October 7, 2014

John William & Virginia Pearl Coffee Voris

John William Voris
All Photos are courtesy of
Jennifer Hoy Orton
John William Voris was born in Kentucky on Apr. 14, 1868.  His parents have not yet been identified.

He left Kentucky sometime before Dec. 23, 1898 when he was married to Virginia Pearl Coffee in Albany, Shackelford Co., TX.
"J. W. Voris and bride, nee Pearl Coffey, who were married December 23, at Albany, Texas, are expected to arrive tomorrow night.  Mr. Voris, who is a well known resident of Globe, will receive hearty congratulations from his many friends.  Mr. Voris will serve as deputy to Sheriff-elect W. T. Armstron."¹[sic]
He and Virginia appeared in the 1900 census in the Globe Pct., Globe, Gila Co., Arizona Territory. In March of that year he was a deputy sheriff in Gila Co. and covered the county collecting taxes on, among other things, sheep and cattle.²

Virginia Pearl Coffee Voris
John, or William as he was apparently called by friends, was one of the lawmen who attempted to arrest a pair of Apache warriors for trial in 1895.  The two Indians had been earlier indicted for robbery.  The particular band of Apaches were part of the White Mountain Apaches and lived on the San Carlos reservation - sometimes called the Fort Apache reservation - along the Cibecue creek.  According to local news stories, they were known to be cattle thieves and said to have robbed and murdered a number of ranchers in the area.

When Voris and other deputies appeared at the camp to take the Indians into custody a skirmish broke out and Voris ended up killing one of the Indians known as Nock-ay-det-Klinne and referred to in local newspaper articles as Nan-tan-go-Tayz.  He was acting chief in place of his brother Cooley who was apparently away at the time.  According to newspaper reports, the lawmen had given up on arresting the two Indians and were attempting to leave the encampment in peace.  They were set upon and in the course of defending himself, Voris shot and killed the acting chief.

John William Voris continued to work as a lawman from time to time but spent more time raising cattle.  He quit law enforcement in 1905 and went to work in Pinal Co., AZ Terr. for the A. C. Sieboth mines.  In 1910 he and Virginia were raising cattle on their ranch in the Tonto National Forest near Gila.  He died on Jun. 18, 1917 of an apparent heart attack while driving in an automobile near Globe, AZ.  He was buried on the 21st at the Globe Cemetery.³

Kentucky Mildred Voris
Virginia Pearl Coffee was a daughter of Robert Marion and Emma Gaines Reynolds.  She was born on Jun. 12, 1871 in Lavaca Co., TX and died on March 9, 1966 in Globe, Gila Co.  She and John William were parents of four children:

Kentucky Mildred was born Oct. 28, 1899 in Globe  According to her death certificate, she died of Typhoid Fever on Apr. 29, 1918 in Tucson, Pima Co., AZ.  Descendants say she died of "Spanish Flu" and was never married.  She is buried at the Globe Cemetery in Gila Co.

Robert Edward Voris
Robert Edward, born 1902 in AZ and died there in 1981. He too is buried at Globe.  Robert married a widow (apparently) with three children and a tad older than him.  She was Zella Ruth Kinsey, born Nov. 11, 1901 in Bartlesville, Osage Co., OK and died in Los Angeles Co., CA on Sep. 21, 1945. She had been previously married to Chester Lester Ferguson with whom she had three children:  Cline Elizabeth, Clemmie Beatrice and Winifred Fay. She and Robert apparently had no children together. The burial place of Zella Ruth is not known to me.

Emma Marie, born c1905 in AZ, died unknown.  She married Oscar Elihu Clendennen [sic] who was born in Haskell Co., TX on Oct. 24, 1900.  He died in Jan., 1964 at Midland, Midland Co., TX and was buried at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Odessa, Ector Co., TX.  I have not yet found Emma's death date or place of burial.  There were at least three children born to this union:  Marion Bradford, born 1925; Melba Marie, born 1926; and Minnie Charlotte, born 1927.

Georgia Virginia Voris
The last child born to John William and Virginia was Georgia Virginia on Jan. 6, 1911 in Gila Co., died May 5, 2000 in Kansas.  In c1929 she married Richard Toliver, sometimes Tolliver, Underwood.  To that union was born two daughters, Mildred Elizabeth in 1931 at Flagstaff in Coconino Co., AZ and Margaret Voris in Gila Co. in 1933.  Mr. Underwood appears to have married and divorced a number of times and finally passed away in Arizona on Aug. 5, 1987.  He was buried at the Hall Cemetery in Howe, Grayson Co., TX.  Georgia later remarried to Louis Lieber Weinstein. born 1910, died 2001.  They apparently had no children together.  Both she and Louis are buried at the Meriden cemetery in Meriden, Jefferson Co., KS.

Additions and corrections are welcomed!


¹The Daily Arizona Silver Belt, Globe City, Pinal Co., AZ, Dec. 22 [sic], 1898, Page 2, Col. 3.
² The Oasis - Arizola, Pinal Co., AZ 1893-1920, Mar. 10, 1900, Page 10, Col. 2; citing the Globe Silver Belt newspaper,
³ William Voris, death certificate No. 527 (18 June 1917), Arizona Department of Health Services, Health Services, Phoenix, Maricopa Co., AZ. http://tinyurl.com/o5fyv2c

For context see: http://tinyurl.com/oepozyg, ttp://tinyurl.com/muenm47, and http://tinyurl.com/nyaofb6

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