Thursday, March 24, 2011

Notable Northsiders - William A. Porter

   In the 1930's and 40's, the principal of what would ultimately become my high school (Patrick Henry, in North Minneapolis) was a man named William Porter. Stories about him were few, evidently he liked to have a loosely-run school, it was known as "Happy Henry" to some, and "Porter's Playground" to others. He was the school's first principal, he retired during World War II. They named the school's football field after him, he also chose the school colors (scarlet and gray, after his college alma mater, Ohio State). The school remains, having survived the latest rounds of budget cutting. I could find no picture of the man, only his name on the entrance to the field (entrance now demolished.) His replacement was a stern disciplinarian whose iron fist did little for the school's academic standing.

   A few years ago I happened across a tape recording of Mr. Porter delivering an address on January 27th, 1952, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the school's founding. It's a short speech, humble and sincere.

   I'll let the man speak for himself:


By Professor Batty


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