Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Porter was born in Centre County, Pennsylvania, June 24, 1816. She was united in marriage to William Y. Porter, of Huntington County, September 27, 1836. Mr. Porter preceded his wife to the heavenly home a few days more than 20 years. In 1838 husband and wife united at the same time with the Presbyterian Church of Manner Hill, in Huntington County, Penn., Rev. David Sterit, Pastor. On moving to Centre county they united with Hamilt church. Now Lemont church.
They emigrated to Illinois and united with the Middle Creek Church, then under the pastoral care of G. Carson. Sister Porter had been an active member during the whole of the present honored pastor’s administration at Middle Creek.
She left her home in usual health for Guide Rock, Webster County, Neb., to visit her son William. There she died, of typhoid Pneumonia. Her remains were brought home at the same time she had intended to return, if health had continued. Though it is evident that she had strong premonitions, and impressions that she would not return alive. All her worldy affairs were arranged with care, and a short biographical sketch of her own life left in her bureau drawer. She was too tender of her daughter’s feelings to mention it yet left the sketch for her comfort. She spoke to individuals in Byron as if she did not intend to return, yet she was calm and cheerful because she was ready, her temporal and spiritual concerns were all right.
While she was visiting she was cheerful and happy, and after sickness seized her frame, and it became apparent that she could not recover she said to her son, “It is all right, I am ready.” She was visited during her sickness by Rev. Burbank, pastor of the M. E. Church, and wife. They testify to her preparedness to meet death, as a friend. She talked about it, like a person starting on a journey for which they had been long preparing. The oldest and youngest of her children and the oldest and youngest of her grandchildren were among the friends who witnessed her triumphant death.
She leaves 8 children to mourn their loss, 4 sons and 4 daughters. All of whom were present at the funeral but one. Mrs. Josephine Posson, she was present at her mother’s death, but was prevented by circumstances from attending the funeral.
Pastor Braddock remarked at the funeral service, “For thirty years sister Porter has gone in and out among us, respecting and being respected by every one; a good neighbor; a careful companion; a fond mother and a consistent Christian.” We shall all miss her.
After the funeral the friends and family returned to the house, where the will was read, resulting in entire satisfaction to the whole. She had decided wisely and well, and her posterity approve her action, and bless her memory. JHT
Byron Express, Jul. 8, 1887, p. 1
Contributed by Bob Hutchins