Porters, Hughetts: A 140 Year Family Friendship | News, Sports, Jobs


Some people are lucky enough to have friendships that last a lifetime.

But for two families who first came together 140 years ago, the friendships have lasted five generations and live on today.

Meet the Porter and Hughett families.

It was 1882 when Thomas and Ann Porter moved to farmland near Duncombe and became neighbors to Mark and Maude Hughett, who settled on their own farm after arriving in Iowa in a boxcar from Wisconsin. , where they met.

They became fast friends, continuing to be close as they raised their children. This friendship was cemented economically when they went together to buy a thresher, an agricultural machine to separate small grains and seeds from their chaff and chaff. Well into the 20th century, this thresher was still working.

“They were good friends and they trusted each other” said Sue Porter, great-granddaughter of Thomas and Ann.

“Our families are good friends all these years later. Over the years we have traveled to visit each other, gone on trips together, attended birthdays, funerals, baby showers and other life events. There were even times when we stayed together for a few months. They’re kind of like cousins ​​who aren’t cousins.

Lee Hughett, grandson of Mark and Maude, said: “We enjoy each other’s company. No dogs, that kind of thing, it was just a good family relationship. We all dispersed and might not see anyone for a while, but when we do, it felt like we had been together the night before. We continued from there.

Sue – Billie Sue to family and friends – and Lee are members of the families who have remained in contact to this day – the children and descendants of Delbert and Elaine “Billie” Treloar Porter and Gordon and Violet Hughett.

Gordon and Violet had five children: Lee, Bruce, Sandra (Consier), Gwen (Ashbrook) and Nicolette. Delbert and Billie had four children: Robert, Mary (Porter), Ann (Porter Stoner) and Sue (Porter).

The Porter family was perhaps best known in Fort Dodge for a restaurant that was originally part of the Treloar chain, Max Treloar’s Pancake Feast. It opened in 1961 and was sold five years later to Max’s sister Elaine. “Billie” Porter and her husband Delbert Porter, and became Del Porter’s Pancake Feast, operating until they sold it in 1978.

Sue Porter, granddaughter of Treloar founder, Papa “The” Treloar, lives in downtown Phoenix. Hughett lives 20 miles away in Sun City, Arizona. Sue’s sister, Mary, lives in a suburb of Phoenix, and another sister, Ann, lives in Cedar Falls. Their brother Bob passed away.

The Porter Farm was designated Iowa Century Farm in 1986 – requested by Thomas and Ann Porter’s son, George, who was Sue Porter’s great-uncle.

While living in Fort Dodge, Del Porter and Gordon Hughett became close friends. When Gordon and his wife Violet moved to Arizona, the Porters drove and then became snowbirds themselves in the 1970s. When the Hughletts moved, their son Bruce took over the family farm before she not be sold.

Gordon and Violet Hughett’s five children were “great friends with my siblings,” Sue Porter said, “and at 62, I’m actually the age of their children. Lee Hughett, who is 86, is the only surviving child of the Hughetts.

Lee Hughett graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High in 1953 – his parents were also FDSH graduates – and Sue Porter graduated from FDSH in 1978 – like all of his siblings and like both of his parents (in 1938).

Lee is the only surviving member of his generation of Hughetts. Her brother Bruce and her sisters Gwen, Sandy and Nicolette are deceased. Lee and his ex-wife Jane have five children, 10 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren.

A Hughett presence remains at Fort Dodge.

Bill Hughett, son of Norma and Bruce Hughett, and his wife Kristy and their children Landon and Leah. Bill’s mother also lives in town. Bill works at the Van Diest Supply Company and Kristy at the Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency. Their son Landon is working on his fourth year of becoming a plumber at Bergman Plumbing, and his daughter Leah has just graduated from the University of Northern Iowa to become a speech pathologist.

Like many families, the next generations of the Porters and Hughetts have spread beyond their hometown — and many of them are in the Phoenix area.

“Most of the remaining Hughetts live here in Phoenix, and we see them from time to time,” said Mary Porter. “Actually. MaryJane, Lee’s ex-wife, and I have dinner together, every two weeks.

Sue Porter said the families had “supported each other through friendship and crisis. Norma Hughett prepared food for my mother’s funeral – my mother and I prepared the food for her mother’s funeral. We have always been there for each other. »

“Over the years, families have shared camping in Rocky Point, Mexico, and San Diego. Great memories include rock climbing in Arizona, boating at Twin Lakes in Iowa and Lake Saguaro in Arizona, lots of barbecues and dancing with the families, and all the kids playing games.

During their growing-up years at Fort Dodge, the Porters and Hughetts joined bi-weekly ice cream parties and had fried chicken — straight from Treloar, of course.

“If you ever wanted good chicken, this was the place to go,” said Sue Porter. “We made homemade ice cream from a big block of ice we brought from town, then used hand cranks to make the ice cream.”

Lee Hughett’s favorite ice cream memory: “I just remember gatherings with food present. Homemade ice cream. Kids these days don’t know the battle for the dasher.

There were gatherings at Billie and Del Porters cabin on Twin Lakes and many trips in their daughter Mary’s pontoon boat. They sold the cabin in 1978 but their daughter Ann still has property in Twin Lakes.

Sue Porter and Lee Hughett hope the family ties will continue long into the future.

“It’s still going on – that’s what’s so amazing,” said Sue Porter. “The two families still make memories and keep in touch. My kids are in their thirties and are in touch with the Hughett kids. Of the two families who live in Arizona, the younger generations keep in touch – inviting each other to baby showers, birthdays and picnics.

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