A well-known figure in Joliet in the last half of the 1800’s was Edwin Porter. He was born on April, 19, 1828 in Granger, Medina County, Ohio. He married Almenia Abigail on December 27, 1856. He and his wife came to Joliet, Illinois in the same year.
In 1858 Porter entered the brewing and the malting business. He established his brewery near the DesPlaines River. His products included lager beer, ale and london porter. His lager was marketed locally. His ale and porter had a more widespread distribution. The water used in brewing came from deep artesian wells.
He became very successful. His brewery was the largest in Joliet. It was one of the largest in the state of Illinois. In 1866, he constructed a 3 story building for his company. Later additions were made to this building. In 1893, the brewery was incorporated and the name was E. Porter Brewing Company. This was in operation until the time of Prohibition.
In addition to being a business man, Mr. Porter was civic minded. He served as mayor of Joliet from 1879-1883; 1864-6; and 1871-2. He died on March 13, 1909.