Robert Porteous, of the most prominent and successful business men in Paisley, is Robert Porteous, banker and grain dealer, and manufacturer, a native of this Province. He is a son of Robert Porteous, senior, a native of the Island of Hoye, one of the Orkneys, and was born in Kingston, January 13, 1825. His mother, before her marriage, was Jane Anderson, who is also Scotch. His father died at Fullerton, in 1879; his mother in 1873. Our subject was educated in private, by his father, who was a teacher in middle life, and afterwards a farmer; worked at farming at Dalhousie, county of Lanark, till manhood; then learned the trade of a blacksmith; worked at it fourteen years, in the county just mentioned, and then came westward into the county of Perth, and sold goods and kept a hotel in the township of Fullerton.
In 1861 Mr. Porteous settled in Paisley, and was a general merchant until the spring of 1879, and was quite successful in this business, as well as in other branches in which he is still engaged. In February, 1877, he opened a private bank, which he owns, and in which he employs three men, its business being on the rapid increase. During the last six or seven years he has also been in the grain trade wheat, barley and peas handling from 150,000 to 200,000 bushels per annum. He has owned a woolen factory for several years, and since 1878 has run it himself, manufacturing excellent cloths.
Besides the bank and other property in this village, Mr. Porteous owns a large amount of real estate in the county of Perth, his success in his operations generally having been quite marked. He is a splendid dispatcher of business; has been in the council of the village from its incorporation in January, 1874, and has a vigilant eye to the interests of the place. He was a school trustee a short time.
He is a member of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church, and generous in the support of preaching, and of benevolent causes generally.
In January, 1854, Christina, daughter of William Hay, a Presbyterian elder at Fullerton, became the wife of Mr. Porteous, and is the mother of six children, two of them deceased.