On August 6, 1877, Porter Dunlap was born in the community of Paris in Henry County, Tennessee. Treasurer Dunlap was the son of Hugh Dunlap and Sallie Atkins and was educated in the public schools in Paris. After he finished school, he pursued more education and was a student at Bethel College in McKenzie, Tennessee from 1895 to 1897.
Over time, Treasurer Dunlap began to pursue other ventures such as serving as assistant clerk for two sessions of the House of Representatives of the state legislature. Not long after gaining some political experience, Treasurer Dunlap decided to become involved in the mining business in North Carolina. In 1907, Treasurer Dunlap decided to return to Tennessee and moved to Dover in Stewart County. After moving, Treasurer Dunlap enrolled as a student in Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. He eventually graduated with honors from the university. In 1911, Treasurer Dunlap organized the People’s Bank and Trust company of Dover and eventually became the president of the institution.
After several years working in the banking business, Treasurer Dunlap became more involved in politics in 1914. In March of 1914, Treasurer Dunlap became the campaign manager for Thomas C. Rye in his race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Eventually, Thomas Rye was elected as the governor of Tennessee. After the successful campaign for Rye, Treasurer Dunlap announced his candidacy for State Treasurer in November of 1914. Treasurer Dunlap proved to be a popular candidate for State Treasurer and eventually was elected to the position.
On February 3, 1915, Treasurer Dunlap became the State Treasurer of Tennessee. As a result of the illness of the previous State Treasurer, W.P. Hickerson, it was arranged for Treasurer Dunlap to take the office thirty days earlier in February rather than the typical March. While serving as State Treasurer, Porter married Mignonne Maiden on November 27, 1918. The couple eventually had two children.
After serving as State Treasurer for four years, Treasurer Dunlap began to pursue other ventures. In 1923, after a period of business activity in McKenzie, Tennessee, Treasurer Dunlap was elected to the state railroad and public utilities commission and became its chairman in 1937. After serving several years, he resigned and was immediately appointed state property administrator by Governor Jim McCord. On February 7, 1954, Porter Dunlap died at the age of 76.
Reference: “Two New and Popular State Officials,” Nashville Tennessean and Nashville American, 25 January 1915, p. 12; “Wedding of State Official at Dresden,” Nashville Tennessean and Nashville American, 28, November 1918, p. 9; “Porter Dunlap is Inaugurated as State Treasurer,” Nashville Tennessean and American, 3 February 1915, p. 1; Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1959 (Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN); “Porter Dunlap Dies in Hospital,” Nashville Tennessean, 8 February 1954, p. 2.