Henry Kirke Porter

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Henry Kirke Porter
Henry Kirke Porter.jpg
Born (1840-11-24)November 24, 1840
Concord, New Hampshire
Died April 10, 1921(1921-04-10) (aged 80)
Washington, D.C.

Henry Kirke Porter (November 24, 1840 – April 10, 1921) was an American businessman and Representative of the United States Congress for Pennsylvania's 31st congressional district.


Porter was born in Concord, New Hampshire. In 1860, he graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He also helped found the YMCA that year. He attended the Newton Theological Seminary in Newton Center, Massachusetts.

In 1862, he enlisted in the 45th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, and was mustered out in July 1863.

He continued his theological training at the Rochester Theological Seminary in Rochester, New York, but in 1866 he was given a gift of $20,000 by his father, which changed the course of his life.

He invested that money with a partner, John Y. Smith, and formed the Smith & Porter Machine works. They opened a small shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which grew to become H.K. Porter, Inc. Porter served as president of the company.

He was President of the Pittsburgh YMCA from 1868–1887, and was President of the Western Pennsylvania Institute for the Blind in 1904. He served in the United States House of Representatives in the 58th United States Congress from 1903 - 1905 as an Independent Republican.

He was a member of the Jekyll Island Club (aka The millionaires Club) on Jekyll Island, Georgia.

He continued as President of H.K. Porter, Inc. until his death at age 81 in Washington, D.C., and was buried in the Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh.


  • United States Congress. "Henry Kirke Porter (id: P000441)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2008-02-14

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U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
None (district created in 1903)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 31st congressional district

Succeeded by
James F. Burke