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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 791~


Judge Marcellus D. Porter



Although young in years and not long a resident of Fayette county, Jude Marcellus D. Porter has, by a career of fidelity to duty, honorable dealing with his fellowmen and his activity in all matters having for their object the upbuilding of this locality, easily won the confidence and esteem of all classes and ranks as one of the leading citizens of the vicinity honored by his residence. He is the scion of an influential old family of Guthrie county, Iowa, where his birth occurred on October 14, 1878, and he is the son of Clinton J. and Elizabeth (Covoult) Porter, both parents natives of Clinton county, Ohio, where they grew to maturity and were educated. They came to Iowa about 1863 and located in Guthrie county where they remained until about 1880, when the family moved to Lewis, Cass county, Iowa, where their son, Marcellus D., attended the public schools and the high school, after which he went one year to Simpson College at Indianola. Being ambitious to gain a good education, he applied himself in a most assiduous manner to his studies and made a splendid record. After leaving school he gratified a desire of long standing by beginning the study of law in 1896 in the office of F. J. Macomber, and in 1899 he continued his legal studies in the office of W. O. Lucas at Winterset, Iowa, and he was admitted to the bar in January, 1900. In February of that year he located in Cumberland, Iowa, where he opened an office and soon enjoyed a very satisfactory patronage, which continued until January, 1904, when he came to Oelwein where he found a wider field for the exercise of his talents. He practiced alone until August, 1994, when he entered into partnership with Guy W. Backus, with whom he practiced for about one year. After the dissolution of this partnership, Mr. Porter continued the practice alone until the fall of 1906, when his activity in public affairs and his ability to serve in official capacity were recognized by the citizens of Oelwein and he was elected judge of the superior court of that city, which office he has held to the entire satisfaction of all concerned, irrespective of party alignment, having assumed the duties of this office in January, 1907. He has shown himself to be well versed in the statutes, broad-minded, unbiased, fair and impartial in his decisions and evincing a desire to serve the people in his jurisdiction in the best manner possible. He is loyal to the Democratic party, and, fraternally, he belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.


The Judge was married in February, 1901, to Pearl Morgan, a lady of intelligence and culture, he daughter of Richard and Martha (Jones) Morgan, her family long a prominent one in this county. This union has been graced by the birth of two interesting children, Helen and Ned Porter.


Personally, Judge Porter is a man of pleasing address, gentlemanly, thoughtful of others’ interests, straightforward, industrious and honorable. The fact that he has achieved success in the courts at an age when most young men are just entering upon the formative period of their lives, and demonstrating a keen analysis and clearness of perception in handling all cases submitted to him, the future must needs be replete with abundant success for him."


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