James Harry Porch, Sr.

James Harry Porch was born in Warsaw, Missouri, on May 8, 1880, the son of E.M. and Catherine (Scott) Porch. E.M. Porch was a carpenter who had come to California in 1852, stayed in Sacramento until 1863 and then returned to Missouri where he and his wife raised a family of thirteen children.
Harry Porch quit school at the age of 14 and worked in a printing office until he joined the Second Missouri Volunteer Infantry for Spanish-American War service. His training camp was at Chickamuga Park, Georgia, from whence he was transferred to Lexington, Kentucky and later to Albany, Georgia. He was mustered out of service on March 3, 1899, and returned to Missouri.
Porch went to Colorado and became the night clerk at the Elk Hotel in Colorado Springs. That autumn he bought a wagon and team from which he peddled notions en route back to Missouri. After wintering at home, he went to Elko, Nevada, where he worked on his uncle’s stock ranch for a few months to make enough money to go to California. He arrived at Selma in the summer of 1900, worked for eighteen months in a mercantile store and came to Redlands on Christmas Day, 1901.
Mr. Porch spent the winter as an employee of the Fairbanks Ranch, took a carloading job in Central California at the end of the season and returned to the Mission District where he worked in a store at Colton and Mountain View avenues. He started another season in Central California, but illness sent him home and he took a box-making job with Cal Puffer’s Packing House in Bryn Mawr. After three years he became a foreman for the Bryn Mawr Fruit Growers Association, where he stayed until 1917. Then he bought a San Jacinto stock ranch, which he sold the followoing year and took over the West American Fruit Company, which he operated for three years as a cash-buyer of fruit. After selling that company, he owned and operated his own citrus orchards.
He was secretary to the Mill Creek Water Company, president of the Fallsvale Service Company and a member of the Kiwanis and Elks clubs.
His interest in county affairs was whetted in 1931 when he was on the Grand Jury.
He was elected to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in November 1932, serving from December 5, 1932 to December 7, 1936.
Mr. Porch died on May 1, 1943, at his home in Redlands. He was survived by his wife, the former Henrietta Cole, daughter of Henry H. Cole, whome he married in 1905. three children, Howard Porch, Gladys (Mrs. Paul W. Morse) and J.H. Porch, Jr.; and three grandchildren.

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