from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
Charles M. Porter, at the head of the C. M. Porter Lumber Company of Oskaloosa, also treasurer of the Oskaloosa Wood Working Company and president of the Oskaloosa Creamery Company, is a native son of Iowa and throughout his business career has been imbued with the spirit of enterprise and progress which have been the salient features in the rapid upbuilding of the middle west. His birth occurred in Iowa City, in 1863. his parents being John W. and Louisa A. (Morsman) Porter, both of whom were natives of Ohio. The father was descended from Scotch-Irish ancestry and came to this state before the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad was built. He and his father operated a stage line between Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Marengo, conducting a business for a number of years or until the railroad reached Iowa City and thus rendered stage travel unprofitable. John W. Porter then turned his attention to the lumber business, in which he continued up to the time of his death. He was a man of prominence and of affairs, who prospered in his undertakings by reason of the keen discernment and careful management that he brought to bear upon all business transactions. He was a man of considerable breadth of mind and view and did not narrow his attention down to business interests alone, but became a public-spirited citizen and man of large enterprise, who co-operated in many movements for the general good. Both he and his wife were members of the Christian church, in which he served as an officer and in the work of which he took an active and helpful interest. In the Masonic fraternity he attained the thirtysecond degree of the Scottish rite and in politics was a republican. He took an active interest in the Iowa state fair, served as its president and did all in his power to promote agricultural development through this avenue, stimulating the pride and ambition of the farmer by the exhibition of fine stock and farm products which were annually made. During the Civil war he helped raise a company at Iowa City and being elected captain went to the south with his command, but owing to the illness of his father he was compelled to resign a few months later and return home to take charge of his father's business. His death occurred in 1882, when he was forty-seven years of age, and he is still survived by his wife, who is now living in Iowa City at the age of sixty-two years. In the family of this worthy couple were six children: Charles M.; George, who died at the age of two years; Helen, the wife of A. H. Swett, a dry-goods merchant of Minneapolis; Edgar K., who is operating a stone-crusher plant and furnishing ballast for railroads at Page, West Virginia; and two who died in infancy. Charles M. Porter, having attended the public schools, afterward became a student in the State University of Iowa, from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in the class of 1886. He then went to Kansas and worked for the Chicago Lumber Company as manager of its yard there for two years. In 1888 he came to Oskaloosa and purchased the H. C. Moore lumber-yard, which he is now conducting under the name of the C. M. Porter Lumber Company. The business has assumed large proportions and his annual sales reach an extensive figure. He is thoroughly conversant with the lumber trade and places upon the market all kinds of building materials for which he finds a ready sale owing to his straight forward business methods and his earnest desire to please his customers. He is treasurer of the Oskaloosa Wood Working Company and president of the Oskaloosa Creamery Company. In 1889 Charles M. Porter was married to Miss Maud VanFleet, who was born in Iowa City. Iowa, in 1868, a daughter of John R. and Ellen VanFleet. Her father was a pioneer resident of Iowa City and became a prominent man there, carrying on the banking business and also owning and controlling large real estate interests. His financial ability was manifest in the splendid success which crowned his efforts. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Porter have been barn two daughters and two sons: Hilda, John W., Helen and Rex VanFleet. The parents are members of the Christian church, in which Mr. Porter has held office and their devotion to the cause is manifest by active co-operation in the various societies and movements for the growth of the church and the extension of its influence. For three years he served as president of the Young Men's Christian Association at Oskaloosa and was holding that office when they erected their present building. He is a Knight Templar Mason and a worthy exemplar of the craft, a member of De Payens commandery. On the great political questions which divide the country into two parties he is found on the side of the republican organization. In this age of the world's history when the annals teem with the records of conquest of mind, over matter rather than of man over man the history of the successful business man is always of interest and Mr. Porter belongs to that class who have based their business principles upon the rules which govern strict and unswerving integrity and indefatigable energy. Personally he is genial and though his time is fully occupied by the details of his business interests he yet finds time to devote to those of his friends whose calls are purely of a social character. He is a thorough exemplification of the typical American business man and gentleman.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy