Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Eugene Vorhies (1877-1964)

From the Family Tree of Withrow/Vorhies/Smith

Estella Vorhies Smith (1876-1959) was the first born child of John Mac and Ginevra Withrow Vorhies. She was born only a month after the family came to Greene County, Iowa in February of 1876. Estella was the older sister of Eugene and Leroy. Eugene's birth 3 October 1877 was followed by Leroy's birth 2 October 1879.  As discussed in early posts,  Leroy was a month or two younger than his aunt, Sarah Jane Withrow (1879-1896), youngest child of Sarah Jane Swartzell Withrow and Joseph Withrow. Unlike the younger Sarah Jane who only reached age 17, Leroy loved a full life as did his brother, Eugene.

The focus here is on Eugene who was well known in the Greene and Carroll county area. He was a farmer and served on the board of the Farmer's Cooperative Association ( now known as West Central Co-op) in Ralston, Iowa for 30 years. He was a life long member of the Christian Church and became a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1908.

By the time I was born and old enough to know Uncle Gene and Aunt Carrie, they had moved from the farm to Jefferson, Iowa. For clarification purposes, they were the aunt and uncle of my grandmother, Nina and her siblings.  This makes them my great-great aunt and uncle. They lived in a nice house on the corner of the main road going into town and a side street. That house has been replaced at some point over the years with another structure. However, when I drive by I still see their house in my mind's eye.

Uncle Gene and Aunt Carrie were married in South Dakota on December 22, 1909.  I don't yet know why they were in South Dakota. I had  always thought incorrectly that it was because  Aunt Carrie was from South Dakota. She was not. Her family was as local as Uncle Gene's.  This is information I have gained from my research. However, I do have a postcard sent to her in South Dakota from her future sister-in-law, Stella Smith, dated 1906. She would have been about 15 so maybe her family lived there for awhile.  I do not know how long they stayed in South Dakota after marrying but I found another postcard from Gene's brother, Leroy and family, addressed to Scranton in January 1910.

First postcard is dated April 6, 1906.  It reads:  Dear Carrie, Received your letter yesterday.  Glad to hear from you.  Hiram has made some early garden and I have 13 hens setting. Come and see us Easter Sunday.  Write again, Your Friend, Estella Smith.
The second card is sent from Yoder, Colorado in January 1910 shortly after Gene and Carrie were married.  Notice that it is mailed to Scranton, Iowa.   It reads: Dear Brother & Sister   Please accept our late congratulations.  Yours Truly, Lula, & Leroy Vorhies
Eugene Vorhies lived a long life, 86 years, eight months, and 2 days. He outlived both his older sister, Estella, and younger brother, Leroy, as well as his young son, Lester.  However, his wife, Carrie, lived to be 98!

This is the front side of the Easter card Estella sent to Carrie Kotas in 1906 when Carrie was in South Dakota.

Lester, Carrie, Gene, and Viola
I would guess this picture to be from the early 1920's. Lester was born in 1910 and Viola in 1912.

A Little Closer View from the Farm Photo

           Card of Congratulations to Gene and Carrie Vorhies from Leroy and Lulu Vorhies.

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