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4 Otis Clark Porter

Otis Clark Porter was born January 02, 1902, near Covington, Oklahoma, son of John Frank Porter and Lillie Mae Clark.  He was the sixth of 12 children.

Otis Clark (O.C.) married twice.  His first wife was Bonnie Marie Jennings, married on July 04, 1922.  She was the daughter of Albert Jennings and Blanche Sutherland.  She was also a distant relative (5th cousin twice removed) of the famous Dolly Madison, wife of U.S. President James Madison (go to the bottom of this page for more information).  Bonnie was born December 11, 1904 and died October 8, 1959. 

O.C. Porter’s second wife was Lottie Joiner, married November, 1960.  Lottie has a son, Hal Joiner.

O.C. Porter died November 30, 2003 at the age of 101 years, in Guthrie, Oklahoma.  He lies buried next to Bonnie at Summit View Cemetery, Guthrie, Oklahoma (block 32, lot 15).

Welcome to the FAMILY porter history web site

LIFE OF O.C. PORTER

 

                 Lilly Mae Porter was sitting on the bank of a stream with some of her children, waiting for her husband to return from Enid in a wagon, when she had a vision with a light shining about her which indicated to her that the baby she was expecting was to have an interest in Bible prophecy.  The family lived in a sod house 1-1/2 miles north of Covington (on the 1/2 mile line, a road still goes east to the sod house).  A man named Crow lived across the road.  Lillie Mae picked cotton for him.

                 When her baby was born on January 2, 1902, she named him Otis Clark Porter, using her maiden name as his middle name.  She did not tell her son of the vision that she had until on her death- bed.  She and her husband and children were living in a sod house 2 miles north of Covington.  She was married to John Franklin Porter and Clark was her sixth child.

                 When Clark was about 2 years old they moved to the Kenamon farm 3 miles east of Orlando.  From there they moved west of Perry, to a place up on a high hill.  They spent a bad winter there, losing quite a few of their cattle before moving to another farm, twelve miles south of Perry, and twelve miles west of Stillwater.  This is called the old Porter farm where most of the Porter family was raised.  The farm was near Poverty Knob School, which is still standing.  Clark and his father used a two-man saw to cut a large tree split it into posts  to sell for 4 cents apiece.  Father was township treasurer, school board and road boss.  Poll tax required each man spend two days with team or 4 days single-handed to keep roads maintained.  Clark would spend much time delivering relief horses to his father who was mowing the grass along side the railroad right-of-way east of Guthrie.  He also worked delivering oil field pipe to well sites.  He also delivered telegrams on a bicycle, and worked at the Freeman Langston Grocery Company.

                 The children would attend school in a one-room school house.  Later, the teacher would become Clark’s sister-in-law.  Clark was small for his age when he finished the 8th grade.  His parents would not let him go to Oklahoma City to high school, so he was made to repeat the eighth grade where he acted as the teacher’s assistant.  Finally the day came for him to move to Oklahoma City, wearing knickerbockers and a cap he rode the train.  He lived with his sister Grace and her husband Elmer Ventris.  There he got his first suit. (His everyday clothes had been overalls, but when he had dressed up he had worn knickerbockers.)  He attended Central High School,  which was a large four story building on Robinson, where he struggled to learn the numbering of the rooms and floors and finding his classes.  This is still the subject of some of his nightmares.

While Clark attended high school, his dad moved the family to Quay.  Clark went to Quay to be with his dad and attended school there for a time.  When he returned to Oklahoma City later, the school would not accept class credits from Quay, and Clark had to double up to get credits, taking double Spanish and Algebra.  Clark started driving at about 17 years of age.
                 When he graduated from high school in 1921, he and his Dad became partners in a grocery store in OKC.  While running the store, he became acquainted with Bonnie Marie Jennings, a shy girl who shopped in his store.  He would slip a banana, cookie or some treat into her groceries and this started their courtship.  She was working for very small wages, but contributed to the house rent for her mother and father, Blanche and Bert Jennings.  This led to Clark's acquaintance with her mother, Blanche, who proved to be the inspiration to him to give his life to Christ in 1924.  Her life was full of tribulation, but she always had patience which she acquired by spending much time in prayer.  He said that he would hear her praying many times when he would go to her house.  He gave his heart to the Lord in the kitchen kneeling by a chair.  This lead to a relationship with the Lord that gave him his greatest pleasure in life.
                 After meeting Bonnie, he quit working in the store full-time and started to work at Iten Biscuit Company.  On July 4, 1921, Bonnie and Clark went to the Justice of the Peace to be married.  They continued to live in OKC, where they both worked at the bakery (which later became Nabisco) where Clark was a baker and Bonnie packed cookies.  There were many friends and family members who worked there.  This was a memorable time to all.  Mr. Love was custodian, Dillard Hornbeck, electrician; George Lounds was carpenter.  John and Mary Dilley, his sisters-Lucille, Pauline and Mary were among those that worked there. 

                 On April 25, 1923, they had their first child, a son, Clark Junior.  Clark and Bonnie worked at Iten for five years before deciding to buy a small grocery store on N.W. Wheeler in Oklahoma City.  Clark did a lot of Bible studying during this time and they kept the store only about six months.
                 Farming was their next interest.  Clark and Bonnie moved to a rented farm called Hemp Hill which was about 1 ½ miles south of Prairie Grove School.  They bought three cows, a team of horses, and a sow that had two litters, one of which had thirteen piglets.  There they milked the cows, bottled the milk (approximately 10 quarts a day) and took it into Guthrie where he sold it to his Uncle Charlie to sell in his store.  They received about 8 cents a quart.  Finally some of the livestock was traded to Brother Shoot, who was pastor in Oklahoma City then, for baby chickens. 

                 They then moved back to Oklahoma City to a house on South Pennsylvania  where he built chicken houses and raised chickens which helped to pay his trolley fare of eight dollars and eighty-eight cents a month, to Central State University at Edmond, to acquire a lifetime teaching certificate hoping to be able to have contact with students so he could help them.  His classes were (among other things,) first and second year Spanish, and first and second year algebra all at the same time.  He also took football coaching (although he didn't have any idea of how to play the game) and graduated with a life time certificate in elementary teaching. 

                 When he started teaching, they bought a house on Shartel Avenue in Oklahoma City, where their second son, Kenneth Eugene was born on March 25, 1929.  He taught in several one-room school houses, three of which were east of Oklahoma City and two near Stillwater.  He finally quit teaching when he felt that too much entertainment was required and he was more interested in doing church work. 

                 Clark and Bonnie moved into a house near the Guthrie airport, where to their delight they found their neighbors were the Britt family who were of the Guthrie Church of God.  Their son Carrol was born there on October 16, 1935.  In 1936 he bought Uncle Charley's grocery store at 219 W. Springer, which had a house attached to it.  The store sold eggs from his hens, milk from his cows, and other items from kerosene to animal feed.  He named the store the Golden Rule Grocery.  While living there they had their last child, a girl, Anecia Blanche Porter, born on March 17, 1939.  Clark would tell later about bringing mules to Guthrie from just west of Stillwater.  As they arrived in Guthrie, the Electric Inter-Urban trolley car frightened the animals.

                 One night he attended a Revelation Study given by F.G. Smith, in Shawnee, where he saw his charts and heard his lesson, which stimulated in him a life time desire to study the Bible.  During this time he wrote the Sunday School lessons then later accepted the position of Pastor of the Guthrie Church of God Congregation, where he served as pastor until the death of his wife Bonnie, in 1959.
                 In 1945, the family moved from 402 South 2nd to 511 East Springer, while still operating the grocery store.  In 1950, the family made another move to a farm three miles east of Guthrie, where Clark continued to live after Bonnie's death.   Clark raised wheat and other crops, and Registered Polled Hereford cattle.
                 In November 1960, Clark married Lottie Joiner, who lived in Loranger, Louisiana., where they lived for a very short time.  They came back to Guthrie where they lived at the farm for a while.  They later moved to a house south of Guthrie.

                 When Lottie had to be put into a nursing home, Clark moved into a mobile home located in his son Gene's mobile-home park.  There he helped in mowing grass with a tractor and brush hog.  He was in his nineties at this time.  After Gene's death, Clark moved into a mobile home on his farm east of town, where he was close to both Carrol and Anecia.  He enjoyed watching and caring for the cows and bought a bull when he was ninety-five years old.  During this time he was active giving Bible Studies and lectures on Revelations whenever opportunity presented.

                 Otis Clark Porter died on November 30, 2003.  He lies buried next to Bonnie at Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie.

Click on small picture  to see larger version.

Bonnie Marie Jennings was a distant relative (5th cousin twice removed) of the famous Dolly Madison, who was wife of James Madison, 4th President of the United States. 

Here is the family tree connection:

 

Bonnie Marie Jennings (11 Dec 1904 - 08 Oct 1959)

His Father:  Albert C. Jennings (20 Jan 1881 - 04 Feb 1957)

His Father:  William Pet Jennings, born Clay County, Indiana (16 Feb 1844 - 08 Dec 1929)

His Father:  Luke Jennings, born Indiana (1810 - Sep 1869)

His Father:  William M. Jennings (1784 - May 1856)

His Father:  Ludewick Jennings (24 Feb 1748 - 22 Nov 1837)

His Father:  John Jennings (08 Dec 1706 - 1811)

His Father:  John Jennings (04 Sep 1667 - 1733)

His Father:  Humfrey Jennings (23 Aug 1629 - 06 July 1689)

His Son:  Charles Jennings (28 July 1662 - 04 July 1777)

His Daughter:  Sarah Jennings Dabney (1680 - 1714)

Her Daughter:  Mary D’Aubignes Dabney Winston (1709 - Nov 1784)

Her Daughter:  Lucy Winston Coles (1724 - 1784)

Her Daughter:  Mary Molly Coles Payne (1740 - 08 Feb 1808)

Her Daughter:  Dorothea Dolley Payne (Todd) Madison (20 May 1768 - 12 July 1849)

Thoughts of O.C. Clark’s.  Beginning date January 12, 1988.

 

A few remarks concerning O.C. Porter’s first few years.  My father and mother, John Franklin and Lillie May Clark Porter, had been living in southern Kansas near Marysville, moving across the line into OK about two miles north of Covington, OK, in a sod house where I was born. 

The first place that I remember was about three miles east of Orlando.  Next we moved a few miles south where S I-35 turns east (to Stillwater).   When I was very young I went with Papa to look at a farm 12 miles S. of Perry and 12 miles west of Stillwater, where we lived until I went to OK City to attend high school.  I lived with my sister Grace and her husband Elmer until I graduated in the year 1921.  I owe them much for their kindness to me.

While I was attending high school my parents and the rest of the family moved to Yale, OK then eventually came to Oklahoma City, where I was working at a cookie factory.  Papa bought a grocery that we operated a number of years.

The meeting-  Having finished high school in 1921, graduating from Central High on North Robinson Street, Oklahoma City, a new phase of my life had opened.

School days to me were happy days, even though I was glad for summer vacation.  I would be excited and anxious for school to start again.  I was blessed to have the privilege for attending a rural school through the eighth grade.  I had a super teacher Kate M. Adams Porter. 

No high school in the country.  My folks telling me that I was too small to go to town – that I must attend the 8th grade another year.

School time again – Papa takes me to the train at Orlando.  Sad times – a few tears.  Off to City.  Knee pants – cap- my sister Grace meets me – excitement – crowded streets.

Steak for dinner.  Tuition problem – Grace becomes my guardian – 10 days – to enroll – 4-storey – building up and down stairs – rough time.  Bicycle problems.  5-cent dinners, salty peanuts, 4 years tussle, but finally a graduation with the 1921 class – 350 pupils.  School is over.  Only a few thoughts concerning a pharmacy course at OU.

Worked a few months B.F. Goodrich Tire Co.  Helping in the store part time.  Our grocery.  My sister Mary was working for Iten Biscuit Co.  Walking back and forth morning an evening.  She had become acquainted with NOW HOLD YOUR HAT.  As this young lady often came to our store to buy her lunch somehow it became my time to wait on her.  Often with a banana or some nice cookies in her sack that she hadn’t ordered.  She seemed to appreciate this little deed and came back quite regular.  I was faithful to be on hand each day.  Another surprise.  That cookie factory happened to need extra help and thus there were three walking up together instead of two.  Can you figure this out.  I CAN.  LISTEN CLOSE if you don’t believe that the great God of HEAVEN is interested personally in each of our lives.  You might as well.  STOP HERE.  For this is not close to the end of this story.

At this time I feel that I should give you some information concerning this young lady’s family. Her grandpa’s name was W. P. Jennings, a union soldier with the Civil War.  They had two children, one girl, one son.  Albert, the father of the lady previously mentioned Blanch being the name of her mother.  This family had 6 children – 4 boys and 3 daughters, Wilma and Bonnie and Audrey.

Since her grandpa received a pension it came very handy for Bert, the son, to abide close by.  They lived and worked together much of the time.  This seemingly was a happy family.  They traveled from place to place.  Sometimes to other states usually making their home at Okla. City. 

This family has been exceptionally nice to us.  Ready to help us any time.  I trust that I have said nothing to cast a refection on anyone.  God forbid.

Wilma accepted the Lord as her Savior and lived a devoted life, driving many times to Green Pastures to be in service with us.  We appreciated her very much.

Their covered wagon excursions no doubt limited their school work some but they seemed to make it alright.  At the end of one of these trips we find Bonnie living with her aunt, Lizzie, working at the cracker factory, a beautiful young lady scarcely sixteen years old.  This brings us back to the time that us three were walking back and forth to the factory – HAPPY DAYS.

In spite of these circumstances Blanch Jennings, the mother of this family, was a godly woman.  An outstanding mother humbly fulfilling her calling.  She and her family closely, happily hold together through her gracious influence, though it was only a cabin in the alley.  Peace and joy existed and mother Blanch made the place to shine.  Not rugs nor furniture, but a heavenly atmosphere caused a desire to return soon.  As Bonnie and I both worked our little boy Junior would stay with Grandma.  At time for us to go, he would run for his hiding place only after much persuasion would he come forth form under the bed to go with us.

On their way back to Okla., from Phoenix, Ariz. they were camped along the highway.  As she was attempting to cross she was struck by a car and in a day or so the heavenly Father called her home to be with Him.  The text used at her funeral was “She Hath Done What She Could.  ENOUGH, COME HOME.

Love begets love.  It is amazing how fast the Lord increased our love for each other.   We desired to be together more and more.  We met each morning, walked to work at the factory.  She worked on the second floor while I worked on the fifth floor.  I sent the cookies down the conveyer shaft then out on another conveyor that she might pack them in paper cartons ready to be sent out.

At dinnertime I would be standing at the outside door ready to go to lunch together.  At quitting time in the evening we followed the same order.  She lived about one block from our house.  Most of the time as soon as supper was over… you guessed it…we had another visit.  This was our schedule for nine or ten months.  I don’t know if we missed seeing each other one time during these months.  As I was observing very closely this is what I found:

The Jennings family had been living in the eastern part of the state near Locust Grove.  Bonnie had come on ahead, staying with her Aunt Lizzie, had gotten the job at the factory, probably making 15 or 16 dollars per week supporting herself, about 15 1/2 yrs. of age. 

On their arrival, no place to live.  In a few days they had moved into their living quarters a few yards from the North Canadian River.  A good size tent with a board floor, extending about 3 feet up the wall.  Good fire.  Not so bad?  I was greatly honored to have had the privilege of dining, being a guest, in this home, being served by a people as noble as ever walked on this ball of dust, in my opinion.

Remember that I was born in a sod house.  Soon Bonnie was taking $10 from her scanty income to pay rent that her family might be moved to higher ground.

After talking these things over, Bonnie and I deciding that since the fourth of July was drawing nigh that we would choose this important day for our wedding day.  Neither of us were saved but much prayer was being made by Bonnie’s mother. 

Time moved on, but very slow.  Yet we continued our daily visit.  ON July 4 I was waiting at their door.  9 a.m. we three and one more.  Bonnie’s cousin were walking up the street again – this time to the Justice of the Peace’s house.  IN a few moments we had sighed the oath which we solemnly kept ‘til death did us part. 

In a few months we were gloriously saved and enjoyed a happy, victorious live together for 37 years.

In think it very unusual that from the time we started going together until about five years after we were married that we remained seeing each other every day. 

This lifestyle being broken only because her mother was ill about a week – these three long days were endured.  Many, many times as we would separate for the day’s work tears would flow.  These conditions existed, not because we were so perfect, but because of His gracious love and mercy to us.  I am constrained to pause here that I might give a small portion of honor and love due her.  Surely I am at a loss to know the condition our family might have been in if it were not for the godly influence of MY precious companion.

 

Name

Born

Where

Died

Where

Clark Junior Porter

04-25-1923

Oklahoma City, OK

12-02-1965

Guthrie, OK

Kenneth Eugene Porter

03-25-1929

Oklahoma City, OK

05-21-1994

Guthrie, OK

Verlin Carrol Porter

10-16-1935

Guthrie, OK

 

 

Anecia Blanche Porter

03-17-1939

Guthrie, OK