Viewing Lewis Porter (1829-1876).
For the last seven and a half months of his life, Lewis Porter was a member of the Minnesota bar. Since boyhood in New York, he had dreams of becoming a lawyer. He read law briefly but at age nineteen stopped to take charge of his father's farm. He moved to Garden City in Blue Earth County in 1863, bought a farm and became active in the Grange movement. In 1874, he took a bold step: he leased his farm and resumed reading law in the offices of Martin Severance, a Mankato lawyer. On May 24, 1875, he was admitted to the bar. He was forty-six years old. But he did not open a law office; instead he returned to farming. On December 31st, he worked a full day, ate supper and relaxed reading papers on agriculture. Thirsty, he took a swig from what he thought was a bottle of home-made wine; it was, however, rat poison, and he died a week later.