Appendix A
Biographical Notes 21 - 30

21.          Spalding Springs Resort and Hotel.

Spalding Springs Resort and Hotel was located in Ralls County, near Spalding, Missouri.  The following information on the Spalding Springs Resort and Hotel is from a collection of stories and articles in the book, Spalding Springs, by Walter and Vivian Roland, J. Hurley and Roberta Hagood, Dorothy Eichenberger, and Goldena Howard, co-authors, published in 1990, at page 52:  

In 1883, Robert M. Spalding finalized his plans to make a health resort on his property.  He had moved into the area in 1848 coming from nearby Sidney, Missouri.  He had acquired 900 acres of land in addition to the plot on which he decided to construct a lake and build a hotel.  It was the practice at that time for people with any type of ailment to visit a mineral spring, and resorts in such places were profitable.  Spalding knew of Eureka Springs, Arkansas and of nearby Elk Lick Springs on Spencer Creek.

The Elk Lick Springs Hotel advertised, as early as 1849 and in the 1850’s that 3000 guests visited their facility each year.  The Salt Lick at Spalding which he owned might well attract many paying guests and could prove profitable.

Spalding’s supply of mineral water was furnished by a copious flow from an artesian well with a full three inch continuous stream issuing forth.  The location was well known since it was the location of the first salt making operation in northeast Missouri.

His first concern was to create a lake which would add to the aesthetic appearance of his resort, and would be a source of pleasant recreational activities.  He employed a crew to construct a dam at the place where the water from the artesian well entered Lick Creek.  When the dam was completed and the floor of the lake was scraped clean of any growth, four other springs were found to come up under where the lake was formed.  Thus abundant water was provided for the lake.  When the water was analyzed it was found to contain magnesium, sulphur, iron salts and hydrogen gas.

On October 15, 1883, Spalding entered into a contract with Thomas Willey, a local builder to construct the resort hotel and its other buildings.  Thomas’ son, Henry, had been staying with the Spaldings on their farm constructing farm buildings as needed.  ...

...By April 1884, Mr. Willey had completed the 23-room hotel construction.  In the Paris Mercury {newspaper) 18 April 1884 a story about the hotel appeared.  The account, in its original text, is repeated here written by the editor of the newspaper:

“Last Sunday afternoon, in company with an old friend, W. E. Spalding, we took the 3:13 p.m. train for Rensselaer, a station of the M. K. & T. Railroad, thirty miles east of Paris.  At the station we were met by Ranter Spalding with a spring wagon, and taken in a southeast direction four miles when we came to Spalding Springs in a beautiful  valley surrounded by hills, rolling pastures and intersected with sparkling streams of water.  Along the route from the station to the springs, Mr. Spalding pointed to many places of interest to him, places associated with his earliest recollections and boyhood days.  The house where he was born has long ago gone to decay, the site being marked only by the ruins of an old chimney.

At the springs, a new three story hotel has recently been erected.  It is a good, substantial, well ventilated house, containing 23 rooms, and conveniently arranged.  In front of the hotel will be a lake (workmen now being engaged in throwing up levees) of three acres in extent and ranging from five to seven feet deep.  At one side of the lake will be bath houses and skiffs will be provided in which to sail over its dark blue surface.  The lake will be supplied with water from the spring which discharges a large volume and will form an attractive feature to those who delight to dip an oar.  A roller skating rink will be erected near the lake, and splendid croquet grounds will be laid out, furnishing sources of amusement for all.

The spring is located at the west end of the lake, and bubbles up with great force from a depth of 300 feet.  It is rare medicinal water and many cures have resulted from its use. An analysis shows sulphur, magnesia, salt, iron and soda.  For kidney disease, dyspepsia, and indigestion, it is said by those who know, to be a sure cure.

The springs belong to Robert M. Spalding, a prominent and enterprising farmer whose fine farm of 900 acres lies contiguous thereto.  He will put forth every effort to make Spalding Springs the summer resort of Northeast Missouri.  The hotel will be furnished from top to bottom, in the latest style, by Spalding and Speed, furniture dealers of Paris, and will be open for the reception of guests the first of June.

H. B. Spenny has charge of the hotel and he will prove a popular landlord.  We predict a big run for the season.  Close to the springs are a grocery store, church, school house and a blacksmith shop, and also a post office.

At the home of Mr. Spalding and his family we were pleasantly entertained and will long remember the hospitality extended.”

...Guest cottages were built in the summer of 1884.  ...A boat house was built on the north shore of the lake.  On the south shore were two “bath houses,” widely separated.  One was for women, the other for men.  Steps led down into the water at each of the bath houses.  The steps of the women’s bath house were encircled by a high board fence. Although the attire for “bathing” was extremely modest with long sleeves, high necks and with overskirts over the pantalettes, it was important that no one ever saw a lady’s “limbs” or ankles, nor discern the body figure when the bathing attire was wet.

In the center of the lake, Mr. Willey built an attractive pagoda in hexagonal form, where boats could tie up.  Boaters could climb up the steps into the pagoda and sit on benches that surrounded the perimeter of the little structure. This spot in the middle of the lake was great for private conversations.

A spring house was built at the west side of the lake.  ...Guests would stroll along the concrete sidewalk from the hotel to the spring house to sip the water, sit on the benches and chat, or merely to enjoy the breeze which found its way into the open-sided building.

Between the hotel and the spring house, to the north of the sidewalk, discreetly concealed in a clump of shrubs were the “privies.”  They were a necessary convenience in country life before plumbing and piped water in houses were available.

Word of the opening of the hotel traveled fast, and in the summer of 1884 numerous guests arrived.  Most came to Rensselaer by train and were transported to the hotel by a “wagonette” with seats along the sides of its bed.  The wagonette could haul a dozen passengers. ...  

The drawings below are from the book mentioned above on the Spalding Springs Resort and Hotel.  


22.          Rev. John Davis.

Rev. John Davis was minister of Trinity Episcopal Church in Hannibal, Missouri from 1886 to 1893.


23.          Daniel M. Dulany.

The following biographical sketch of Daniel M. Dulany appeared a few years before the murder of Amos J. Stillwell in 1888 in The History of Marion County, Missouri, by E. F. Perkins, 1884, at p. 602:  

This enterprising gentleman is a son of Joseph S. and Sarah (Maupin) Dulany.  His father was a native of Georgia and his mother of Kentucky. He was born in Richmond, Kentucky, July 27, 1816. In the fall of this same year his parents moved to what is now Howard county, Mo.  In 1836 he went to Monroe county, where he engaged with his brother, W. H. Dulany, in the manufacture of tobacco.  He continued this business up to 1862.  From 1846 to 1848 he was deputy sheriff of Monroe county, and from 1848 to 1852 was sheriff of the same county.  For four years he was justice of the county court.  In 1862 he went to Quincy, Illinois, where he engaged in the tobacco business, and in 1867 he came to Hannibal, where he became a member of the lumber firm of Dulany & McVeigh.  This firm is now the Empire Lumber Company, and Mr. Dulany is the vice-president.  He is a director of one of the banks, and president of the Hannibal Board of Trade.  Besides these he holds several other prominent offices, and is one of Hannibal’s most energetic and enterprising citizens.  He is a member of the Christian church and superintendent of its Sunday school at Hannibal.  He has been married four times: In 1841, to Miss Cynthia Maupin, of Paris, Mo.; she died in 1843.  In 1846 to Miss Mary Thompson, of Monroe county, Mo.; she died the same year.  In 1851, he married Miss Ann G. Craig, of Monroe county, Mo., who died in 1853.  He was again married in 1856, to Mrs. Mary Williams, widow of Dr. S. P. Williams.  By this union he has one child.  In all of the public trusts confided to him Mr. Dulany has never been found unfaithful; in all the affairs of life he has borne a most honorable part, and now he is reaping his reward in the possession of a quiet, approving conscience, in the delights of a beautiful and comfortable home, and in the confidence, respect and esteem of the community that knows him best.

  The following portrait of Daniel M. Dulany is from page 1016 of The History of Marion County, Missouri, by E. F. Perkins, 1884:



24.                Cornelius Voorhis.

Cornelius Voorhis was the father-in-law of Richard H. Stillwell.  Richard H. Stillwell was the son of the murdered Amos J. Stillwell.  The following photograph of Cornelius Voorhis, father of Louise “Lulu” (Voorhis) Stillwell, is from page 378 of  The Mirror of Hannibal, C. P. Greene, 1905 (original edition ):  


The following biographical sketch of Cornelius Voorhis appears at p. 336 of The Mirror of Hannibal, C. P. Greene, 1905 (revised edition 1990):  

COL. CORNELIUS VOORHIS.  Col. Voorhis, one of Hannibal’s most prominent citizens, was born on a farm in Warren County, Ohio, May 1st, 1827.  His parents were Peter and Susan W. (Stephenson) Voorhis.  Peter Voorhis was born on the same farm as our subject, and was a son of Daniel Voorhis, a native of New Jersey.  Cornelius Voorhis, grandfather of our subject, was born May 27th, 1767, and was the son of Daniel, who was born in 1737.  Daniel was a son of Petres Albertae van Voorhis, born in 1706.  The latter was a son of Albert Stevens van Voorhees, who was a son of Stephens Coerte van Voorhees, a native of Hess, Holland.

Peter Voorhis was born May 7th, 1798, and his wife Susan, March 17, 1802.  The family is of Dutch origin and progenitors of all Voorhees, having emigrated from Holland in 1660, settling on Flatlands, on Long Island.  Our subject was educated partly at the village schools and later at Cary’s Academy, situated on Pleasant Hill on the Mill Creek Turnpike road leading to Hamilton, an institution in which Col. John Noble and other distinguished men received their primary education.

After a few years in school he was employed in a dry goods store where he remained a short time and then removed to St. Louis, which at time seemed far away in the uncertain farther West.  He finally obtained a situation in a leading dry goods house, and remained for several years, until 1854, giving his entire attention to and becoming acquainted with all the details of the dry goods business.  In that year he was offered a promising situation in Salt Lake City, where he remained for three years, when he returned to St. Louis and started in the wholesale dry goods business.

He sought in marriage the hand of Louie B. Hull, daughter of Joseph S. Hull, a retired merchant, and she became his wife, but died suddenly soon after.  This was the first great sorrow of his life and for several years he retired from business, attending to his various property affairs.  Even during the uncertain days of the Civil War, Mr. Voorhis, by thrift and judicious economy, acquired property interests of increasing value and after a retirement of six or seven years, he in 1874 became a resident of Hannibal, where he became a member of the firm of Worthington & Co.  When that firm was dissolved he became connected with Williams & Co., and later with Cobb & Co., in the clothing and shoe business.  He has acquired considerable real estate, among which are two farms in St. Louis County, a valuable farm in St. Charles County, two homesteads in Ralls County, and also valuable possessions in both St. Louis and Hannibal.

In November, 1860, he was married to Miss Elizabeth A. Gordon, daughter of a distinguished Kentucky family.  To them have been born three children, Lula H., who married R. H. Stillwell; David J. (deceased), and Margaret D., wife of Charles T. Lamb.  Mrs. Voorhis died in 1868, mourned by a large circle of relatives and friends.  As a citizen Mr. Voorhis is enterprising, always willing to join any measure promoting the general welfare.  He has held offices of public trust, such as Collector of Internal Revenue for the Fourth Revenue District of Missouri, and City Treasurer of Hannibal.  He was one of the organizers of the Hannibal Bank, and also director of same.  He is still hale and hearty, with promise of a long life of usefulness.


25.          George A. Mahan.

The following biographical sketch of George A. Mahan appears at p. 367 of The Mirror of Hannibal, C. P. Greene, 1905 (revised edition 1990):  

GEORGE A. MAHAN.  George A. Mahan was  born on a farm near Palmyra, Mo.  His father, George A. B. Mahan, was a native of Bourbon County, Kentucky, and came to Missouri in 1833, settling in Palmyra, Marion County. He there married Jennie, daughter of Samuel Griffith, a leading farmer of that section, in 1849.  The subject of this sketch was the first child born of this union.

Mr. Mahan began his education in the district schools of Marion County and took an academic course in Bethel College at Palmyra.  He then entered the famed Washington and Lee University at Lexington, Va., graduating finally in the  class of 1870.

His general education being completed, he returned home and took up the study of law in the office of Redd & McCabe, after which, in 1871, he went to Indiana, where in the law department of the State University at Bloomington he completed his course, receiving his degree, L. L. B., a member of the class of 1872.

The latter part of the same year he was admitted to the bar by Judge William P. Harrison at Hannibal, and in January, 1873, began the practice of law.  He has continued to reside here ever since, adding to his reputation as a lawyer at a constantly appreciating ratio.

In 1885 Mr. Mahan formed a partnership with Judge Harrison, which was maintained to the satisfaction and profit of both principals until 1892, when Judge Harrison retired from practice and Mr. Mahan succeeded to the practice of the firm and has since continued alone.

Mr. Mahan was elected City Counselor of Hannibal in 1875, and was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Marion County, an office he held three consecutive terms.  In 1887 he was elected to represent Marion County in the Thirty-fourth General Assembly and was rated by the House as one of its most able and brilliant members, this being illustrated by the fact of his being placed on the Judiciary Committee.

He is a director of the Hannibal Mercantile Free Library Association.  He is a director of the Hannibal National Bank and holds the same relation to the Hannibal Mutual Loan and Building Association.  He is a Royal Arch Mason and member of K. P., a Democrat in Politics, and is one of the most influential members of this, the dominant party of this section.

On May 24th, 1883, he was married to Miss Ida Dulany, daughter of the late Col. Daniel Dulany, wholesale lumber dealer and banker of Hannibal.  He was president of the Bank of Hannibal at his death in 1897.  Mr. and Mrs. Mahan have one child, a son named Dulany Mahan, born May 25th, 1884.

In speaking of Mr. Mahan’s personal characteristics, it may be claimed with justice that his distinguishing trait is his finesse, his diplomacy in the affairs of his position, and the various affairs of life.  He is graceful, smooth and polished in manner.  As a public speaker he is forcible, yet smooth and convincing.  The diversity of Mr. Mahan’s dealings is such as to fit him almost equally for the varied duties of the attorney and those of the barrister and business man. His greatest strength lies in the trial of law cases at the bar.  Here he is always a proved foeman of the best tempered blade.  

The following photograph of George A. Mahan is from page 432 of  The Mirror of Hannibal, C. P. Greene, 1905 (original edition):


  NOTE:  After Judge Harrison retired from the law partnership with George A. Mahan in 1892, George A. Mahan practiced law by himself until around 1907, when he formed a law partnership with Albert Smith and Dulany Mahan (son of George A. Mahan), known as Mahan, Smith and Mahan.  This partnership continued until the early 1920’s when Mr. Smith retired due to his health, and Ezra Fuller joined the firm, which was then known as Mahan, Mahan and Fuller.  George Mahan died in the middle 1930’s, and afterward, Dulany Mahan and Ezra Fuller continued together in the practice of law under the name of Mahan and Fuller until the death of Dulany Mahan in 1940.  Ezra Fuller then brought his son, Elgin T. Fuller, into the firm, and Ben Ely joined them in the firm around the outbreak of World War II, with the firm being known as Fuller, Fuller and Ely.  This continued until around 1950 when Ezra Fuller retired, and Roger Hibbard joined the law firm, which continued then under the firm name of Mahan, Ely, and Hibbard, until Elgin T. Fuller was appointed Circuit Judge in Hannibal.  Thereafter, the firm continued by the name of Ely and Hibbard until around 1965, when Roger Hibbard died, and James E. Cary joined the firm, which then became known as Ely and Cary.  This continued until 1977 when Joseph D. Welch joined the firm, which then became known as Ely, Cary and Welch.  Charles L. Hickman joined the firm in July of 1983, and thereafter, the firm practiced under the name of Ely, Cary, Welch and Hickman.  Ben Ely retired from the practice of law in the early 1980s, but it was not until after the death of he and his wife in the mid-1990s that the firm name was changed to Cary, Welch and Hickman, under which name the firm still operates today (2000).  Charles L. Hickman is the “editor” of this private reprint of The Stillwell Murder.


26.          Judge Samuel J. Harrison.

  The following photograph of Judge Samuel J. Harrison is from page 448 of  The Mirror of Hannibal, C. P. Greene, 1905 (original edition):  


The following biographical sketch of Judge Samuel J. Harrison appears at p. 377 of The Mirror of Hannibal, C. P. Greene, 1905 (revised edition 1990):  

JUDGE  SAMUEL J. HARRISON.  This prominent Hannibal attorney was born in St. Louis, Mo., July 18th, 1842.  He is the son of W. P. and Margaret (Morton) Harrison.  The father of our subject was a native of Virginia, emigrating to Missouri and settling in St. Louis shortly after he arrived at the age of 14.  While in St. Louis he was married to Miss Margaret Morton when in his 20th year.  His wife’s father settled in St. Louis in 1820, where he afterwards became one of the city’s leading contractors and builders.

Mr. Harrison came to Hannibal in 1845 and engaged in the mercantile business with his brother Samuel J., who was in 1847 and 1848 Mayor of Hannibal.  In 1851 he was elected Mayor of the city, and in 1864 was elected to the Senate from the Hannibal district.  Subsequently he was appointed to the bench of the Circuit Court.  While at Palmyra he was made Register of the Land Office.  During the Civil War he was appointed Lieutenant-colonel and also Provost Marshal of Hannibal.  At the close of the war he continued his practice until a short time before his death, which occurred July 19th, 1894.

His wife, Margaret Morton, was  a daughter of George and Mary Morton.  To them were born a family of several children, of whom six grew to mature years.  They are George M., now deceased; Samuel J.; Ellen M., wife of Guy Bryan, of St. Louis; Margaret, who married Dr. E. C. Hays of this city, now deceased; Nannie C., wife of J. C. Fuller, of Kansas, and Sallie B., now deceased.  The wife and mother departed this life February 24th, 1852, and the judge married later Miss Nannie Bullock, of Kentucky.  To this union were born seven children:  Frank, Lucy, Lizzie, Alice, Thomas Q., William P., Jr., and Jesse McVeigh.

The subject of this sketch was educated in the parochial schools of Palmyra, the St. Paul College and the Baptist College.  When his father removed to Hannibal, he became a student of the schools here and in June, 1861, enlisted in the Confederate service, under the command of Major Hawkins.  He later joined the regular Confederate army at Richmond, Virginia, serving until the surrender of the army at Appomattox.  Mr. Harrison participated in many of the noted engagements of that time, among them that of Gettysburg, Winchester, Spottsylvania, Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Siege of Petersburg and Five Forks.  He was wounded in both of the latter engagements.  At the close of the war, Judge Harrison engaged in the mercantile business in this city until 1868, when he located on a farm in Ralls County, remaining there for ten years, when he returned to Hannibal and began the study of law, with his father and brother, and was admitted to the bar in 1880.  Two years later he was elected Justice of the Peace and served continuously for twelve years, after which he resumed the practice of law.

Judge Harrison first married Miss Alice McPike, on December 10th, 1868.  To them was born one son, Abraham McPike, who died in infancy.  The mother died December 27th, 1870, and in 1872 the judge was married to Miss Alice, daughter of John Crow.  To them was born one son, who died when 7 years of age.  The mother died February 12th, 1874, and on December 17th, 1889, our subject chose for his third wife Mary E. Buchanan.  To them have been born four children, Walker W., Margaret M., Mary B. and Samuel J., Margaret M. having died at the age of 4 years.

Judge Harrison was in 1884 sent as a delegate to the State Convention which nominated Marmaduke for Governor. He was chairman of the delegation sent from Marion County in 1888 which nominated D. R. Francis for Governor, and in 1892 was chairman of the county delegation which named Stone for Governor, as also in the convention which nominated Folk for Governor.  From 1890 to 1892 he was chairman of the County Central Committee, and four years chairman of the Congressional Committee of the First District.

During his long incumbency in the office of Justice of the Peace, Judge Harrison discharged his duties creditably and ably.  He is one man whom the people of Hannibal hold in the highest esteem.  He has at all times taken a deep interest in municipal affairs, having given his aid willingly in the furthering of all measures in which the welfare of the city was at stake.  The Judge is a member of the Presbyterian Church, of which his wife is also a member.  Mrs. Harrison is quite active in church work, belongs to several leading ladies’ clubs and also is a member of several literary societies.


27.          Samuel J. Miller.

The following biographical sketch of Samuel J. Miller appeared a few years before the murder of Amos J. Stillwell in 1888 in The History of Marion County, Missouri, by E. F. Perkins, 1884, at p. 964:  

SAMUEL J. MILLER, is a son of Alban and Amy (Green) Miller, both natives of Pennsylvania.  He was born in Delaware county, Pennsylvania, October 7, 1842. In 1848 his parents moved to Chester county, Pa.  He was raised on a farm, and at the age of 18 learned the carpenter’s trade.  In May, 1864, he enlisted in Company I, 137th Illinois regiment.  He was stationed at Memphis, Tennessee, when Gen. Forrest made his raid on that city in 1864; he was captured and carried to the Confederate camp.  Not being able to travel he was condemned to be shot, but an officer interposed.  He was recaptured the same evening by the Federals.  In 1865 he came to Hannibal, where he worked in the car shops one year.  He then followed  contracting and building up to 1873.  He next engaged in the furniture and undertaking business for Mr. Shultz, and for two or three years was with Mr. Brice. In 1879 he started his present business (undertaking) and has a  large custom.  He is a K. of P., and has filled all the chairs of his lodge, and is a  representative of the Grand Lodge.  In 1866 he married Miss Caroline Lewis, of Hannibal.  They have two children.  


28.          C. P. Heywood.              

C. P. Heywood was the collector of Marion County, Missouri in 1876.


29.          Louise “Lulu” Stillwell.

See biographical note 7 above on Richard H. Stillwell, husband of Louise “Lulu” Stillwell, for additional information.


30.          Judge Gilchrist Porter.

Judge Gilchrist Porter was born November 1, 1817 in Windsor, Culpepper County, Virginia, and died November 1, 1894 in Hannibal, Marion County, Missouri.  He married Comfort W. Dorsey, daughter of Col. E. W. Dorsey.  She was born March 6, 1823, and died August 9, 1892 in Hannibal, Marion County, Missouri.

The following biographical sketch of Judge Gilchrist Porter appeared a few years before the murder of Amos J. Stillwell in 1888 in The History of Marion County, Missouri, by E. F. Perkins, 1884, at p. 613:  


Among the very many men who have adopted Missouri for a home, few have done more to advance her interests than the gentleman whose name heads this sketch.  Gilchrist Porter was born in Culpepper County, Virginia, Nov. 1, 1817, and came with his father, William Porter, a native of Fredericksburg, Va., to Missouri in October, 1835.  His mother was Mary Macaulay Duncanson, also a native of Fredericksburg.

Gilchrist Porter was admitted to the bar in 1837, and began his professional career at Bowling Green, Pike County, this State (Missouri).  He was elected circuit attorney of the 3d judicial circuit in August, 1838, at the first election for that office, and was reelected in 1840; his service in that capacity lasted six years.  In 1844 he was elected to the Missouri Legislature, with Hon. Wm. Biggs, on the Whig ticket, serving in the revising session of 1844-5.  Hon. Hamilton R. Gamble, afterward one of the Judges of the Supreme Court and also Provisional Governor of Missouri, was an associate with Judge Porter on the revising committee at this session.

In 1861 he was appointed by Gov. Gamble judge of the 16th circuit to fill the vacancy then existing by reason of the failure of Judge John T. Redd to take the oath then required by law.  In 1863 he was elected to the same position without opposition, but in 1865 he was deposed by Gov. Fletcher under the "ousting ordinance." In 1867 the appointment of judge of the 3d judicial circuit was tendered him by the Governor, and was accepted.  Afterward he was twice elected to the position by the people of his circuit, both times as a non-partisan candidate.  His service on the bench extended over a period of seventeen years-fourteen years continuously-and was of general acceptability to the people.  His decisions and rulings were marked with ability and fairness and rarely disturbed or complained of.

In 1850 Judge Porter was elected to the XXXII Congress from this district-then the 2d-as a Whig, his Democratic opponent being Hon John B. Henderson. The canvass preceding the election was vigorous and spirited, but Mr. Porter was successful by a majority of 1,400 votes.  In 1854 he was elected to the XXXIV Congress, again as a Whig, defeating Hon. Tully R. Cornie, Democrat, by over 1,200 majority.

In 1856 he declined a reelection to Congress, and since that time he has taken no very active part in politics.  The old Whig party, in whose principles he was a firm believer, was, as he thought, unwisely disbanded, and although he has since acted with the Democratic party, he has found no political organization altogether and completely to his liking.  In 1860 he voted for Bell and Everett.  During the civil war he was an unconditional Union man.  His efforts to prevent the State of Missouri from taking part in the secession movement and to avert the war are noted briefly on other pages.  His first Democratic Presidential vote was given for Gen. Geo. B. McClellan, in 1864.

Judge Porter now resides with his family in the city of Hannibal, engaged in the practice of the law, in which he is so well versed, and full of years and honors is spending the evening of his life in peace and comfort.


Below is the portrait of Judge Gilchrist Porter which hangs in the courtroom of the Circuit Court of Ralls County, Missouri, at New London, Missouri.


The following biographical sketch is from the Standard Atlas of Pike County, Missouri, W. R. Brink & Co., 1875, at page 25:  


One of Missouri’s most honored sons by adoption is a native of Culpepper County, Virginia, where he was born on the first day of November, 1817.  He is the youngest son and third child of William and Mary M. Porter, there being in all six children.  His father emigrated with his family to Missouri, in 1835, and settled in Lincoln County, where the subject of this sketch continued the study of law, in Troy until 1837, when after sustaining a brilliant examination he obtained a license to practice, from Judge McGirk, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri.  After being admitted to the bar he immediately commenced the practice of his profession at Bowling Green.

At the first election after the office of Circuit Attorney was made elective by the people, in August, 1838, he was chosen to that position for the third Judicial Circuit, then embracing the counties of Ralls, Pike, Lincoln, Montgomery, Warren, and St. Charles.  In 1840, he was re-elected to the same office without opposition, for the full term of four years, and performed his official duties with general acceptance and marked ability.  In 1844, he was nominated with William Biggs, as a Whig candidate for the Legislature.  He and Mr. Biggs, after a vigorous canvass of the district, were elected by handsome majorities, and served during the session of 1844 & 45.

Though a young man and a new member, few were more efficient and useful than Mr. Porter, or more strongly endeared themselves to the members of both parties.  With his diligent industry, and gentlemanly and obliging disposition, it might have been truly said, “None named him but to praise.”

After the adjournment of the Legislature he returned to private life, and actively and successfully engaged in the practice of his chosen profession.  Such attorneys as Edward Bates, James O. Broadhead, John B. Henderson, and others of noted ability were his competitors.

In 1850, he was the regular Whig candidate to represent the second congressional district.  Though he could not hope to be elected with an admitted Democratic majority of 2000 against him he made an active and thorough canvass of each county comprising the district, and won golden opinions from friends, and opponents.  In spite of the heavy odds against him, his popularity was so great and his fitness for the position so universally recognized, that the wishes of his friends were accomplished, and he was chosen to represent the district in Congress.  He made a hard working conservative and useful member, commanding the respect of men of all parties both in and out of Congress.  By his honorable course he maintained his former popularity with his Whig constituents, to the extent, that no other was spoken of for the candidacy in 1852.

His Democratic opponent, Hon. A. D. Lamb, made an active and thorough canvass, Judge Porter, remaining in his seat until after the election, feeling that his official duties would not permit him to leave, and preferring an honest discharge of public duty to success purchased by its neglect.  He accordingly was defeated, by less than half of the Democratic majority in the district.  Before the election in 1854, the State was redistricted, after which Judge Porter was again elected by a large majority and served his term faithfully and acceptably, performing his duties.  Before the expiration of the term he declined a re-election, preferring the quiet of private life and the practice of his profession to the turmoil of political strife.  Since his retirement from Congressional honors, he has taken no part in politics, except as every good citizen should do.  He, however, during the Presidential campaign of 1860 made two speeches at large Bell and Everett Meetings, one at Warrenton, and one at St. Joseph, Missouri.

In 1861, he was, on the petition of nearly or quite all of the members of the bar of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, appointed by Governor Gamble, Judge of that District.  At the expiration of the term for which he was appointed, he was elected in November, 1863, to the same office without opposition, and held it till ousted by the ousting ordinance of the Convention of 1865.  He was then appointed by Governor Fletcher for the residue of the term for which he had been previously elected.  In January, 1867, he was appointed to the Judgeship of the third Judicial Circuit, to fill a then existing vacancy.

In 1868, he was elected to the same office, by the people, for the full term of six years, without opposition, and was re-elected in 1874, by a highly complimentary majority.

As a Judge he has discharged his duties very well.  He has neither been affected by the dignity of station, nor rendered dictatorial by the exercise of power.  His kindness and courtesy to the members of the bar, while it neither detracted from the dignity of his character nor hindered the administration of justice, has bound them to him by ties of lasting affection.  “With an equal scale he weighs the offenses betwixt man and man.”

He was married in 1840, to Miss C. M., daughter of Col. E. W. Dorsey of Pike County.  For the last five years Judge Porter has been a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in which he is now senior warden of the church at Clarksville.