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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Leon W. Porter

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 45-46 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Leon W. Porter, who has been continuously identified with the electrical business since leaving school, is now at the head of an extensive and profitable enterprise as president and treasurer of the Porter Electric Company of Utica, wholesale dealers in all kinds of electrical supplies and appliances. He was born at Hartwick, Otsego county, New York, on the 16th of October, 1881, and obtained his education in the grammar and high schools at the place of his nativity. After putting aside his textbooks he began learning the electrical business and became a practical electrician. Subsequently he studied electrical engineering, in which field he is a recognized expert. Mr. Porter was connected with electrical construction concerns in Utica and Albany as a traveling representative for seven years.

It was in 1906, when a young man of twenty-five years, that he came to Utica and entered the service of the B. & C. Electric Company, the business of which he acquired by purchase one year later. In 1914 the name of the enterprise was changed to the Porter Electric Company, Inc., with the following officers: Leon W. Porter, president and treasurer; Mary L. Porter, vice president; and J. Carney Gross, secretary. At this time the Porter Electric Company abandoned construction work and changed to a wholesale concern dealing in all kinds of electrical supplies and appliances. The steady growth and expansion of the business is largely attributable to the sound judgment, excellent executive ability and unassailable integrity of the man at its head.

On the 10th of September, 1908, Mr. Porter was united in marriage to Miss Mary Louise Kelly, daughter of Michael L. Kelly of Utica and representative of an old and respected family of the city. Mr. and Mrs. Porter are the parents of six children: George Vincent, Caroline Elizabeth, John Edward, Isabel Mary, Jean Sarah and Mary Louise.

In politics Mr. Porter maintains an independent attitude, believing that the capability and qualifications of a candidate are of more importance than his party affiliations. He is a communicant of St. Francis de Sales church and fraternally is identified with the Knights of Columbus and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He also belongs to the Kiwanis Club and to the Utica Golf & Country Club and has gained an extensive circle of warm friends in social as well as business circles of his adopted city.

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