William Orlando VanVoorhis
VANVOORHIS, BRENIZER, GRIFFITH
Posted By: Gail Meyer Kilgore (email)
Date: 2/16/2004 at 00:20:18
WILLIAM ORLANDO VAN VOORHIS. Although this gentleman has passed to his home beyond, he was for many years identified with the agricultural interests of Grundy County where he was well known as an enterprising and prosperous man. His estate, which is located in Felix Township, Grundy County, comprises of eighty broad and fertile acres, which are under excellent tillage and bear numerous improvements.
Mr. VanVoorhis was born in Knox County, Ohio, January 9, 1833, and was the son of Daniel VanVoorhis, the latter of whom died when our subject was quite young. William, of this sketch, received little schooling, being compelled to assist on the home place, and on the second marriage of his mother was bound out as a tanner. From this new taskmaster he soon ran away, taking refuge with an aunt. At the early age of sixteen he had acquired a sufficient education to enable him to teach school, and for fifty terms followed the occupation of a pedagogue. He was very ambitious to obtain a collegiate education, and having saved his money, took a course of study in Hiram College, from which he was graduated in due time.
On the outbreak of the Civil War our subject enlisted in the Fourth Ohio Infantry in the three years ‘ service, but on account of losing the use of his right eye was compelled to return home, and for a long time was unable to do work of any sort.
When establishing a home of his own, Mr. VanVoorhis was married to Miss Mary Brenizer, a daughter of Jacob and Margaret (Griffith) Brenizer, the date thereof being September 7, 1865. Mrs. VanVoorhis was born January 9, 1840, in Morrow County, Ohio, where she was reared on a farm. After her marriage with our subject, she accompanied him to Timbersville, Marion County, Ohio, where he taught school for twelve years. At the expiration of that time he removed to Morrow County, where he purchased sixteen acres of land, which he cultivated with good success. In 1876, determining to try his fortunes in this state, Mr. VanVoorhis first rented a small piece of land in Marshall County, which he cultivated until enabled to buy and eighty-acre tract. Upon this land he erected all the necessary buildings, and in 1889 moved his family into their present comfortable residence.
Of the eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. VanVoorhis, those living are Vinal, Otis, Maggie and Guy. In political affiliations our subject votes with the Republican party, and at the time of his decease, November 14, 1893, was holding the office of Township Trustee. He was a member of the Christian Church and took great delight in doing deeds of charity to those less fortunate than himself, and thus won a warm personal regard throughout the entire community. Socially, he is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa
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