Porter J. Harmon was born 14 May 1819 in New Marlborough, Berkshire, Massachusetts, to Walter Harmon and Azubah Hyde. He was the oldest of five known children of this couple. Very little is known of Porter's early years, but recent research has led me to his first marriage to Jane S. Hubbard on 25 November 1840 in Monterey, Berkshire, Massachusetts. To this union was born one known child, a daughter Emma Jane Harmon born about 1842.
By 1845, Porter, his daughter Emma Jane, his parents Walter and Azubah, his sister Mary and her husband Ira Heath, and another brother, had arrived in Whiteside Co, Illinois. Porter and his father Walter homesteaded property in what would later become Hopkins Township in Whiteside Co. More specifically they lived near a small community called Round Grove.
In 1849, Porter married Rebecca Armstrong, also of Round Grove. Rebecca was born in Pennsylvania in about 1825. While little else is known of Rebecca, I strongly believe that she is the daughter of the Barbara Armstrong living nearby in the 1850 census in Whiteside Co, Illinois. I have an unsourced date of death for Rebecca Armstrong Harmon as 31 March 1876. It may be likely she was buried in the nearby Round Grove Cemetery. Porter and Rebecca had the following children:
- Adaline born Sept 1853, married Almon Zimmer on 3 July 1871 in Whiteside Co, Illinois and died 24 Jan 1922 in Clark Co, South Dakota.
- Evaline born in 1855, married Lemuel Moffat on 20 Aug 1878 in Whiteside Co, Illinois and died in 1904 in Clarkesville, Butler, Iowa as a victim of a fire.
- Walter J. Harmon, my great-great-grandfather, born Feb 1857 and died 6 June 1921 in Clark Co, South Dakota. He married Fannie Arnold on 16 Feb 1882 in Whiteside Co, Illinois.
- Mary born May 1862, married Samuel F. Etter on 29 Dec 1881 in Whiteside Co, Illinois. By 1900 the couple was living in Adams Co, Washington.
- Barbara born 1867 in Whiteside Co, Illinois
- Milo born 1869 in Whiteside Co, Illinois. It is presumed he died before 1880 as he is not found in that census with the rest of the family.
In about 1883, Porter, his son Walter and family, his daughter Adaline and family travelled to Clark Co, South Dakota where they homesteaded near the town of Clark. Porter died in Clark on 25 November 1897 after having gone out to do the chores. According to his obituary, Porter was living with his son Walter. Porter is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery north of Clark. His children Walter and Adaline and their spouses are buried nearby.
Please contact me if you are researching this family. I would be thrilled to share information. Sources available upon request.
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