VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT
REV. A. W. NOEL PORTER,
SURNAMES: STARLING, LEEHOME,
A scholarly representative of the Episcopal clergy in California, the
Rev. Dr. A. V. Noel Porter, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, San
Jose enjoys a status and exerts an influence socially, intellectually,
and religiously such as anyone might envy who was desirous of leading
the world onward and upward to better things. He was born at Bellary,
India, on December 18, 1885, the son of John and Martha (Starling)
Porter. John Porter was born in Devonshire, England, educated in the
public schools, and graduated from a military academy, after which he
received a college degree. He was then sent to India. where he was
promoted to be Regimental Inspector and was put in charge of military
schools. He married in Barbados, of the West Indies, Miss Martha
Starling, who was born there, and had been educated in a French academy
at Paris; but as her parents were extensive landowners in the West
Indies and the Isle of Barbados, she made her home there. They resided
for a time in England then in Ireland and then once in India, where the
father died in 1888. survived by his wife and children, our subject and
his sister. Mrs. Albert Leehome of Santa Barbara. The mother died in
England in 1900.
Mr. Porter attended the Grosvenor House School in England, which was
located at Walthamstow, and from there he was able to effect his
entrance, by examination, to the University of Southern California.
Coming out to Los Angeles in 1902, in 1904 entered the university. He
acted as secretary and treasurer of the S. D. Sturgis & Bro.
Company, while studying, and enjoyed a varied business experience which
gave him a keen insight into practical business methods. He had already
been fortunate in the matter of inheritance; for his paternal
ancestors. from whom sprang men prominent in India and Australia, were
widely experienced in military and naval affairs, and his forebears on
his mother's side were prominent as churchmen and plantation owners.
One branch of the Porter family were early settlers of Virginia.
members of which took part in the Colonial and Revolutionary struggles.
In 1908 Mr. Porter received the Bachelor of Arts degree from the
University of Southern California, and six years later he was given the
Bachelor of Divinity from the General Theological Seminary in New York
City. In. 1911 he had been ordained a deacon and priest by Bishop
Johnson and became rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Los Angeles,
and in 1915 he received his Master's degree from his Alma Mater. In
1916 the degree of Doctor of Philosophy was conferred upon him by the
College of the State of Iowa.
In 1918 Doctor Porter was called to San Jose to fill a vacancy in the
rectorship of Trinity parish. caused by the resignation, in November,
1917, of the Rev. Halsey Werlein, and since then he has had supervision
of Christ Mission, San Jose, the Church of Our Savior at Santa Clara,
and St. Thomas' Mission at Sunnyvale. He has become vice-president of
the Civic Welfare League, is a member of the San Jose Chamber of
Commerce and has acted as vice-president of the .Public Forum
Committee. He is the clerical member of the Rotary Club and is also a
member of the San Jose Country Club. He votes with the historic
Democratic party and finds delight in seeking to elevate civic
He belongs to the Phi Alpha fraternity. He was made a Mason in San Jose
Lodge No. 10, F. & A. M., is chaplain of San Jose Lodge No. 522, B.
P. 0. E., and is intensely interested in the Boy Scouts movement. With
over 800 communicants. Trinity parish may well be said to be in a
Since taking hold here in 1918, Doctor Porter has continued untiringly
as an educator, and he has carried on the great work of Trinity Church
uninterruptedly. He gives especial attention to the all-important
matter of organization, both within and without the church, and thereby
better succeeds in maintaining vital connections between his parish and
the rest of the social and religious world. He is also a successful
author, having written, among other things, with facility and force,
"The Bible in the Prayer Book," published in 1913, an index used by
many teachers; "Love One Another," "Carry Your Corner," and "The Inside
Inn," together with some of his .best sermons. His publishers now have
his latest work on the last words from the Cross, under the
title, "Magnet of the World." which will soon be off the press.
At Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, on June 12, 1912, the Rt. Rev.
William Ford Nichols, Bishop of California, joined Dr. Porter in
matrimony with Miss Dorothy Hallowell, the daughter of John Hallowell
of San Francisco, and a native of Mendocino County, born near Fort
Bragg. The union has been singularly happy, and Doctor and Mrs.
Porter's home life has been rendered even brighter by their three
children, **Noel Edmund,
Cedric Starling, and Richard Grenville Porter.
From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 664
**Transcribers Note- Noel Edmund Porter became the mayor of
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