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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


ORIN PORTER was a resident of Redlands more than twenty years. While here he showed his substantial faith in the community by investing liberally of his means in orchard property, and was deeply interested as well in the full rounded development of the community. Mr. Porter spent his life largely in the great West, and for years was a noted authority on mining operations.

He was a New Englander by birth and ancestry, born at Troy in Orleans County, Vermont, in 1838. He grew up in the rugged district of New England, and at the age of seventeen went out to the new state of Iowa. He lived there four years and then returned East, and again spent six years in Vermont. When he finally left the East his journey ended in Nevada, and he participated in the great mining excitement at White Pine during 1868. There he served his apprenticeship as a practical miner and prospector, and his next scene of operations was in Idaho. He was interested in both gold and silver mines, and long experience made him an expert in every phase of prospecting, developing and the production of precious metals. For twenty-five years he gave his personal time and supervision to his mining interests, and when he retired he located at Redlands and bought two ten-acre orange groves. Eventually he became owner of forty acres, and took a very enthusiastic interest in every department of the citrus fruit growing and made the business a profitable one.

The death of this honored citizen of Redlands occurred April 19, 1914. He was a member of the Masonic Order, attended the Congregational Church and was very active in all lines of betterment work around the colony and had the greatest of faith in the future of the entire Redlands district.

In 1891 he married Sarah M. G. Rogers, also a native of Vermont. She attended public school at Fairfax and was also a student of New Hampton Institute, at Fairfax, a Baptist college which has since been renamed and endowed as the Bellows Seminary. Mr. Porter is survived by Mrs. Porter and one daughter, Ora, who was born at Redlands February 5, 1893. Miss Ora Porter attended Mrs. Winston's private school and at the time of her father's death was a student in the University of Redlands, taking a musical course. Later she finished her vocal education as a private pupil in Los Angeles under the teacher and singer Estelle Hartt Dreyfus. Miss Ora Porter was married March 25, 1918, to Ira Leroy Thomason. Mr. Thomason was born in Nebraska May 23, 1895, and graduated A. B. from Stanford University in California and was in the university taking his law course when he entered the army, joining the Ordnance Department at Palo Alto, May 10, 1918. He was at Camp Hancock, Georgia, later transferred to the infantry and sent to the Officers Training Camp at Camp Gordon, Georgia, and after the signing of the armistice received his discharge December 20,. 1918. He and his family now live at Hollywood, California, where he is head of the publicity department of the Hollywood branch of the Security Trust and Savings Bank of Los Angeles. Mr. and Mrs. Thomason have one daughter, Dorothy Jean, born January 31, 1919, at Redlands.

Mrs. Porter continues to make her home at Redlands, on Wabash Street, and is the efficient manager of the original twenty-acre homestead acquired by Mr. Porter some thirty years ago.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011