Aaron Benjamin Porter

(Note:This history was written by Edna Margaret Porter Hegsted, daughter of Aaron Benjamin and Rebecca Poole Porter, and modified slightly by Roger Porter.We appreciate the Clements family providing this history from their web site: http://clements.netdocuments.com/aaron_benjamin_porter.html which is very well done!Aaron Benjamin Sr., and Rebecca M. Poole Porter, parents of grandfather Aaron Benjamin Jr., are buried in the Burton ID cemetery which can be seen just before you come to Rexburg about one block west of the highway.  Look for a grove of pine trees planted closely together.  Alvin W. Nichols and Eva Susannah Jensen Nichols, my grandmother Allanna Nichols Porter's parents are also buried there. The Cemetery can be reached by winding through back roads west of Rexburg and intersects with 3000 West.  The Aaron B. Porter Sr. farm is two miles north of the cemetery road on the NW corner of the intersection, 3000 West, 970 North. See the map provided on: http://nicholsporter.homestead.com/index.html.†† Roger Porter)

Aaron Benjamin Porter was born April 27, 1851 at Centerville, Utah, the son of Nathan Tanner Porter and Rebecca Ann Cherry. He was the second of two children.

His parents, Nathan and Rebecca Cherry Porter, became acquainted while crossing the plains, their families both being in the same company. They arrived in Salt Lake Valley on October 1, 1847. They spent the first winter in their wagons on a homestead on Mill Creek, four miles south of the site of Salt Lake City.Nathan and Rebecca were married the next fall, 1848, after the crops were harvested. In the spring of 1849 he joined his father-in-law, Aaron B. Cherry, who with others founded a colony some twelve miles north of Salt Lake City and there he established his home in the little town later known as Centerville, which was to be his home place for life and the birthplace of his son, Aaron Benjamin Porter (Sr.).

Their first child, Sarah Jane, was born November 15, 1849, just five days after Nathan Tanner Porter and his wife moved into the little hewed log cabin he built from timber obtained from the nearby canyon. The next year he built a little home of sun dried brick, and it was here that Aaron was born in 1851.(We have a picture of the Rebecca and Nathan Porter home on this web site, also a drawing of the way it once looked prior to their reducing its size. It still stands at the original site behind the Home Depot store, 4th west and 4th south in Centerville!)

When Aaron was a year old his father was called on a mission to Gibraltar but he spent most of his time in England. During the four years his father was gone his mother cared for the children alone, spending much of her time at the loom weaving materials for all their clothing.

Aaron's father and mother accepted polygamy as a sacred principle of their religion and in 1857 he married Eliza Ford, a convert from England. So Aaron was raised in a polygamist home with the two families living together in perfect harmony for over thirty years. (Eliza's home still stands facing 4th south (Porter Lane) while Rebecca's home faces 4th west on the same corner.) See photos of the family homes at: http://nathantannerporter.homestead.com/BuildingsandSites.html on this site.

In August of 1860 Aaron's sister was taken ill with fever and died October 15, 1860, just one month before her twelfth birthday. This left Aaron the only child. Following Aaron's birth his mother became terribly ill with childbed fever and as a result of this illness she was unable to bear another child, a fact that caused her much sorrow.

Aaron's father was called to fill two other missions, one in 1869 to a foreign mission and in 1872 to a special mission to the Eastern States. Aaron would have been eighteen years old at the time of the second mission and I am sure he assumed many of his father's responsibilities during his absence.

Aaron met and married red headed Rebecca Margaret Poole of Ogden, Utah, daughter of Janette Blaisdell and John Rawlston Poole, on October 26, 1874. They made their home in Centerville where he operated a large dairy for many years.(His home was on the corner of second south and main street, where a dental office now stands, and a photo can be seen at: http://nicholsporter.homestead.com/index.html on the family site.)

There they raised a splendid family of twelve children who were the pride and joy of their grandmother who had been deprived of such a family. The children were as follows: Aaron, Janette, William, Ethel, Susie, Edna, Mary, John Rawlston (known as Ross), Milburn (known as Milt), Dora, Vera, and Nathan. Mary died at birth.

Aaron was active in the church, filling various assignments, and was Bishop of the Centerville Ward for many years.

His father-in-law, John Rawlston Poole, came into Idaho with his family in 1879, settling in the region which became known as Poole's Island and later named Menan. This may have influenced Aaron to go north. On January 1, 1900 Aaron moved his large family of half-grown children to Idaho, buying a farm at Burton.(The story is told in the family that he lost his home while Bishop in Centerville when a sister came to him on the verge of losing her home. She represented she had money coming in soon, so he mortgaged his home, paid her expenses, was not repaid and lost his own home as a consequence.  Aaron Jr. was serving a mission at the time. On January 1, 1900 Aaron moved his large family of half-grown children to Idaho, buying a farm at Burton, on the main highway at the time, 3000 West, at 970 North. Aaron Jr. returned from his mission to this new family home four miles west of Rexburg.  A picture of the original family home in Burton is featured on this web site. The photo was taken about 1954 of the home which is no longer there, but the photo is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Keith Hansen who built another home on the original homesite and live there now. She took the picture as "my first home," and it is in her wedding book. The Burton townsite is one mile west and one mile south of the Porter farm, and the Church and school mark the townsite. See map at: http://nicholsporter.homestead.com/index.html toward the bottom of the page.

(Aaron B. Jr. soon married Eva Allanna Nichols and purchased a farm 1/2 mile west of his father's farm.  All the original buildings from that farm are also gone, but a picture of Aaron and Allanna's home is also on the site.  Their first child, Eva, died in the spring of 1904, and that same year in the hard Idaho winter, his father also died. Aaron Sr. contracted pneumonia and died November 7, 1904. Both are buried in the Burton cemetery.)

Aaron Sr.ís wife, Rebecca, was left with the heartbreaking task of holding her family together and making a living on the newly acquired farm at Burton. Her five sons filled the vacancy left by their father and kept the farm in operation. The children received their education at Burton and Rexburg schools and one by one married and left the family home. (A copy of their title records including mortgages, loans, etc. on the Burton property is in the possession of Roger Porter.)

During the last few years of her life Rebecca left the Burton farm and made her home in Rexburg. She died there at the age of 80 years and was buried beside her husband in the Burton Cemetery. All of her eleven children were in attendance at her funeral. A picture of Rebecca is on this web site standing with daughter Nettie Hales, Aaron Jr., Allanna and their children. Pictures also of the gravesites of Rebecca and Aaron Benjamin Porter Sr. at Burton cemetery are on the site.