Porter, Charles Henry


  In insurance circles of Connecticut the name of Charles Henry Porter figures prominently, for he is special representative of the Equitable Life Assurance Company, with offices in New Haven. He was born February 1, 1856, in Naugatuck, Connecticut, and is a son of Charles Henry Porter, Sr. The founder of the American branch of the Porter family was Dr. Daniel Porter, who was one of the physicians of the Connecticut colony. He was doubtless born in England and at an early period in the colonization of the new world crossed the Atlantic. The records show that he was fined three pounds and sixteen shillings in 1644 or 1645 for some trivial offense by the particular court. He was licensed to practice physics and chirurgy by the general court of Connecticut. In 1661 a yearly salary of six pounds was ordered paid him out of the public treasury and his “fee table” was established by law. He was a celebrated bone setter, as the surgeons were then commonly called. He settled in Farmington, Connecticut, and was on the list of freemen in 1672. In 1668 he was “freed from watching, warding, tryneing (training)” and in the following year a special grant was made him by the general court for his services, of a hundred acres, laid out afterward in the northwest corner of Wallingford. That tract was not in the colony land and in 1728, on petition of his grandson, Daniel Porter, son of Daniel and Hezekiah Porter, of Woodbury, the former a son of Dr. Richard Porter of New Haven, one hundred acres was granted instead of the original tract west of the Housatonic river. In 1671 the salary of Dr. Porter was raised to twelve pounds “as an encouragement for setting bones,” and the court advised him to instruct some neat person in his art. Evidently he instructed his son Daniel, and his sons, Richard and Samuel, also became “bone setters.”

  Charles Henry Porter, father of him whose name introduces this review, was born in Naugatuck Connecticut, July 8, 1832, and was a son of Henry A. and Abigail (Platt) Porter. The mother was born in 1814 and died in 1903, at Bridgeport. In the family were two children, Charles H. and Sarah, the latter becoming the wife of Calvin Hall, of Bridgeport. The son, Charles H., married Isabella Carter and to them were born two children, Charles Henry and Ida F., the birth of the latter occurring on the 9th of June, 1869.

  Charles Henry Porter, of this review, attended the public schools and Day’s preparatory school of Bridgeport. He then took up the study of music and in the course of time was graduated from the Leipzig Conservatory of Music in Germany. Upon his return to his native country he founded the Conservatory of Music in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was its director for the first sixteen years of its existence. He then accepted the office of manager for the Equitable Life Insurance Company for the Maritime provinces and for Newfoundland. While living in Nova Scotia he was also teacher of the piano and musical theory in the conservatory and was organist in St. Mathew’s Protestant church at Halifax. He was also conductor of the Orpheus Club for a period of twenty years and thus figured very prominently in the musical circles of Canada. In July, 1906, he became state manager of the Equitable Life Insurance Company, with offices at No. 129 Church street in New Haven, continuing in that capacity until January, 1917, when he was appointed special representative of the company and thus he occupies a leading position in insurance circles in the state.

  On the 12th of May, 1908, Mr. Porter was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Chamberlain, who was born April 24, 1877, a daughter of George R. Chamberlain. Mr. Porter’s political endorsement is given to the republican party, and while not an office seeker, he keeps in close touch with the trend of modern political thought and progress. He belongs to the Quinnipiac Club and the Country Club, both of New Haven, also to the Chamber of Commerce, and he was made a Mason in the Virgin Lodge, No. 37, F. & A. M., at Halifax, Nova Scotia, loyally adhering to the teachings of the craft, which is based upon a recognition of the brotherhood of mankind and the obligations thereby imposed. He is a man of broad and liberal culture with whom association means expansion and elevation and he is now writing his name large upon the business history of his state

Modern History of New Haven
Eastern New Haven County


Volume II

New York – Chicago
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 

pgs 691 - 692

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pages / text are copyrighted by
Elaine Kidd O'Leary &
Anne Taylor-Czaplewski
May 2002