March 29, 1980Viola Bego, dau of Ed Porter, s/o Levi Porter, s/o Andrew J. Porter


(Track 1)

First 3 minutes 45 seconds: Conversation with Arney Porter and Doris Tackett (children of Everett Porter, s/o Jasper, s/o Alex, s/o AJP)Also Viola Bego and her son Earsel Porter.


(timer 3:45)

JC: When was your dad born?

Viola:Now I donít know that.

JC: Was it about 1870 or 1869?

Viola:I guess it was.The home Bible with all their names and ages got burned up.And I just know the year I was born, and that is about all.

JC: It burned up?At someoneís house?

Viola:Yes, at George Porterís house.Back in Kentucky.Thatís my brother.After my father died you know.

JC:This is your son Earsel?(There in the same room)

Viola:Ya, thatís my boy from before I was married.Ainít no use lying about it.

Doris Tackett:Wasnít there an Earsel Porter that died?

Viola:That was Uncle Bobís Earsel in Wisconsin died.

Doris:When Erma told me that you had a boy Earsel Porter, I thought that was the one that had died.

Viola:No, I had a brother Earl Porter who died here a while back.In December, and my daughter died a week later.I was up there taking care of her last summer when she got sick.I waited on her a year down here.She wanted me to go to the funeral.I didnít want to go, but she said yes, youíve got to go.Well I started, and I asked her if she wanted me to bring her back anything, and she said, ďYes, bring her back some cigarettesĒ.We got ready to come back, and we got the news that she was dead.She died while I was down there, so I just stayed down there and didnít come back.

Doris:What was her name?

Viola:Cline.She married Ralph Cline.

Doris:Oh I saw that in the paper.Up here in the paper.

Viola:Ya, she lived right up here on the corner in that brown house on the right as you go up there.

Doris:And I saw something about a Porter, and I thought well, she probably is not a relative.

Viola:Ya, that was my daughter.My oldest daughter.

Doris:Thatís too bad.

JC:I got a letter from your granddaughter Geraldine.That is his daughter.The same day I got your letter.I didnít realize that you were her grandmother.She was trying to explain how it all tied together, and then she said Viola Bego, and I realized..

Viola:Ya.I canít see to even print at all.It has to be real big.

(timer 6:02)JC: What can you tell me about your grandpa Levi?

Viola:Well, I donít know of anything that you would be interested in.

JC:Well anything would be.

Viola:We used to go there a lot when I was little.It used to tickle us to death to get to go over there.He (Levi) was so nice and good turned, but my grandmother (Betty), she wouldnít let us call her grandma.We had to call her Nanny.She wouldnít let us call her grandma.

JC: Why is that?

Viola:She never cared anything about kids.

JC:She didnít?

Viola:She wasnít like grandpa.He was so good to us.When my sister died, I was taking care of her, and my grandma was bad off sick, and they wanted me to come over there.So finally, at the last, my daughter said, ďWell you go over there and stay with them, and if I get worse, I send after you.ĒI said, ďAlright.ĒI stayed there a long time.

JC:How long after your grandpa died, did your grandma die?

Viola:Oh I donít know.

JC:Was it a couple years?
Viola:Oh, I donít think it was that long.She stayed there with my mother.My grandpa (Levi) did too.But I wasnít in that country then.I was away from there.My mother took care of both of them.

JC:Ever hear anything about your grandma being married before she married your grandpa?


JC:And you never heard about your dad (Ed Porter) being born in Ohio?

Viola:No, I never heard that.(laughing)

JC:I know I asked Don Porter (son of Bob, son of Levi)I mentioned it in the letter that I wrote to you.In the 1880 census, your dad was 10 years old, and it said he was born in Ohio, and all the rest of the kids (his brothers and sisters) were born in Kentucky.


JC: Ya, but in the 1900 census, it said that your dad was born in Kentucky.So either he didnít know he was born in Ohio, or it was a mistake.

Viola:He must not have known it.Iíve never heard about that.

JC:I had heard the Porters may have been in Ohio for a while.

Viola:I had never heard anything about that until your letter.

JC:How many of your dadís sister have you heard of?

Viola?He just had one?

JC:Just Lula?


JC:Youíve never heard of Laura or Ruth?

Viola:No, never heard of them.

Doris:Were they older than her dad?

JC:No, her dad was the oldest.Well, I think there may have been two more born before your dad.They were married in 1863, and your dad wasnít born until almost 1870.And your grandma, in the 1900 census said she was the mother of 11 children, but only 7 were living.And these two daughter Ruth and Laura must have already died.

Viola:I never knowíd of none of them but Aunt Lula.The only one that they ever said anything to me about.

JC:Well I guess they didnít have to be girls.They could have been baby boys.

JC:What have you heard about your grandpaís dad (Andrew Porter)?

Viola:Well, I never did hear anything about them hardly.After I got big enough to remember anything, they never did talk to me anything about it.

JC:Did you ever see a picture of your great grandpa Porter?


JC:Do you know where the Porterís came from?

Viola:My grandpa, he came from Virginia,somewhere in Virginia.

JC:How did they get to Kentucky?

Viola:I donít know.He was in the old Civil War.What they told me when he come to this country (Kentucky), he picked out a place right below where he built his house at when he got married, when he got out of the army.

I had his picture.

(timer 10:28)JC:He was in uniform in the picture?

Viola: Ya, he had his uniform on, and he had a fiddle.

JC:He did?

Viola:Ya.When we come up here to Mansfield, Iíve been married twice.My stepson, he took all the pictures.Heís got em there in Mansfield.

JC:He has?Do you think he would loan me that picture so I could make a copy?

Viola:My Lord have mercy, you could have it.He took a whole suitcase full of pictures.I had Uncle Calís picture.He is dead.He was killed in the mines.And Aunt Molly Porter and one of her daughters.And I had the family group.I was the baby when it was took.

JC:You did?With your grandpa in it?

Viola:No, with my daddy and mother and all my sisters and brothers.I was the baby.

And Will, my brother.I had just a whole lot of pictures of kin folks.And he took them all, and I never did get none of them.He lives in Mansfield on Reed Street.

JC:What is his name?

Viola:Everett Vago. (son of Ethel Bego, daughter of Albert Porter, son of Ed Porter, son of Levi Porter, son of Andrew J. Porter) {Ethel Porter was first married to Nelson Bego, and after she died, her young Aunt Viola married Nelson Bego} I write my name BEGO, and he writes his name VAGO.

JC:He does?Everett Vago.And he lives on Reed Street?

Viola:Ya.In Mansfield.

Doris:That Will, is he the one who sells tombstones?

Viola:No, thatís my brother.He lived down here at Lucasville, Ohio.

JC:And he spells him name VAGO?

Viola:Ya, VAGO.

JC:Why does he do that?

Viola:I donít know.His daddy said when he was born, then he had to go to the army.That is the way it came back, so he just left it that way.One of his other boys spells his name that way.

JC:You were saying something about your grandpa came and found land?

Viola:Ya, said he picked it out.Said there was a bear down there below where he had his barn built.Said there was a bear.Everett Vago was telling me about that several years ago, when we lived over there.He told my husband about it.Said he (Levi) killed a bear there, and he was setting there on a stump, and he said when he got out of the army, he was going to build his home there.And sure enough, he did.Sure enough if he didnít build his home there.

JC:So was he fighting over in Kentucky during the war?

Viola?Ya, he was through there then.Now heís still got his beard in the picture on a card about this big.There is somebody from Morehead wanted that picture one time, and I wouldnít let him have it.Everett got all the pictures up there.And my fatherís picture too.

JC:He (Levi) would have been just a young man then.

Viola:Ya, he would.

JC:In his early 20ís?

Viola:I donít know how old he would have been.He had a fiddle.I didnít know him to ever play a fiddle.Never knowíd that.But he had one.He had it in his hand in the picture.

JC:Why did he grow that beard?

Viola:I donít know.As quick as I seen that picture, I knowíd him.

JC:You saw that picture didnít you?(showing her the 1901 - 5 Porter brothers picture)

Viola:Uh Huh.I saw him, but I donít remember the rest of them.I thought one of them was Uncle John.

JC:Ya, this one right here is John.

Viola:I know a long time before he died, before we came up here, him and his wife came to my house and ate dinner.And this is Uncle Jim Porter right here, aint it?

JC:No, this is Jim.And that is Steve right there.

Viola:Oh, Ya, ya.

JC:And that is Alick.You ever hear of those two sisters?

Viola:No, I never heard of them.

JC:Martha Day and Mary Dwelly, your grandpaís sisters?

Viola:No, I never knowíd them, but I see the picture and the name on the back.

Viola:And grandma was a school teacher wasnít she?

JC:Was she?

(Timer 15:08End of track 1)