Porter Mausoleum

William H. Porter
January 8, 1861–November 30, 1926

William Henry Porter’s life seems like a classic Horatio Alger story. He was born in Middlebury, Vermont, to parents who were struggling farmers. In 1876, when he was 15, the family faced financial ruin and was forced to sell their bucolic farm in Middlebury. The family then moved to Saratoga Springs, New York, where William attended high school. Unfortunately, his parents’ financial woes meant that he would need to drop out of high school and find a job. He found work at a local inn. Then, while waiting tables in 1878, a wealthy banker who was staying there noticed his work ethic and admired his intelligence. The banker offered him a job at his bank in New York City.

Young William Henry Porter quickly rose through the ranks and proved to be a banking “systematizing genius.” In 1903, he became the President of the Chemical National Bank and, in the same year, became one of the founders and directors of the Bankers Trust Company of New York. In 1911, he became a partner of J. P. Morgan and Company. William H. Porter used part of his fortune to found the Porter Medical Center in Middlebury, Vermont.

The Porter Mausoleum is sited on a circular lot. It was designed in 1927 by architects Trowbridge & Livingston and was fabricated of white Vermont marble in the same year by Marc Edlitz & Son. The circular mausoleum features a series of engaged fluted Tuscan columns that ring the perimeter. The columns support an entablature with toothsome dentil molding and an elaborate cornice. The cornice includes a series of acroterium connected with intricately carved, fence-like, arabesque-patterned marble panels. The stepped stone roof features an urn-like finial. The Porter Mausoleum was featured in an August 1928 advertisement for the Vermont Marble Company in Park and Cemetery magazine. Also reposing inside the mausoleum is William H. Porter ‘s wife, Esther J. Porter.
Text and photo © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

[address cemetery=”The Woodlawn Cemetery” street=”East 233rd Street” city=”Bronx” state=”New York” zip=”10470″]

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