The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford Pioneers: The Porters

James Porter, 40, farmer, born in Canada
Arora Porter, 40, born in New York
Luther Porter, 14, born in Michigan
Wilson Porter, 12, born in Michigan
William Porter, 10, born in Michigan
Daniel Porter, 8, born in Michigan
Mary Porter, 3, born in Michigan
Albert Porter, 1 month, born in Michigan
U.S. Census, Tittabawassee, Saginaw County, Michigan, June 22, 1860

    FOR THE GOLD REGIONS.--A party of young men of this village have purchased teams and necessary fixtures, and will leave the present week for Idaho--one of the new territories lying north of Salt Lake. Their names are J. W. Lowry, Jas. Foster, Luther Porter, ----- Clayton, and one or two others. The territory of Idaho is represented as containing great wealth, and abounds with gold and other precious metals. The "boys" will go to Omaha, and from thence across the plains to their destination. The entire trip will occupy from 75 to 90 days. We wish them a safe journey and unbounded success.
The Waukesha Freeman, Wisconsin, September 1, 1863, page 3.    This could easily be a different Luther Porter.

James Potter, 56, farmer, born in Canada
Arora Potter, 50, born in Vermont
Luther Potter, 25, laborer, born in Michigan
William Potter, 20, laborer, born in Michigan
Daniel Potter, 17, laborer, born in Michigan
Mary Potter, 14, born in Michigan
Albert Potter, 11, born in Michigan
Dorothea Potter, 8, born in Michigan
U.S. Census, Tittabawassee, Saginaw County, Michigan, July 9, 1870

    L. G. Porter, J. J. Waits, Ira Dunton and John Brown arrived from East Saginaw, Mich., on Wednesday, and will leave for the big timber on Rogue River this week to locate claims..
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 9, 1890, page 3

    A correspondent of the Central Point Enterprise gives the following report of how the Fourth was observed at Prospect, up on Rogue River: The Fourth passed very pleasantly, the bower dance being one of the principal features. Speaking and singing by the school children was a part of the day's program. Mr. C. Nye read the declaration and made a few appropriate remarks, which were listened to attentively. The ladies had a shooting match, Miss Clara Gordon taking first prize and Mary Davison second; foot races by the boys were also indulged in, George Porter taking first prize of 11-year-old race, Chas. Boothby of 8-year-old race, and Chas. Kahler of 6-year-old race. The ladies furnished a superb free dinner, which received special attention.
"Personal," Ashland Tidings, July 17, 1891, page 3

    L. G. Porter has about completed setting out five acres in choice fruit trees at his place near town, and will build him a nice residence in the spring.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 1, 1892, page 2

    L. G. Porter has finished planting his five-acre tract to trees of various kinds. Mr. Porter has a very desirable piece of ground, and in a few years it will be one of the prettiest homes in the valley. He will build during the summer.

"Local News," Medford Mail, February 25, 1892, page 3

    L. G. Porter has about completed setting out five acres in choice fruit trees at his place near town, and will build him a nice residence in the spring.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 4, 1892, page 2

    L. G. Porter and Harry Angle returned this week from a trip to the Rogue River timber and report the woods in a pretty rough condition, the heavy fall of snow, about 12 feet, having felled innumerable trees across the path. Game has been plenty the past winter, especially deer. Angle says that Porter ate six deer in as many days while on the trip.
"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, May 20, 1892, page 3

    L. G. Porter and fiery steed will loom up on the 4th. He has been selected as marshal of the day.

"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, June 24, 1892, page 3

    Rev. E. E. Thompson will officiate as chaplain in his usual impressive manner at the coming celebration. Robt. Galloway will read the Declaration of Independence, while L. G. Porter will make an excellent marshal.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 1, 1892, page 2

    Your correspondent neglected to state in his last issue that Miss Ettie Medynski and Fannie Haskins admiringly represented the goddess of liberty and angel of peace at the Medford [Fourth of July] celebration. Judge Crawford acted as president of the day, Robt. Galloway as reader, Rev. Thompson as chaplain, W. W. Cardwell as orator, D. T. Lawton as grand marshal, and L. G. Porter as standard-bearer. All acquitted themselves creditably.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 15, 1892, page 3

    L. G. Porter is building a residence for himself on his 5-acre lot.

"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, July 29, 1892, page 3

    L. G. Porter is building a residence on his 5-acre lot in Medford.
"Pressed Bricks," Valley Record, Ashland, August 4, 1892, page 1

    L. G. Porter's handsome residence east of Bear Creek will be ready for occupancy next week.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 2, 1892, page 2

    L. G. Porter now occupies his property east of the creek, which has been handsomely improved.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 30, 1892, page 2

    A quite serious accident happened to Geo. Porter, the twelve-year-old son of L. G. Porter, last Friday evening. He was riding in a buggy with Mr. Skeel and somehow lost his balance and fell to the ground, striking in such a manner as to break one of his legs at the thigh. Drs. Pickel and Geary were called and reduced the fracture, but owing to its location and the extreme warm weather the young fellow's condition is not of the most favorable.
    L. G. Porter was arraigned before U.S. Commissioner Hammond last Tuesday charged with conspiracy to defraud the government. The evidence was heard by Mr. Hammond, and the case was dismissed. The intent of the prosecution was to show that defendant had paid, or promised to pay, parties to locate and prove up on timber lands for himself (Porter) or his agents, but even had he promised to pay, Mr. Hammond ruled that this was no crime against the government, and as no evidence was introduced to show that money had been paid, the case was dismissed as above stated. Julius E. Miner, of Minneapolis, who has extensive land interests in this locality and for whom Mr. Porter is agent, arrived in Medford on the day of trial from Roseburg, and as papers had also been issued for him as well as Porter, they were served and his trial set for Thursday. The results of the trial was dismissal--insufficient evidence.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, July 28, 1893, page 3

Arrested and Discharged.
    Luther Porter of Medford, who has been acting as cruiser for Julius E. Miner and his colleagues in the big timber belt on upper Rogue River, was arrested this week, upon a complaint issued out of the U.S. district attorney's office at Portland, charging him with conspiracy to defraud the government. E. G. Salstrom was named as the prosecuting witness, although we learn that he denies having had anything to do with the matter in any form. Mr. Porter had an examination before A. S. Hammond, U.S. Commissioner, at Medford, on Tuesday and was discharged. Mr. Miner, hearing of the affair, came down from Washington a few days since, and was also placed under arrest. He was tried in the same court yesterday and likewise discharged.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 28, 1893, page 3

East Side Improvements.
    Merchant Wm. Angle and L. G. Porter are among those on the east side who have added improvements to their places by the addition of several rods of new picket fence. These two gentlemen have as fine homes as there are in Medford, and when they shall have completed the several other improvements now mapped out the beauty thereabouts will be even more marked than now.

"News of the City," Medford Mail, April 13, 1894, page 3

    L. G. Porter, manager of the Medford coal mines, was in Medford last week. He reports active operations at the mines and indications brightening with each day's work. They are branching off with a new tunnel from the main one and there find the coal better. The steam pump is doing excellent work in keeping the mine free from water, only about twenty minutes' time being required to pump out the accumulations of twenty-four hours.
"Mines and Mining," Medford Mail, November 1, 1895, page 8

    J. U. Willeke and L. G. Porter, of this city, together with Hale Bros., of Leland, have purchased sixty acres of placer mining property near Leland and will at once commence extensive mining operations. The property has been worked to some extent and from one-third of an acre of ground $3000 have been taken. The new owners will put in a twenty-three-inch pipe and will figure on running the mine eight months each year, they having leased the old Lewis ditch--and have plenty of water. Messrs. Willeke and Porter will leave for the mine this Friday evening. Their families will remain in Medford.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, July 23, 1896, page 7

    Mrs. C. R. Childs and children left Wednesday for Leland to join Mr. Childs, who is working there on a big mining ditch for Porter & Willeke.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 2, 1897, page 6

    Mrs. L. G. Porter of Leland visited friends in Medford last week.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 11, 1898, page 3

    L. G. Porter has returned from Josephine County, dangerously ill. He was accompanied by his family.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 5, 1898, page 2

    L. G. Porter:--"Yes, I am getting to be quite myself again. I had a pretty tough time of it--so my friends tell me--and it was at one time 16 to 1 that I didn't pull through, but I want to tell you that I had lots of friends and they came to me when I needed their help and I believe it is largely due to their kindly care that I am here to tell you of their many acts of hospitality and generous assistance. The best of everything was none too good for me. Mrs. Porter joins me in expressions of gratitude."

"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, October 14, 1898, page 2

    Geo. Porter of Medford has become chief clerk in J. W. Robinson's mercantile establishment at Wimer.

"Local Notes,"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 14, 1898, page 3

L. G. Porter, who has been looking after his interests at Leland, Josephine County, has returned to Medford.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 11, 1899, page 3

    Geo. Porter has taken a position as salesman in Karnes & Ritter's confectionery establishment.

"Additional Local Items,"
Medford Mail, April 6, 1900, page 5

Luther G. Porter, 54, born Jan. 1846 in Michigan, timber dealer
Ada Porter, 40, born May 1859 in Canada
George W. Porter, 19, born Jan. 1881 in Michigan, confectionery salesman
Lulu A. Porter, 16, born Apr. 1884 in Michigan, at school
John W. Porter, 11, born July 1888 in Michigan, at school
Harry L. Porter, 6, born Oct. 1893 in Oregon
U.S. Census, East Medford Precinct, June 23, 1900

    Geo. Porter has gone to Portland, where he expects to get employment.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 5, 1900, page 3

Town Lots at Auction.
    On Saturday, December 15th, I will sell thirteen town lots in East Medford at public auction. Lots are located in the very best residence portion of the town, good soil and very suited to all residence, garden and lawn purposes.
L. G. PORTER.       
Medford Mail, December 7, 1900, page 7

    Geo. Porter:--"Say, did you ever go fishing for a mouse? I did a few days ago--and I landed my animal. It was on the inside of my pantaloons--and so was I. Talking of snakes; but no, we'll not talk of snakes--never had 'em--but I want to say to you that one little mouse can create more amusement--to the onlookers--than a whole menagerie and three-ring circus. Don't mention mice to me--I'd rather have fits."

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 19, 1901, page 7

    P. Davis, of Clinton, Iowa, who has been visiting L. G. Porter and family for two weeks, returned to his home Monday evening.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, January 10, 1902, page 6

    L. W. Farwell, the gentleman who recently purchased an acre of land from L. G. Porter, in East Medford, is arranging to do considerable building thereon this season; in fact, he has already commenced his contemplated construction work. A barn 16x20 and a wagon house 10x20 have already been completed. He has lumber on the ground for his residence, which will be 26x26 feet in size and two stories high, and to this there will be added a kitchen 10x17 and a woodshed 12x16. The work is being done by carpenter Clapper. Mr. Farwell will have a very fine home when completed and in one of the very best localities in the city. His lot is 70x250 feet in size and is well set to fruit. The price paid was $350.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 28, 1902, page 7

    Miss Lulu Porter is ill at her home in East Medford, and her brother, George, has taken her place, temporarily, as clerk in J. G. Van Dyke & Co.'s store.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, March 7, 1902, page 6

    Bert Miller and George Porter have taken the agency for the Great Western Tailoring Co., of Chicago, and are taking measurements whenever an opportunity is given.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, April 25, 1902, page 6

    George Porter is now temporary night clerk at Hotel Nash--doing service while the regular clerk--Judge James Stewart--is out doing some campaign work.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 9, 1902, page 7

    Jas. Stewart has returned from his trip in the northwestern part of the county. His place as night clerk at Hotel Nash has been acceptably filled by Geo. Porter.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 15, 1902, page 7

    Geo. Porter is at Ashland, where he holds the position of night clerk at Hotel Oregon, which he fills quite acceptably.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 5, 1902, page 2

    L. G. Porter, the veteran locator of government lands, went to upper Rogue River Thursday.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville,
July 31, 1902, page 7

    L. G. Porter and family are rusticating in the upper Rogue River section.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 7, 1902, page 3

    George Porter, clerk at Hotel Oregon, in Ashland, was in the city yesterday upon a visit to his parents and many friends.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 5, 1902, page 6

    Geo. Porter, who is night clerk at Hotel Oregon, is in Medford. He has been at his homestead.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 18, 1902, page 1

    L. G. Porter came down from Prospect Sunday.

    George Porter was up at his homestead, on Rogue River, last week.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 19, 1902, page 6

    Geo. Porter was in Medford Thursday, en route from his homestead in Big Butte precinct.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 19, 1902, page 2

    George Porter, clerk at Hotel Oregon, in Ashland, was down Monday for a brief visit with home folk.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 12, 1902, page 6

    L. G. Porter and a party have gone to upper Rogue River and Big Butte, to estimate the timber on the Goodfellow tract, which comprises nearly 30,000 acres.

"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 18, 1903, page 1

What Does It Mean?
    L. G. Porter, who has charge of the Goodfellow-Miner tract of 30,000 acres, situated in Rogue River and Big Butte districts, was this week visited by a party of gentlemen connected with one of the big companies of the East, which is operating in lumber and timber lands. They were accompanied by a photographer from San Francisco and took a number of views of the land and trees to submit to their associates. Should a sale be made we may expect a great deal of activity in that section--the building of a railroad from some point in the valley to the timber, sawmills, etc. This would mean much for his section, for that is a large and fine body of timber.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 3, 1903, page 1

    Geo. Porter, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. L. G. Porter of Medford, who is well known in Southern Oregon and deservedly popular, and Miss Maud Vaughn, a charming young lady, were married on the evening of the 10th. They will reside at Grants Pass. That their journey on matrimonial seas will be a smooth and prosperous one is the wish of a host of friends.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 18, 1903, page 2

    Gene Childers has begun the construction of a fine residence on his property recently purchased from L. G. Porter. This structure will be mostly of cement blocks and if present plans are carried out one of the prettiest homes our city affords.

"East Medford Items," Medford Mail, March 23, 1906, page 8

    L. G. Porter and family left this week for several days' camp on their Butte Creek homestead.
"East Medford Items," Medford Mail, June 1, 1906, page 5

    L. G. Porter
is preparing to erect a dwelling on his property in East Medford, which he intends shall not be surpassed in beauty or convenience by any residence in Medford. It will be a nine-room, two-story structure, with bath connected. D. W. Hazel has the contract for the carpenter work.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 31, 1906, page 5

Porter House 1906
The Porter house and family, 1906.

    The new L. G. Porter residence, on East Seventh Street, will be ready for occupancy within fifteen days. From an architectural standpoint the building is one of the most attractive in that charming residence section, and in point of comfort and convenience is excelled by few in Medford. The street elevation is quite striking; a broad veranda extending across the front and entirely down one side gives a pleasing and homelike effect.
    The first floor embraces a roomy vestibule, from which a parlor 13.6x14.6, a sitting room 13x14 and a large dining room 17x18 are immediately accessible. A library 9x11 and a commodious kitchen 11x17, with all the essential attendant features of modern design added, completes the arrangement of the lower floor.
    Five bedrooms, with roomy closets and bath and a large balcony accessible from the hall, complete the appointments of this comfortable and quietly elegant home.
    A low wall of concrete blocks surmounted by an ornate cap flanks the street side of a spacious lawn, which is to be laid out in harmony with the surroundings.
    D. W. Hazel, the contractor, under whose direction the work is being conducted, expects to have the building in readiness for occupancy by November 5th. The approximate cost of the building alone will be about $2500 to $3000.
Medford Mail, October 26, 1906, page 1

    L. G. Porter of this city has been appointed state fire warden for Jackson County. Mr. Porter will establish headquarters at Prospect. He will have jurisdiction over all territory outside of the forest reserves and will have authority to grant permits to settlers to start fires and burn off their slashings--in cases where Mr. Porter will deem such an act not one which will endanger the forests or the property lying adjacent to that upon which the fires are started. This will be quite a convenience to many people hereabouts, as heretofore they have been compelled to write to the state fire warden at Salem.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, June 19, 1908, page 5

Porter House 1909
The Porter house, 1909.

    L. G. Porter of East Medford has let the contract to McIntosh & Alberts, contractors, for the construction of a $3000 house.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, March 19, 1909, page 5

Citizens Appointed As Board To Regulate Matter of
Beautifying Streets of the City of Medford
    Mayor W. H. Canon has appointed a street commission to cooperate with the ladies of the Greater Medford Club in the planting of trees on the streets of the city. The new commission is composed of L. G. Porter, W. W. Glasgow and J. E. Watt.
    The commission will oversee the matter of planting trees in the city and will also be given power by the council to regulate the varieties of trees, their planting and trimming, as well as keeping the irrepressible small boy from damaging them.
    The commission is to meet soon with the council and city attorney in order to determine what degree of authority can be delegated to them regarding the regulation of all matters of the planting of the trees.
    The trees have been ordered by the club and should be here early in the coming week. Then the tree planting will commence in earnest.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 17, 1909, page 1

619 East Main:
Luther G. Porter, 63, born in Michigan, "own income"
Ada Porter, 48, born in Canada
Lula Porter, 25, born in Michigan
John Porter, 21, born in Michigan, bookkeeper
Harry Porter, 16, born in Oregon
U.S. Census, North Medford Precinct, April 28-29, 1910

    The Medford Commercial Club and the ladies' Greater Medford Club are at present in the thickest of a great advertising campaign to let the people of the world know of this wonderful valley of the Rogue. Possibly through no other advertising medium has Medford been brought more conspicuously before the tourists than through the band concerts of the past seasons. Those who have heard these splendid programs can speak nothing but praise for the Medford band.
    Let us have good band concerts this season.
"What Medford Needs . . . From Woman's Standpoint," Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1910, page B1

    Mr. and Mrs. L. G. Porter and Miss Porter left last week for Corvallis to attend the wedding of Mr. John Porter and Miss Cleo Johnson.
"Society and Woman's World," Medford Mail Tribune, October 9, 1910, page 10

    In accordance with the charter of the city which provides for an advisory board to look after the proper adjustment of the city assessments. Mayor Canon has appointed L. G. Porter and E. J. Runyard as such a board. The committee will be over the entire assessment of the city and equalize the valuations as nearly as possible--or rather recommend such equalizations.

"Without Railroad, City Valuation Is $5,787,112," Medford Mail Tribune, October 17, 1910, page 1

    MEDFORD, Or., Jan. 5.
To the Editor: The undersigned members of the commission appointed by the mayor to revise the charter desire to state to the public that we do not consider Mr. Neff, the city attorney, intruded himself in the slightest degree upon our deliberations.
    It was at the suggestion and request of the chairman of the commission and of several members that Mr. Neff prepared the original draft of the revised charter and submitted it to us, and we have not the slightest ground for any suspicion that Mr. Neff acted otherwise than with entire fairness and a single desire to follow the directions of the commission.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 8, 1911, page 1

    The home of Mrs. H. D. Howard, on East Jackson Street, was the scene of a very happily arranged parcel shower Monday afternoon, given by Mrs. Howard and her sister, Mrs. C. E. Gaddis, for Miss Lulu Porter, whose marriage took place Wednesday morning. The rooms were decorated with a profusion of red roses, and 500 was played, Miss Frances Haskins making the highest score. Miss Willie Howard assisted the hostesses in serving. Those present: Misses Meda and Maude Nichols, Helen Dahl, Clara Manning, Lillie and Rose Patterson of Ashland, Edna Eifert, Miss Turner, Miss Banks and Miss Snedicor; Mesdames Leone Haskins, Helen Dixon, H. C. Butler, A. C. Hubbard, W. Cartright, Verne Van Dyke, Ed Van Dyke, George Homer Rothermel, Robert Telfer, L. G. Porter, Kuisman and Platt.

"Society," Medford Mail Tribune, October 9, 1910, page 10

    I hereby announce myself as a candidate for councilman from the First Ward at the coming election to be held January 9th, 1912, in the city of Medford, Oregon.
L. G. PORTER.           
Medford Mail Tribune, December 1, 1911, page 6

    Chances favor the election of L. G. Porter in the First Ward, although J. W. Mitchell is a close second, and may win out by a narrow margin. Frank B. Sankey, socialist, is polling a light vote.
"Quiet Election Day Follows a Quiet Campaign,"
Medford Mail Tribune, January 9, 1912, page 1

    Medford Northeast Precinct: L. G. Porter, chairman; Will Humphry, second judge; E. E. Kelly, third judge; George R. Lindley, first clerk; Verne Canon, second clerk; Clarence Pierce, third clerk.

"Election Boards for 1912 Named,"
Medford Mail Tribune, January 15, 1912, page 4

    Board of Education--L. G. Porter, president; Oris Crawford, clerk; members, H. C. Kentner, George B. Marshall, J. H. Cochran, J. W. Lawton; superintendent, U. S. Collins.
"Board Says Conditions in Schools Ideal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, May 27, 1912, page 1

    L. G. Porter, who has been quite sick for some time, is able to be about again.
"Local and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, October 8, 1912, page 2

    Mrs. A. McKellar, of Blanchardville, Wis., and Mrs. Monteith and Mrs. Isabell Scherer, of Monroe, Wis., were in Medford over Sunday, guests of their old-time friends, Mr. and Mrs. L. G. Porter.

"Local and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, October 21, 1912, page 2

    George Porter left for Klamath Falls Sunday upon receipt of advice of the death there on Saturday night of Ralph Vaughn, a brother of Mrs. Porter. Mrs. Porter and Stanley Vaughn, a brother of Ralph, arrived in Klamath Falls Friday night.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, September 3, 1917, page 4

    Mr. and Mrs. Jack F. Porter and Mrs. Porter's father, A. J. Johnson, all of Corvallis, arrived here by auto at the Holland on Tuesday from a sojourn in southern California, for a visit with Mr. Porter's parents, Mr. and Mrs. L. G. Porter, and other relatives while en route home. L. G. Porter, who is 74 years old, is seriously ill, and after a visit with him Mr. Johnson, who is president of the Benton County State Bank, departed for home by train. Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Porter will prolong their visit for a few days.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, June 22, 1921, page 2

    Luther Goodwyn Porter died at his home, 197 Genessee St., yesterday from arterial sclerosis, aged 75 years, 7 months and 26 days. Mr. Porter was born at Freeland, Michigan, Jan. 22, 1846, and from his youth had followed the lumber industry. At the time of his death, the family were the oldest settlers of the east side of Medford. Mr. Porter built the fourth house to be erected [on]the other side of Bear Creek. For five years he served on the board of education and in his administration the high school, Roosevelt and Jackson schools were built.
    Deceased was a charter member of Medford lodge No. 103 A.F.&A.M., and a member of Reames Chapter, Order of Eastern Star. He was a highly respected citizen and a kind and loving father and husband. He leaves besides a host of friends who will miss his kindly greetings, his wife, Ada, three sons and one daughter, George W. Porter of Medford, Ore.; John F. Porter, Corvallis, Ore., Harry L. Porter, Portland, Ore., and Mrs. Lou Helms, Medford, Ore., and five grandchildren. The funeral services will be held at the Perl Funeral home Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., Rev. Wm. B. Hamilton, officiating. Interment in I.O.O.F. cemetery.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 19, 1921, page 2

Geo. Porter to Start New Lumber Yard
    George Porter, who is one of the pioneers in the retail lumber game in Medford, has leased the buildings and grounds lately occupied by the Rogue River Canal Company on South Fir Street, formerly occupied by the Woods Lumber Company, and will open a retail lumber yard there soon to be known as the Porter Lumber Co.
    Mr. Porter has been in this line of business in Medford for 18 years, first with the Iowa Lumber and Box Co., started by Edgar Hafer, then with the Crater Lake Lumber Co., which succeeded the Iowa company, and has been with the Big Pines Lumber Company, successors to the Crater Lake Company, ever since it started until recently.
    George is thoroughly experienced in his line, and is popular with the contractors and the public generally.

Medford Mail Tribune, April 16, 1925, page 10

    "Peggy," a thoroughbred Boston bulldog, owned by Mr. and Mrs. George Porter, is dead as the result of a fall from the top of the Santford Grocery building on East Main Street to the sidewalk this morning in an attempt to reach a cat perched on top of the Warner building in the course of construction, adjoining.
    Mr. Porter was en route to his lumber yard, it is said, when the dog chased a cat, which took refuge on top of one of the wooden forms of the Warner structure. Peggy, not losing heart, managed to get on the roof of the adjoining building. While on a precarious perch along the roof the dog slipped and fell approximately 20 feet to the sidewalk. It died a short time later.
    The dog was three years old and had been raised from puppyhood by the Porters. Peggy was one of the very few thoroughbred bulldogs in the valley.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 30, 1925, page 3

    Articles of incorporation of the Southern Oregon Brewery Company were filed with the county clerk today. The incorporators are listed as George Porter, Max GeBauer and Ted GeBauer, all of this city. The capital stock of the company is listed at $90,000, divided into 900 shares of the value of $100 each. The incorporation papers provide for the conduct of a general brewery business, and kindred activities.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 7, 1933, page 8

George Porter, January 13, 1935 Medford Mail TribuneMayor Urges Safe Driving
    I heartily endorse every step that can be taken tending to the improvement of driving conditions and safety of the motoring public. The appalling increase in automobile accidents and the resultant loss of life and property calls for immediate action in educating the public in safe driving and eliminating the many causes of accidents.
    In fairness to those who ride with him as well as the public, the man who drives a car should be absolutely sure that his car's brakes are safe, the lights properly adjusted and his tires dependable and well inflated. These precautions, plus a thorough understanding of traffic regulations and a generous measure of common sense, will do much to reduce the mounting toll from motor accidents.
    As mayor of Medford, I wish to urge every citizen to cooperate with city police and traffic officials in an unceasing campaign for safe driving. Let us make Medford a safe place in which to drive through 1935.
Mayor of Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 13, 1935, page 5

Furnas, Vice-Mayor, Takes Helm--
Has Had Long Experience in City Affairs--Deuel Now Chairman
    George W. Porter, mayor of the city of Medford for the past three years, one month and 18 days, last night resigned his office despite earnest pleas from all members of the city council that he reconsider and serve out the remainder of his unexpired term.
    Mr. Porter, in tendering his resignation to the council at its regular weekly meeting in city hall, stated that "the press of business interests for the balance of the year is going to demand so much of my time and attention that I feel I could not handle the important position as mayor of this city and do the office justice."
Furnas Successor
    Councilman Charles C. Furnas, vice-mayor and chairman of the council, was unanimously elected to the office of mayor for the balance of the term. H. S. Deuel was unanimously elected to the position of chairman of the council.
    Although not entirely unexpected, Mr. Porter's resignation brought a wave of requests that he remain in office. To the man, members of the council expressed the wish that Mr. Porter reconsider his decision to resign. When it became apparent that the mayor was firm in his determination to give up his chair because of "the press of business interests," expressions of regret were forthcoming from all sides.
Council Silent
    It took fully 10 minutes for the motion to be made and carried that the "chair of mayor be declared vacant." Councilman Larry Schade, after heartfelt pleas direct to Mr. Porter that he change his mind, finally made the motion. Councilman George Frey at length hesitatingly seconded the motion. Calling for a vote, the council chambers were silent. Finally, when it was apparent that the council would not voluntarily accept the motion, Mayor Porter grinned and declared the motion unanimously carried.
    Following is the letter of resignation tendered the council by Mr. Porter:
    "It is with extreme regret that I tender my resignation to the council of the city of Medford as mayor. The press of business interests for the balance of the year is going to demand so much of my time that I feel I could not properly handle the important position as mayor of this city and do the office justice, feeling that either personal interests or the city interests would be neglected.
    "I want, at this time, to thank the city council, the city employees, the chamber of commerce, the local newspapers, the different civic organizations and the citizens of Medford for the wonderful cooperation which they have so generously given me during my entire term as mayor of Medford. I have greatly appreciated the honor and confidence bestowed upon me in being favored with so important an office."
    The letter of resignation was read to the council by City Attorney Frank P. Farrell.
Unanimous for Furnas
    Councilman Schade, remarking that "his long experience and excellent service to this city qualify him for the position," placed the name of Councilman Furnas before the council to serve out the unexpired term of office as mayor. The vote was unanimous. The new mayor and the old then shook hands.
    Mayor Furnas said, "It is a great honor, Mr. Porter, to take the place that you have so ably held, but it is also with sincere regret that I do so. If I can guide the council with one-half the wisdom and ability that you have shown, I will be more than satisfied."
    Mr. Porter again expressed his thanks to the council for their excellent cooperation during his regime as mayor. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my work and received tremendously valuable experiences, which I shall remember with pleasure for the rest of my life," Mr. Porter said. "However, I don't see how it is possible to remain in office and take care of my business interests without slighting one or the other. So, I really have no choice in the matter, as much as I regret breaking the pleasant ties that have bound us for so long a time."
Chosen in 1934
    George W. Porter first occupied the mayor's chair July 3, 1934, being elected by the council to fill out the unexpired term of Mayor E. M. Wilson, who resigned in November of the same year. Mr. Porter was duly elected mayor in the city election and took office in January 1935. He was re-elected to the office in November 1936 and started his second term in January of this year. His present term would have expired with the city election in November of 1938.
    Previous to his election to the mayor's office at the resignation of E. M. Wilson, Mr. Porter had been elected to the city council in November of 1930 to serve a four-year term. He began his duties in January of 1931 and would have served until January of 1935, but failed to finish his term because of his election as mayor.
    Mr. Porter's first experience in city politics came January 17, 1913, when he took office as a member of the city council following the November election. He finished his two-year term January 15, 1915, and while holding no official office from then until November of 1929, was always actively interested in local affairs and worked heart and soul for the betterment of Medford.
Furnas Long on Council
    Mayor Charles C. Furnas takes over the city's highest executive position, following almost even years of loyal and enthusiastic work as a member of the council. Mayor Furnas was elected to the city council in November of 1930 and began his duties in January of 1931. He was re-elected in November of 1934 and started his second term in 1935, a term that would have expired in November of 1938.
    The confidence fellow councilmen hold in Mayor Furnas was signified clearly last night by his unanimous election to the vacated chair of mayor.
    To fill the vacancy caused in council ranks by the resignation of Mr. Porter from the mayor's chair and the election of Mr. Furnas to that office, the council will appoint a new member to serve out the unexpired term of the new mayor.
    Remainder of the meeting last night was devoted to routine reading of reports and minor discussion of routine business.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 22, 1937, page 1

    George W. Porter, mayor of Medford since the resignation of E. M. Wilson in 1934, tendered his resignation to the city council Tuesday night, and C. C. Furnas, chairman of the finance committee, was named mayor for the balance of the term.
    H. S. Deuel was elevated to the position of chairman of the finance committee and will serve as mayor in the absence of Mayor Furnas.
Business Calls
    Press of personal affairs was given as the reason for the resignation by Porter, who said that it was with great regret that he resigned, but either his business or the city's business would have to be neglected, and it wasn't fair to the city to neglect city affairs.
    "I don't think any mayor of Medford ever had such fine and loyal support from the people," Porter said. "I never asked a person to serve on a committee who refused me. All organizations in the city, and the council itself, gave me the finest support. Whatever success I had as mayor is directly attributed to this fine support. I hope Mr. Furnas is given the same fine cooperation."
May Seek Senate Post
    Politicians of the city immediately started digging around to see if there weren't some political significance in Mayor Porter's resignation, chiefly as it might concern the Republican candidate for the state senate from Jackson County next year.
    "It all depends upon what Senator Dunn does," Porter said. "If there were a definite demand from the people in general, I would consider running, but I wouldn't do it on a self-starter basis. Only time and circumstances will determine whether I'll run or not."
Job Takes Time
    Porter said that filling the office of mayor takes at least one-half of a mayor's time if he fills the office as it should be filled, and that he just couldn't give the time from his business.
    "Furthermore," Porter said, "the mayor of Medford should be supplied with a private telephone for calls to the mayor. When the telephone to a man's business is tied up for a half hour at a time on city affairs, he loses lots of business because people can't get his office on the phone. I have recommended to the council that Mayor Furnas be supplied with a telephone."
Medford News, September 24, 1937, page B2

    Mrs. Ada Porter died in a local hospital this morning after a long illness. She was 80 years old.
    Widow of the late L. G. Porter and member of an old Jackson County family, Mrs. Porter made her home with a daughter, Mrs. J. L. Helms of Grants Pass. Mrs. Porter was the mother also of George W. Porter, former mayor of Medford, J. F. Porter of Corvallis and Harry Porter of Las Vegas, Nev. She is survived also by a sister, Mrs. M. M. Childs, Medford.
    A complete obituary was being prepared today. Funeral arrangements were to be made by Perl's.

Medford Mail Tribune, January 12, 1942, page 7

    Ada Porter, a resident of the state of Oregon for the past 51 years, and of Grants Pass, Oregon, for the past 20 years, where she made her home with Dr. and Mrs. J. L. Helms, and previous to that time she made her home in Medford for 31 years, passed away yesterday in a local hospital.
    Mrs. Porter was born in Thedford, Ontario, Canada, coming to the United States with her mother when she was 15 years of age, settling at Midland, Mich., where she was united in marriage to Mr. L. G. Porter. Mr. Porter passed away in this city on July 18, 1921.
    She leaves to mourn her passing one daughter, Mrs. J. L. Helms of Grants Pass, Ore., three sons, George W. Porter of Medford, J. F. Porter of Corvallis, Ore., and Harry Porter of Las Vegas, Nevada, also one sister, Mrs. M. M. Childs of Medford, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
    Funeral services will be conducted from the Perl Funeral home on Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock, Rev. Father Herald Gardner officiating. Interment will take place in the Medford I.O.O.F. cemetery beside her late husband.

Medford Mail Tribune, January 13, 1942, page 8

Owner, Porter Lumber Company; ex-Mayor of Medford.
b. Midland, Michigan January 12, 1882; educated grade and high schools Medford; Medford Business College 1898; m. Maude Ada Vaughan, Ashland, Oregon, November 11, 1904; son Jack Luther; foreman Big Pines Lumber Co., Medford, 18 years; established Porter Lumber Co., owner to date; City Councilman 1915, 1930-34; Mayor of Medford (appointed 1934), twice elected, resigned Sept. 1937; Eagle; Elk; Scottish Rite, York Rite Mason; Shriner; Republican; Episcopalian; home 826 Minnesota Ave.; office 204 South Fir St., Medford
Capitol's Who's Who for Oregon 1948-49, page 451

George Porter, Ex-Mayor, Set to Retire Soon
    George Porter, Medford retail lumberman, announced his retirement yesterday after 35 years' operation of Porter Lumber Company, 204 South Fir St.
    A resident here for 65 years, Porter served several terms on the city council and was appointed mayor in 1934. He filled out the term of Mayor Ezra Wilson, who had resigned, and subsequently was elected to two more terms.
    He worked for the old Iowa Lumber and Box Company before becoming foreman of the Big Pines Lumber Company when it took over the Iowa company.
Building Leased
    The Porter company building has been leased to the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company for use as offices and warehouse, Porter said. Most of the stock has been dispersed, and remodeling is to be completed by July 1.
    Porter's son, Jack, who has been associated with him in the company, will continue working with his father in other business interests, it was said.
    In announcing his retirement, Porter expressed his gratitude to the many customers who "have been so loyal throughout the many years."
Medford Mail Tribune, April 13, 1958, page 6

Former City Mayor, Lumberman, Dies
    George W. Porter, 86, of 826 Minnesota Ave., former mayor of Medford and long-time Rogue Valley lumberman, died Saturday in a local hospital.
    The son of Luther and Ada Porter, he was born in Saginaw, Mich., Jan. 12, 1883, and came to the Rogue River Valley with his parents in 1888.
    He worked for the Big Pines Lumber Company before establishing his own lumber business in Medford in the early 1920s.
    An active civic leader and philanthropist, he served as mayor of Medford from 1934 through 1936 and had memberships in numerous fraternal and business organizations.
    He was preceded in death in July by his wife. A son, Jack Porter, died a number of years ago. Surviving are two grandchildren, George Porter of Portland and Mrs. Judy Olive of Seattle.
    Funeral arrangements will be announced by Conger-Morris Funeral Directors.

Medford Mail Tribune, October 6, 1969, page 1

The Porter house, December 8, 1974 Medford Mail Tribune
December 8, 1974 Medford Mail Tribune
December 8, 1974 Medford Mail Tribune
December 8, 1974 Medford Mail Tribune

    The last name on the [1897 Medford High School] graduating list, George W. Porter, became the most active locally. (His talk at the graduation was titled "Room at the Top.")
    According to an autobiography Porter wrote in Feb. 1958, he came to Prospect with his parents when he was nine years old, in 1890, from a small lumber town, Coleman, Mich., where the timber supply had been depleted. His father, L. G. Porter, who had been active in the lumber industry in Michigan, moved to Oregon in search of more trees to cut.
    The Porters and six or eight other lumbermen, all from Coleman, settled on the upper Rogue River near Prospect, planning to take claims on the property.
    Later, these claims developed into highly profitable timber lands, according to Porter's reminiscences.
    The family owned land on E. Main St., and George's mother named Genessee and Geneva streets after towns in Michigan. The family home, greatly altered, still stands at 619 E. Main St., and is now called the Hawthorne Apartments.
    George married Maude A. Vaughan on Nov. 10, 1903, and they moved to 826 Minnesota St., where they both died, Maude in the summer of 1969 and George, aged 87, on Oct. 4 of the same year.
    George served three times as Medford city councilman, in 1913-14, in 1930-31 and 1932-34. He was appointed mayor on Jan. 31, 1934, when the then-mayor, E. M. Wilson, resigned. He remained in office until he resigned Sept. 21, 1937.
    He started his career as a bartender at the old Ashland Hotel, now torn down and replaced with a bank. Next, he went to work for the Big Pines Lumber Co. and stayed with that firm until the early 1920s, when he went into business for himself as the Porter Lumber Co., continuing in that business until he retired.
    A brother, Jack, lives in Corvallis, a grandson, Dr. George Porter, is with the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland, and a granddaughter, Mrs. Judy Olive, makes her home in Seattle.
"Out of the Past Come the Names of Medford High Grads of 74 Years Ago," Medford Mail Tribune, December 8, 1974, page C1

Porter House 2008
The Porter house, 2008.

Last revised August 20, 2023