Thursday, November 8, 2012

c1904 Photograph of Karl Byron Porter of Old Town, Maine, while student at University of Maine

c1904 photograph of Karl Byron Porter of Old Town, Maine, taken  while he was a student at the University of Maine, by the Chalmers studio of Bangor, Maine.

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections welcome]

Karl Byron Porter was born 13 December 1882 at Corinna, Maine, son of Dr. Charles B. and Georgia Rust (Pulsifer) Porter, who were born at Newport, Maine, and Ellsworth, Maine, respectively.  About 1889 Dr. Charles B. Porter moved his practice and family to Old Town, Maine.

Karl's paternal grandparents were Dr. Byron and Almira B. (Adams) Porter.  His maternal grandparents were Dr. Moses Rust Pulsifer and his second wife Mary Letitia (Berry) Pulsifer.

Karl may have been on a path to a career in medicine himself, as he graduated from the University of Maine in 1904 with a degree in biology.

In the 1910 Census of Old Town, Maine, he was living with his parents, with no occupation listed.

On 19 October 1910 at Old Town, Maine, Karl married Rose Persis Bowman, daughter of Lewis and Rose (Richardson) Bowman.  The couple had a daughter born about 1912.

In the 1920 Census of Old Town, Maine, Rose was living at Old Town with her mother, her sister Lois, and her daughter.  She was listed as was married, but Karl wasn't enumerated in the household.  He may have been the Byron Porter, "single", working as a fireman at a hardware factory in New Britain, Connecticut, at shown in the  1920 Census.

Rose was listed as divorced in the 1930 Census of Old Town, Maine.  In the 1940 Census of Old Town, Maine, when she was living in the household of her daughter and son-in-law, she was listed as widowed.  That Census was enumerated in May.

In the 1940 Census of Bangor, enumerated a month earlier in April, Karl Byron Porter was shown as an inmate at the Bangor State Mental Hospital and was described as divorced.

Whether Karl had died in the month between the two enumerations, to account for the listing of Rose as widowed, I don't know.  However, there was a Byron Porter who died in 1963 at Bangor, Maine, of about the right age.

If you have corrections or clarifications to the information above, please leave a message or contact me directly.  Thanks!

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Old Town, Maine

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  1. Hi. My great aunt, Sussie "Florence" (Parsons) Pettie worked for Dr. Porter's family in the early 1920s. I'm trying to piece together a more accurate story of how my Parsons branch first came to America from Newfoundland and the Porters are a crucial piece of this story. The Porters actually hosted the wedding for Florence and her husband, Charles Edward Pettie.

    There's also another important family from Old Town connected to the story - John James and Sussie Barnett. John James is the uncle of Charles Pettie. Sussie we believe is the person that makes the connection back to Newfoundland and is responsible for placing Florence within the home of the Porters in Old Town.

    If you have any additional info about any of these families as it pertains to our story, I would greatly appreciate hearing back from you. Often tiny pieces of story data help solve the mysteries we are working on.

    Thank you for any time and consideration.

    Joe Shumaker

    1. I wish I did have more information for you but everything above is from online research. However, one of my main areas of interest is the back and forth between New England and the Atlantic provinces. You might be interested in a book by Betsy Beattie published in 2000 - "Obligation and Opportunity" - which studies the many women from the Atlantic Provinces who went to New England to help support the families back home (the Atlantic area suffered a decline as more of the industrial growth happened in Ontario) - many to Boston. Their reasons for leaving home changed a bit over the years from 1870-1930, from solely to help their families in the early years to self-advancement in the later years. You might want to contact the Penobscot County Genealogical Society for further insights - or provide them with links to any book or articles you write as a result of your research. or their FB page.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.