From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Porter, William M.

(born: 1850  -  died: 1920) 

William M. Porter, born in Tennessee, was an undertaker in Lexington, KY. In 1905, he had been in business with J. C. Jackson for about 13 years. Porter came to Lexington from Cincinnati, OH, where at one time he had been the only African American undertaker in the city.

Porter spoke during the convention of the National Negro Business League in New York, pointing out that he had been a hackman for 31 years before becoming an undertaker, and that it was not unusual for hackmen to make $12 or $15 per day because "the street cars were not so convenient."

By 1920, Porter was again living in Cincinnati, according to the U.S. Federal Census. He and his wife, Esthlinda, were the parents of Jennie D. Porter, an educator and community activist in the early 20th century.

He died February 12, 1920 [source: Obituaries in the Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/15/1920,  p.5]. 

For more see Wm. M. Porter, "Undertaking," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 6th Annual Convention, New York City, New York, August 16-18, 1905, reel 1, frame 529; and The Negro in Business, by B. T. Washington.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Jackson, Jordan C., Jr.
NKAA Source: Records of the National Negro Business League
NKAA Source: The Negro in business
NKAA Source: The Cincinnati enquirer (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Turner, Roxy

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Porter, William M.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-04-14 16:13:08