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William E. Porter papers

Identifier: Ms-0343

Scope and Content

The William E. Porter Papers span the years ca. 1950-1998, with the bulk of the materials dating 1990-1998. The collection primarily consists of legislative files from Porter's eight years as state representative for District 36 of New Mexico.

The collection is divided into four series: Legislative Files, Publications, Maps and Scrapbooks. The Legislative Files and Publications series contain Porter's office files, consisting of research, surveys, reports, official governmental documents, and correspondence.

The Maps series contains New Mexico and Washington state maps in addition to Canadian maps.

William Porter's scrapbooks can be viewed on microfilm. The Scrapbook series contains articles, supporter lists, newspaper clippings, photographs and speeches. Included also in the Scrapbook series are personal and political correspondence and memorabilia.


  • 1950 - 1998

Access and Use Restrictions

This material may be examined by researchers under supervised conditions in the Search Room. Restricted portion closed until the year 2073 or until the individuals are deceased.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with copyright and other applicable statutes. The copyrights associated with these materials have not been transferred to New Mexico State University.

Biographical Sketch

William Porter was born in Lucknow, India, to missionary parents and spent much of his youth in a boarding school. During World War II he served with U.S. Army's Tenth Mountain Infantry in Europe. In 1945, Porter began school at Doane College in Nebraska. At Doane he met Caryl Wilbur, whom he married while attending college. The couple eventually had three daughters, Elizabeth, Katherine and Kristen.

Porter earned a degree in biology at Albion College in Michigan and a master's in educational administration at Kansas State College.

In 1955, Porter took a job in Las Cruces, New Mexico, teaching high school biology and history. Porter taught at Union High School and Mayfield and retired in 1984 after 30 years. Porter served on the board of directors of the Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water Association and the Association of Sportsmen. The Porters owned and operated an apple farm from 1976 to 1998.

Porter made his first run for office in 1986. In 1990, Porter was elected as state representative for District 36, Doña Ana County, New Mexico. Porter served as state representative for eight years. During his terms as representative he served as vice chairman of the Capital Outlay Committee, and was a member of the Taxation and Revenue Committee, the Revenue and Tax Policy Interim Committee, and the Agriculture and Water Resources Committee. He also served on the National Agriculture and Forestry committee.

As a New Mexico representative Porter supported such projects as a program to get rid of noxious weeds and a proposed regional sports center for Las Cruces. He sponsored bills that gave money for waste water treatment plants, for educational programs and toward enhanced equipment for state patrol officers. Porter played a role in the introduction and funding of the International Spaceport and local projects such as the Bosque Park Development and the Fort Selden State Monument.


12 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Former representative for New Mexico, high school teacher and apple farmer. The collection consists of legislative files, publications, maps and scrapbooks. Majority of collection pertains to Porter's years as an elected official.
Guide to the William E. Porter papers
Marah deMeule, Christine Moreland-Bruhnke, and Jennifer Zuniga
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA