Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
DANIEL L. PORTCH dwells about
one mile north from Sherman where he has a good estate and devotes his
attention largely to farming. He has also followed other vocations
as will be noticed by the following.
Daniel L. Portch was born in Chicago, Illinois,
on August 25, 1850, being the son of Edward M. and Hannah Lally, natives
of England and Ireland, respectively. They both came to Chicago when
children and there were married. The father was a ship owner and
trafficked on the great lakes. The common schools of Chicago furnished
the education of our subject and at the age of sixteen, he entered the
employ of the Western Union Telegraph Company, continuing in the same until
nineteen, and became a thorough master of telegraphy. He was holding
a responsible position at the time he resigned. In 1872, Mr.
Portch moved to a farm some sixty miles northwest from Chicago where he
operated in company with his father for five years. In 1878, he entered
the service of the Chicago Telephone Company, where he remained until 1883.
During those years Mr. Portch was foreman of their construction department,
traveling in various sections of the south. In this capacity, he
was brought into a very responsible position and met face to face some
of the hardest problems in handling electricity. He became very proficient
in this art and is today a thorough and practical electrician. In
1884, Mr. Portch came to Sherman and took land, whence four years later,
he went to Spokane and engaged in the employ of the Spokane district telegraph
company. He was in charge of their entire construction department
and did commendable work in building and rebuilding their system after
the fire. After that, Mr. Portch was engaged in handling electric
wires for a street car system in Helena, Montana. In 1890, he returned
to Spokane and entered into partnership with his brothers, John H. and
William A., in farming, preferring that to the life of an electrician.
Mr. Portch has two other brothers, Giles M. and Edward A., and also the
following sisters, Mrs. Frances N. Rogers, Mrs. Annie Crosby, and Mrs.
Julia W. Byrne. Mr. Portch has gained distinction not only as a substantial
businessman but also by his attainments as an electrician, having been
counted one of the most skillful and best posted men in this line in this
part of the country.