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  • Writer's picturePatty Vitale

Porter Cross, 1807-1894

Two of my favorite ancestors, for no particular reason, are Porter & Sophia Cross, both born in 1807. They are my 4th-great-grandparents. Porter was the 6th and youngest child of Stephen & Sarah Cross, and the family lived in Western Massachusetts in the Springfield/Monson/Wilbraham area. Sophia was the 12th of 13 children born to Titus & Sabra Amidon.

Porter & Sophia married in 1827 and had 8 children. After Sophia died in 1846, Porter remarried and had 4 more children with his second wife, Mary Babcock. Porter, Sophia, Mary, and many of their children are buried in Springfield Cemetery in Springfield, Massachusetts. A few years ago I visited the cemetery and found their headstone, a large, lovely monument that has the names of each of those buried there inscribed on it.

Cross family grave, Springfield Cemetery

Both Porter and Sophia were the children of Revolutionary War soldiers and it was Porter’s father, Stephen Cross, under whom I joined the Daughters of the American Revolution. Porter’s maternal grandfather, David Vinton, also fought in the Revolutionary War as a Massachusetts Minuteman. Hopefully this year I’ll be ready to submit the documentation to DAR for both Titus Amidon and David Vinton.

There’s plenty I could tell you about Porter Cross, but I will let his obituary speak for me. The most thrilling thing about finding his obituary is that it includes a drawing of him! Photos from the late 1800s are very hard to find, so I was beyond excited to find this. The obituary was printed in the Springfield Republican on April 24, 1894.

Obituary of Porter Cross, 1894

It reads as follows:

The Late Porter Cross

Porter Cross, who died at an advanced age in this city Saturday, is well remembered by people in Springfield and throughout the state as one of the pioneers in the business of moving buildings. He resided successively in Charlestown, Worcester, Wilbraham and in this city, and his business extended very generally through Massachusetts. He was a life-long Methodist and for many years a trustee of Wesleyan academy at Wilbraham. The funeral will be held at his late residence on Thompson Street this afternoon at 2 o’clock. Rev. W.H. Meredith will officiate, assisted by Rev. Dr. Michael Burnham and the pallbearers will be four grandsons of Mr. Cross, Chester Cross of Palmer, and W.E. Cross, Herbert and Edward Cross of this city.”

So for family members wondering how Porter Cross and James Luke (from my previous post), both being my 4th-great-grandfathers, fit into the family tree, here’s a highlighted chart. It’s the family tree of my grandmother, Dorothea B. (Dickinson) Cottuli, and it shows that the son of James & Sarah Luke (William Luke) – married the daughter of Porter & Sophia Cross (Lauretta Jennette Cross).

Dickinson/Luke Family Tree

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