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Liscom Allen Voorhees

VOORHEES, Liscom Allen (deceased), former hardware merchant of Blandinsville, Ill., was born near Raritan, Henderson County, Ill., August 10, 1855, the second son of Jacques and Sarah (Allen) Voorhees, who came from Somerset County, N. J., in 1850. He was educated in the public schools and, during the latter years of his life, was engaged in the hardware and implement trade at Blandinsville, McDonough County, in which he continued until his sudden death on May 16, 1900.

Mr. Voorhees was married, September 6, 1876, at Raritan, Ill., to Miss Mary Frances Wassom, daughter of John and Mary (Huston) Wassom, who came from Tennessee at an early day and settled in the southern part of Henderson County, Ill., being one of the pioneer families of that locality. After marriage he resided on a farm one-half mile north of Old Bedford until November, 1891, when he entered the hardware and implement business at Blandinsville in partnership with his brother, Elmer E. Voorhees. At the time of his death he was the owner of 500 acres of valuable farming land situated in Henderson and McDonough Counties, and was also the proprietor of two business houses on Main Street in Blandinsville, occupied by his hardware and implement store, besides good residence property in the same place. Mr. and Mrs. Voorhees were the parents of four children, namely: Clara Ellen, wife of M. T. Kirkpatrick, who is engaged in the music business in Macomb, Ill.; John Jacques, who married Mabel Grigsby, of Blandinsville, is engaged in the livery business, and they have one son, Robert Neil; Alta Pearle, married George T. Daniels, a merchant tailor of Blandinsville, and they have one daughter, Mary Frances; and Herbert Allen, who is engaged in buying and selling live-stock.

The circumstances attending the death of Mr. Voorhees were of a peculiarly pathetic and tragic character. On the morning of May 16, 1900, he left his home accompanied by a party of friends — Prof. B. E. Decker, W. S. Davis, J. A. Brakey, J. C. Bishop, William Gordon and George Griggs — for the forks of Crooked Creek, some sixteen miles southwest of Blandinsville, where they contemplated spending a couple of days fishing. Arriving at their destination in the early afternoon, they entered upon the object of their visit by the use of a seine in shallow water, but failing to secure the success anticipated, accompanied by one of his companions, Mr. Voorhees sought a more favorable location. Here finding himself in deeper water he was soon compelled to swim. Although a good swimmer, for some reason he was soon overcome, and none of the rest of the party being able to swim, they were unable to render him the needed aid. Assistance was obtained a few minutes later, but it came too late, and, when his body was recovered some twenty minutes later, life was extinct, and the party which had left Blandinsville in the morning with such bright hopes of a pleasant outing, returned the following evening bearing with them to his stricken family the lifeless remains of their friend and comrade. Mr. Voorhees was a man of much personal popularity; honorable and upright in all his dealings; generous in his treatment of the poor and the distressed; liberal in the support of the church with which his family was identified — and his sudden and unexpected taking off was deplored by a large circle of sorrowing friends, as shown by the honors paid to his memory on the day of his funeral.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 1034, extracted 07 Aug 2020 by Norma Hass.

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