Porter, Josiah

Josiah Porter

Founders Cemetery, Marker #4 (only a foot marker remains)


Some members of the Old Stones Society vividly remember seeing a grave marker for Josiah Porter in Founders Cemetery back in the 1970s. In one instance a member returned to photograph it and yellowed grass was all that marked the spot. One can only conclude the marker was stolen. Sadly no photo of it has been found.

All that remains is a foot marker with the initials J.P. It has been placed at the spot where we believe Josiah’s marker stood, just north of the grave of his son William.

Josiah was born in Yarmouth Township in 1789, and died of stomach cancer in Beaver River 31 March 1850, the son of Josiah and Mercy (Brown) Porter. Josiah married Edith Corning in Beaver River about 1809. She was born in Yarmouth Township (probably Milton which was the site of the Corning family homestead) 31 Oct 1790 and died 24 May 1868, the daughter of Jonathan and Mary (Foote) Corning.

Following Josiah’s death Edith married, as his 2nd wife, William Perry who is also buried in Founders Cemetery. Edith’s burial place is unknown. Was she named on Josiah’s grave marker? It seems likely she would have been buried in the same cemetery as her two husbands; her son William; and two of her siblings: Ebenezer and Alice “Elsie” who was William Perry’s first wife. Two of the ten sons and two daughters of Josiah and Edith are buried nearby in the Free Will Baptist Cemetery. They are: Ainsley who married Sarah Parry and Mary Eliza who married Eleazer Raymond.

Josiah was a Methodist farmer. Possibly his greatest legacy to the community was that of founder of the Beaver River Total Abstinence Society, which may have been the first temperance society in North America. You will see his name on the sign on the front of the Beaver River Temperance Hall on the northeast corner of Beaver River Road and Highway 1.

There are two Josiah Porters buried in Old Stones Cemeteries. This Josiah is the uncle of the Josiah buried in the Calvinist Baptist Cemetery.

More about Josiah and his family appears in the Old Stones Family Group Sheet Index.

Please leave a comment if you have any additional information about him—a photo of his grave marker would be wonderful.

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