about him.I donít believe heís even got a tombstone up there at Fairview to show where he is buried.But heís buried there.

JC:Did the Porters come on a wagon train also from Virginia?

Jim:Well, I donít know about that, my dad never did tell us.

JC:He didnít say anything?

Jim:No sir, he didnít.

JC:I wonder why?

Jim:Well sir, I donít know why.

Everett:Well dad (Jasper Porter) never did talk about it.I think he said they come through in wagons, but Iím not sure.Fact of the matter, I didnít even know where they come from.

Jim:Well I thought that dad and all of them come from old Virginia, but I donít know what county or nothing.Cause he never did tell.

Everett:You went there to the courthouse and got the records didnít you?

JC:Ya.Me and my cousin Scott went.We might go back down there Monday.Back to Virginia where they came from.

Jim:Do you know what county it is?

JC:Ya.Grayson county.

Jim:Grayson county?

JC:It is right there on the North Carolina border.

Jim:It is right there south of Wythe county.I believe Iíve seen it.

JC:Ya, Wythe county is here, and Grayson county is here.They are side by side.

Jim:Iíve looked it up on the map.

JC:Wythe is spelled WYTHE.Letís see, do you know all of Leviís children?There was an Edward, Laura, Calhoun, James, Ruth, Lula, Arthur.Do those sound familiar?

Jim:Ya, I knowíd of Arthur and Byrd.

JC:Bert?

Jim:They called him Bird is all I know.

JC:How do you spell that?

Jim:BIRD I reckon.

Everett:Bird is what they always called him.

Jim:Bob is buried out here on the ridge by the old house.He come out there and buried his wife out there from the house.They buried him there too.Right out here on the ridge.

JC:Was Leviís boy Jim the one that was the lawyer in Olive Hill?

Jim:Ya, we called him Crippled Jim, because he got crippled in his legs.He kind of hopped.I had an uncle named Jim you know.So we called him Crippled Jim.

JC:He was your cousin then?

Jim: Ya.

JC:How did he get to be a lawyer?Did he go to college?Or did they just go in there and say, ďI want to be a lawyer.Ē

Jim:I believe he just took it up.

Everett:Back then they didnít have to go through a lot of stuff like they do now.

Jim:Kind of like a lot of doctors.You just took it up and said. ďIím a doctor.ĒWe had a bunch of them around here that way.We had two doctor Porters around here.I think that is the way they started.

Everett:Theyíve got one down there at Morehead now, ainít they?

Jim:Ya, Nels? boy.

Everett:Who?

Jim:Nels? Porterís boy.He lived right here in Elliott.

Everett:I didnít know if he was any relation to us or not.He said he didnít know.

Jim:No, not that I know of.I used to hear my mother talk about Nelís mother.Said she called her Sally Porter.She knowíd her from Stark.†† No relation that I know of.††† Old Doc Sam (Porter?) told me that his people come from old Virginia.(17:00)He said we could be ________.

JC:Doc who?

Jim:He was old.

Everett:Maybe some of them went different ways, and then didnít know they were related.

JC:You say heís a Porter, Doc Sam is?

Jim:Doctor Sam and Doc _________.Both of them was brothers.

JC:And theyíre Porters?

Jim:Theyíre Porters.†† (Other conversation, hard to understand.)

JC:Do you know your Uncle Jimís kids?Iíve got Lucy, Andrew, Edward, Katie, Bessie, Floyd, Ellet, Willey.Do you know of any others?

Everett:You knowíd Ellet didnít you?

Jim:We called him Bill, younger, and Charlie.

Everett:Ellet was the one that had such long legs, and he would ride them there horses.He could ride a mule or anything.

Jim:I just kind of remember my uncle Jim.

Everett:Andy, wasnít he a brother to Andy?Andy and Ellet.They was Uncle Jimís boys.

Jim:I believe Lucy, she married a Middleton, and they went to Idaho.I believe it was Idaho wasnít it?

Everett:I donít know.

Jim:She married Joe Middletonís boy.And they went to Idaho.

JC:How was that, that Jim porter got killed?

Jim:Him and, oh whatís his name, Kegley.What was that Kegleyís name?

Everett:Iíve heard dad tell about it.

Alice:I know he is a Kegley, and thatís all.

Everett:It was over a school election or something wasnít it.

Jim:Well I guess it was.It was at Sandy Hook.Kegley, I know his name if I could think of it.I donít know him though, never seen him.They got into it in an office at Sandy Hook someway.Uncle Jim was pretty high tempered.

JC:He was.

Everett:He drank right smart.

Jim:He drank some, ya.He might have been drinking.It was 1907 you know.No, it was 1906.Then Ed was killed in 1907.

JC:Who is Ed?His son Ed?

Jim:Ya, thatís his boy.

JC:How was he killed.

Jim:At Stark.I was out there not long ago in the old building he got killed in.Me and my oldest boy was there.And I told him, Glennis, right there is where Ed Porter got killed.That old building is setting there yet.

Everett:Is it?††

JC:How did he get killed?Did something fall on him?

Jim:No.Him and Andy both, truth about it, I guess was mean.He was only 18.He had been blowing his mote? (20:22)off about some of the Skeens and Holbrooksrunning a little store there.They got him in the store, so they said, Ed Cox was there.Ed told me this.They got him in the store, and then gave him a good whopping, and it didnít work out so good, he was about to whoop both of them.One of them cut a throat with a knife, and the other they said went behind the counter and got a pistol and shot him.He lived several days.

Everett:Is this the Ed Cox that used to live down here?

Jim:Ya.

Everett:I knowíd him and worked with him.

Jim:Thatís the one.He said he was right there.

Alice:Mrs. Cox is still a livin.

Grace:That was his mother was it?

Alice:His wife.

Jim:Ed Porter you see, they carried him home and he lived several days.Skeens and Holbrooks.

†† Henry Kegley, thatís the man that killed Uncle Jim.They got into it.Drew Evanís wife down there. She was a Thompson. She is the only one that seen it.She was a clerk in the office, or something.

Everett:Eye witness?

Jim:She was an eyewitness to it.

JC:Did they put the guy in jail?

Jim:No he left and they never did catch him.Ya, Henry Kegley.

Everett:He left out of here huh?

Jim:He left.

JC:Do you remember your aunt Jane?

Jim:Aunt Jane?

JC:Ya, she would be about two years younger than your uncle Levi.

Jim:No.

JC: You donít remember her?

Jim:I remember talking about one Martha Day.But I donít know anything about her.And then my aunt Mary Dwelly.They lived in Robertson county.Near Mt. Olivet.

JC:You know you dad and his family lived in Robertson county for a while.

Jim:Ya, I think they lived there 4 years.

JC:Do you know why they lived there?

Jim:No.I donít know how come em to leave and come here.They lived there before they come here the way I understood it.

JC:Ya, they did.But they bought land here (in Carter county) kind of as they were passing through.They bought 150 acres in Carter county when they came from Virginia, then went on out to Robertson county, then they came back.††† He (Andrew Porter) bought it in 1867, then sold it in 1873 while he was living in Robertson county.

Jim:There is some of them that told me that my grandfather (Andrew Porter) taught school a little, and built chimneys.

JC:Your grandfather did?

Jim:Ya, Porter.

JC:He built chimneys?

Jim:Ya.

JC:For houses?

Jim:Ya.He was good hand at it, building fireplaces and chimneys.

Everett:Iíve heard dad (Jasper Porter) talk about that.

Jim:Right there below Harlanís (son of Alex, son of Andrew Porter) some of them called it the Big Springs, I remember a little old log building.He taught school there they told me.

JC:Your grandpa did?

Jim:Ya, grandpa Porter.Had a dirt floor.Just a log building and a fireplace.Thatís all there was to it.He taught a little school there.I remember the old log building.It stood there when I was a boy.

JC:Did he (Andrew Porter) preach any?

Jim:I donít think so.No, not that I know of.Yet he was the one that started that Fairview church.You remember that little one that was there?

Everett:Ya.

Grace:Where the cemetery is.The old frame of the house is still there.

Everett:It sat around the other way.And this other one sat this a way.

Grace:The last time they had Everettís dadís funeral there, I think was the last time.That was in 44.

Jim:You notice that walnut tree that sets there?Big Oak right in front, but the walnut is over here at the side.

Everett:I donít know if it is still there or not.Ya, I believe it is.

Jim:My mother set it out there.

Everett:Iíve been there to church, when that other one sat there.

Jim:Uncle Steve Porter, he would get up there, and he could jump up this high, when he got to preaching.

JC:He would jump up and down when he preached?

Jim:Ya, he could jump up high I guess.

JC:He preached up at Fairview a lot?

Jim:He would scare me to death.I remember hunkering up behind my mother when he got to preaching and clapping his hands together you know.Iíd hide behind my motherís back .

Everett:Your dad preached too.

Jim:Ya, my dad preached a while.

Everett:I heard him preach.

Jim:He made a bad mistake Everett, my dad did.(25:50)††