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.
EDWARD PORTER was born near Manchester,
Orleans county, New York, March 3, 1843. He was the son of Alpheus
and Eliza Ann (Moody) Porter, both likewise natives of the state of New
York. The family of which Mr. Porter is a member consists of four
children, who are, beside himself, George A., of Eaton county, Michigan;
Granger N., Harrington, Washington, and Andrew J., of near Davenport.
When a babe Mr. Porter was taken by his parents
to Ohio, and later to Eaton county, Michigan, his father being one of the
first settlers in that section of the state. The family settled in
the heart of a great timber belt and set to work clearing the farm.
At that time the Indians practically held sway in the land, and Mr. Porter
can relate many unpleasant experiences he had with them during his youth.
Game, such as bear, deer and wolves was abundant, and the two first mentioned
species furnished the pioneer settlers with their principal supply of meat.
The principal crop produced on the cleared land was corn, and this was
carried ten miles through the timber to the nearest mill for grinding.
Sometimes, on account of the swamps that had to be crossed, the trip consumed
two days, and was beset with danger, especially during troublous times
with the Indians. Forty years of Mr. Porter's life were spent in
this section, during which time he experienced all the hardships and discomforts
of the pioneer among the timber and swamps of Michigan.
He was married May 19, 1869, to Carrie E.
Fish, daughter of John and Caroline (Laverty) Fish, both of whom were among
the earliest settlers of Jackson county, Michigan. Mrs. Fish's father,
was Captain Laverty, who fought in the Indian war in Michigan. To
Mr. and Mrs. Porter three children have been born: Edward R., who was drowned
in a lake near Sprague; Charles E., and Melvin.
In July, 1885, Mr. Porter came to Lincoln
county and settled on a homestead eight miles south of Harrington, and
also took a timber claim southeast of Harrington. He subsequently
sold his homestead, but the timber claim he has still. It consists
of one hundred and sixty acres of good agricultural land and well improved.
In addition to this he owns two hundred acres nine and one-half miles northeast
of Davenport, containing some first class timber and some choice farming
land, all fenced and well improved. His mother came to this county
in 1897 and settled on a homestead. She made proof on the claim in
August, 1903, and died September 6, 1903, aged eighty-two years, five months
and eleven days. Her husband died in Michigan December 28, 1880,
aged sixty-three. His father, Levi A. Porter was a soldier in the
War of 1812, and died at the age of eighty-seven.
Although coming to the country with very little
money, Mr. Porter has, by dint of hard work and industry coupled with sound
judgment, succeeded in accumulating sufficient property to keep him during
the remainder of his years, and at the same time he has made many friends
and enjoys the esteem of all who know him. He has served his precinct
as justice of the peace, and during 1902 he held the position of superintendent
of the county poor farm. He owns three lots and two houses in the
city of Davenport, where he makes his home.
He is one of the substantial men of the town.