Rev Jeremiah Porter (1804-1893)

Chicago's First Reformer

Born 1804, Died 1893

The Reverend Jeremiah Porter arrived in Chicago (shortly before it was Chicago) on May 11, 1833. He is credited with being the City's first reformer.

Porter was a Yankee Presbyterian evangelist, originally from Hadley, Massachusetts. At the time there were very few clergy in Chicago. He organized the first permanent Protestant Church, and dedicated the First Presbyterian Church at Clark and Lake on January 4, 1834. Later that year he began a campaign to eradicate gambling, which would fail fairly quickly. He left Chicago in September 1835 to move to a farm in Peoria.1

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