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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
During the period of his residence in Chillicothe, covering thirty-five years, John Marion Voris was well known as a representative, prominent and valued business man and lawyer. In the practice of his profession he displayed notable power and ability which won for lot him a large clientage. As his financial resources increased he became interested in the banking business and in that connection was also well known. His carefully formed plans were promptly executed and his enterprise would allow him to brook no obstacles that could be overcome by persistent and earnest effort. Ohio numbered him among her native sons, his birth having occurred in Lancaster, September 23, 1840. He was the youngest son of John and Rebecca (Price) Voris. The father died when the boy was but five days old and the mother afterward took him and his brother, was two years his senior, to Somerset, Ohio. There he attended school and after his text-books were put aside he learned the cigarmaker's trade in Zanesville, Ohio. However, it was his desire to enter professional circles and with that end in view he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1867. When the Civil war broke out he desired to join the army but his mother objected. On the day on which he attained his majority, however, he enlisted as a member of Company I, One Hundred and Twenty-second Ohio Infantry, with which he served valiantly until the 1st of July, 1864, when he was honorably discharged with the rank of first sergeant. While at the front he participated in the battle of Winchester under General Milroy was on the flanks of the Union forces at Gettysburg, was in the battle of the Wilderness, and also in the engagements at Monacacy and at Cedar Creek. He was wounded when in front of Petersburg and twice at Monacacy and also sustained a slight wound at Winchester.
When his military service was over Mr. Voris removed to Missouri and for two years thereafter engaged in the practice of law in Mercer and Grundy counties. During that period, Or On the 20th Of September, 1866, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary J. Neill, of Trenton, Missouri, and they became the parents of three children, Charles Walter, Ola Dell anti Vernon Viola. The first two died in infancy. The younger daughter was married in December, 1895, to Fred H. Harris and now lives in Chillicothe.
It was in the spring of 1867 that the Voris family came to Chillicothe, where Mr. Voris entered upon the practice of law, soon winning a large and gratifying clientage. In argument his points were forcibly presented and he was ever logical, while the points of law applicable to his case were correctly presented. Throughout the period of his residence in Chillicothe he occupied a high position in public regard and was at various times active in the public affairs of his city. Aside from his law practice he figured prominently in financial circles, becoming one Of the organizers of the First National Bank and of the Farmers Loan & Building Association of Chillicothe. He was an active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows from the time of the organization of the local lodge in 1866 until his death. In politics he was an earnest republican for a number of years and President Grant appointed him postmaster in 1869, Later he became identified with the peoples party and was one of its recognized leaders in this state. Three times he was its nominee for supreme court judge. Early in the green-back movement he espoused the cause of the reform party and stood true to its principles until his death. He believed it to be the duty as well as the privilege of every American citizen to advocate and support the political principles in which he believed and Mr. Voris' position was never an equivocal one, He was intensely earnest and loyal at all times and in all that he did. Men learned to know that what he promised he would do and they respected him for his fidelity to his honest convictions as well as for the ability which he displayed in professional and banking circles.