Dr. Reese B. Porter of Lawrence Co., AL
There undoubtedly are errors on this page.  Please use this information as a guide rather than a gospel.

Dr. Reese B. Porter of Town Creek
~ Lawrence Co., AL ~

Bobby J. Wadsworth
<[email protected]>

1. REESE BOWEN PORTER, son of Reese Porter and Elizabeth Taliaferro, b. 08 Dec 1836 in Franklin Co., AL; d. 16 Jul 1905 in Town Creek, Lawrence Co., AL; bur. Lightfoot Cemetery near Town Creek, AL.

He md/1 HENRIETTA "Nettie" LIGHTFOOT, dau. of Robert W. Lightfoot and Catherine Delia Read, 08 Oct 1861 in Lawrence Co., AL.  She was b. 08 Nov 1843 in Lawrence Co., AL; d. 23 Jan 1891 in Lawrence Co., AL; bur. Lightfoot Cemetery.  Their children included:

    11.    LUCY A. PORTER, b. c1865 in Town Creek, AL; d. young.

    12.    SARAH E. PORTER, b. c1867 in Town Creek, AL; d. young.

    13.    ANNA MARY PORTER, b. Jan 1870 in Town Creek, AL; d. 19 Jan 1878 in Town Creek, AL.1

    14.    FANNIE PORTER, b. c1879 in Town Creek, AL; d. young.

He md/2 FRANCES "Fannie" TALIAFERRO, dau. of Benjamin Taliaferro and Nancy Truitt, 17 Jan 1892 in Lawrence Co., AL.  She was b. 04 May 1850 in Lawrence Co., AL; d. 19 Apr 1930 in Town Creek, AL; bur. Lightfoot Cemetery.  They had no known children.

Reese PORTER and Elizabeth TALIAFERRO were married about 1815, probably in Lincoln Co., TN, where they were recorded on the 1820 U.S. census (p. 125).  They reportedly later moved with Charles C. TALIAFERRO (Reese's brother-in-law) to Lawrence Co., AL, settling "at or near" the village of Town Creek.2  However, the 1840 U.S. census finds the PORTER family in neighboring Franklin Co., AL (p. 236).  Reece Bowen PORTER was born in Franklin County in 1836.

The elder Reese PORTER moved his family to Titus Co., TX, in the mid-to-late 1840s and purchased several hundred acres near Mt. Pleasant.  Reese B. PORTER, listed as 13 years of age, was recorded in his parents' household on the 1850 U.S. census of Titus County (p. 109).  Nothing is known of the younger Reese's existence in Texas.  By the next census of 1860, he had left the family home.  He eventually made his way back to the Town Creek area and was married there in 1861.  He later joined the Confederate army, serving as 4th sergeant in Co. C, 35th Alabama Infantry.

The 1870 U.S. census of Lawrence Co., AL, reveals that Reese B. PORTER had become a practicing physician.  He reported real property valued at $3,890 and a personal estate worth $1,300 (p. 129).  By the standards of the day, he would have been considered a wealthy man.  A report of the Lawrence County Medical Society in 1877 confirms that his full name was Reese Bowen Porter.3  Later U.S. censuses list him as a farmer and a dry goods merchant, so he appears to have prospered in a variety of ventures.

Reese's first wife died in 1891 and was buried in the Lightfoot family cemetery near Town Creek.  One researcher's visit there in the 1970s established the cemetery's location in a pasture on the property of one Billy LEE, III.  Reese later married Fannie TALIAFERRO, his first cousin, once removed.  The couple was recorded in Town Creek on the 1900 U.S. census (p. 164).  Reese died there 5 years later.
Dr. R.B. Porter, one of the most prominent professional and business men of North Alabama, died at his home in Town Creek last Sunday night after an illness of about one month.  He would have been sixty-nine years of age on the 8th of December next ... He served with distinction in the Confederate army, was a prominent member of Camp Fred Ashford, U.C.V. [United Confederate Veterans], and took a great interest in the meetings of the camp and the annual reunions ... He was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, holding the office of High Priest in the Royal Arch chapter, as well as high office in the Blue Lodge ... The funeral services were held in the Methodist church at Town Creek Tuesday morning, and the interment was in the Lightfoot cemetery ... He leaves a devoted wife to mourn his death.  (Leighton News 21 Jul 1905)4
During the probate of his estate, some of Reese's real property was sold and the proceeds were to be divided among his heirs.  He had no surviving children, so his heirs included the offspring of his deceased brothers and sister(s).  The names of these 39 individuals and their last known places of residence were published presumably in the Moulton Advertiser in January 1907.5  This "Probate Notice" has been an invaluable tool in identifying the descendants of the elder Reese PORTER.  Two of the men listed, however, have yet to be connected to this family — Lee Murphy PORTER, "who is over 21 years old, and whose particular place of residence is unknown"; and Dr. J.L. JEFFREYS (sic), "who resides at Roff, Ind. [Territory]" (now Pontotoc Co., OK). 

More research is needed to locate the elusive Lee M. PORTER.  The good doctor has been identified as John L. JEFFRESS (1869–1927).  He had lived in Hopkins Co., TX, before moving to the Indian Territory shortly after the 1900 census.  John was the nephew of Dr. D.H. JEFFRESS (1837–1885), whose son Charles married Mary Indiana BROOKS in Hood Co., TX, in 1886.  Miss BROOKS's mother, nee Nancy Jane PORTER, was the niece of Dr. Reese B. PORTER (the subject of this sketch).  The Probate Notice, however, points to an earlier, and as yet unknown, PORTER-JEFFRESS connection.

Bobby J. Wadsworth
Carrollton, Texas


1.  Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith, "Death Notices from the Christian Advocate, Nashville, Tennessee 1877-1879," <www.tngenweb.org/records/davidson/nca/nca6-04.htm>, (©2000).  ["MARY PORTER, only child of Dr. R.B. and Nettie Porter, died Town Creek, Ala., Jan. 19, 1878 aged about 7 years; the only one of seven children who had survived."]

2.  Mary E Porter, A Family History, William Porter, Jr., of Rockbridge County, Virginia (1740-1804) and Five Generations of His Descendants, (by the author, El Reno, OK, 1984), p. 41.

3.  Transactions of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, (The Brown Printing Co., State Printers, Binders & Stationers, Montgomery, AL, 1889), pp. 189-190.  [“Lawrence County Medical Society — Birmingham, 1877 ... Moved out of the county ... Reese Bowen Porter, Town Creek.”]

4.  Hoyt Cagle, "Colbert County, AL, Ancestor Sightings: 1836-1919," <www.lawrencecounty.ala.nu/ColbertS.htm>, 01 Jan 2004.  ["The Moulton Advertiser, still published in Lawrence County, is the oldest weekly in AL.  The Leighton News was published weekly in Leighton, Colbert County.  Until 1895, Leighton was half in Lawrence and half in Colbert County."]

5.  "Probate Notice ... R.B. Porter, deceased, Estate of."  Loose newpaper clipping in the possession of Freddie Wayne Cox of Arlington, Texas, in July 1994.