Tracy Darrow Porter, my 2nd great grandfather, was born on August 30, 1863, in Oregon (either Portland or Albany). He was the first child of Orville Tracy Porter (1838-1916), a newspaperman and later U.S. Marshall, District of Alaska, and Matilda Biddle (1846-1927), daughter of businessman B.R. Biddle.
Tracy was to spend most of his working life as a printer. At least as early as 1880, when he was 17, he was living away from home in Junction, Oregon, and working as a compositor.
Tracy registered to vote in Sacramento, California, on 11 Sep 1886. After this point his trail goes cold for a while. Sometime between 1886 and 1895 Tracy apparently got work down in the South. I do not know the circumstances and would like to figure out at some point what prompted him to go to Mississippi. Whatever the cause, though, family information indicates Tracy married Caroline "Carrie" Celestine Avery, daughter of John Warren Avery and Celestine Herrod (daughter of Barnabas Herrod and Susan Grubb), about 1895 in Mississippi and the following year their first child was born in Lyons, Coahoma, Mississippi (basically in the Clarksdale, Mississippi area). I haven't found records with that information, but I have found Tracy on an 1896 tax record in Lyons:
Tracy's father-in-law John Warren Avery died about 1899, and by the 1900 Federal Census Tracy and his growing family had moved with his widowed mother-in-law, Celestine, to Meridian, Lauderdale, Mississippi.
|[Year: 1900; Census Place: Meridian Ward 3, Lauderdale, Mississippi; Roll: 815; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 1240815]|
1910 Federal Census reveals Tracy with his family in Mississippi City (which is now part of the greater Gulfport area). His brother-in-law, Henry Clifton Avery, a boilermaker, was also nearby. Curiously, Tracy was listed as a house painter.
|[Year: 1910; Census Place: Mississippi, Harrison, Mississippi; Roll: T624_741; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 1374754]|
Bankruptcy PetitionBut by August 1914 he filed a charter for a printing company.
A petition in bankruptcy was filed this morning in the United States district court by T. D. Porter, a printer of Gulfport, through his attorneys, Rushing & Guice. His assets are scheduled at $200, exemption claimed, and his liabilities at $363.
Biloxi Local News Paragraphs of Interest
Date: Wednesday, December 4, 1912 Paper: Gulfport Daily Herald (Gulfport, MS) Volume: IV Issue: 53 Page: 8 (from GenealogyBank.com)
Tracy was found a few more times in the local newspapers, as a jury member, and as a member of the Home guard (in April 1917).
Sometime before the 1920 Federal Census Tracy, his family, and his mother-in-law Celestine had moved to Shreveport, Louisiana. Perhaps they had lived there before, since daughter Violet had been born in Louisiana:
|[Year: 1920; Census Place: Shreveport Precinct 13, Caddo, Louisiana; Roll: T625_608; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 70; Image: 1072]|
|["Porter Tracy D printer Texas Trade Review r 1008 Marion" from Publication Title: City Directories for Dallas, Texas State: Texas City: Dallas Year: 1920 Publisher: John F Worley Directory Co Page Number: 1140]|
He showed up in the 1927 Gulfport, Mississippi, city director as the the foreman of the Gulfport Printing Company:
|[TD Porter in Gulfport about 1927, from Gulfport, Mississippi, City Directory, 1927]|
|[Tracy D Porter in Cheneyville, from Year: 1930; Census Place: Cheneyville, Rapides, Louisiana; Roll: 816; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0020; Image: 687.0; FHL microfilm: 2340551]|
In 1940 he was living in Placerville, El Dorado, California, and stated that he had been in Fresno, California, in 1935 (I can't find him in the Fresno city directory in that time, however):
|[Tracy D. Porter in Placerville, from Year: 1940; Census Place: Placerville, El Dorado, California; Roll: T627_199; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 9-13]|
Down South Pacific way; w Sue Porter & T. D. Porter, m Harry J. Edwards. © 1 . Sept. 20, 1943; E unp. 347484; Letta Estella Turnbull, Dallas 34457Since Tracy's father Orville Porter had published his poems about Alaska in the work "Poems on "Alaska, the land of the midnight sun," I guess it shouldn't surprise me that Tracy had a literary bent. I have not seen the actual work, but I am assuming it was written in support of the American military fighting in the Pacific theater during World War II.
By 1944 Tracy had apparently made a circle back to Sacramento, where he was listed in the voter's registration. He was listed as a retired Democrat:
|[Tracy D. Porter, retired, in Sacramento, California, 1944, from State of California, United States. Great Register of Voters. Sacramento, California: California State Library.]|
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