Obituary Details

Luke Voorhees

(11/29/1834 - 01/16/1925)
Courtesy of The Douglas Budget, 01/22/1925

Luke Voorhees, Pioneer, Is Dead

Luke Voorhees, a resident of the west since 1859, died at his home in Cheyenne last Friday. He had been attacked with pneumonia and his age gave little hope that he would recover. He was in his eighty-seventh year.

Mr. Voorhees was a native of New Jersey, coming west to Pike's Peak during the gold excitement in 1859. He was at Alder Gulch in Montana during the gold excitement there in the early sixties, was at the driving of the golden spike which united the Central and Union Pacific railroads and operated a stage line from Cheyenne to the Black Hills during the rush to the Deadwood field. He was the first territorial treasurer of Wyoming and filled the office of receiver of the Cheyenne land office during the Wilson administration. He was Justice of the Peace at Cheyenne at the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife and a son, George Voorhees.

ONE OF WYOMING'S FIRST PIONEERS IS DEAD AT AGE OF 93

The Lusk Herald, January 22, 1925

Luke Voorhees, Who Came to State in 1876, Dies in Cheyenne

Was widely known in political circles and aided greatly in development of Cheyenne

Luke Voorhees, one of the best know pioneers of eastern Wyoming, passed away at his home in Cheyenne, January 16, at the age of 93 years, his death being caused by an attack of pneumonia.

Mr. Voorhees was well known to all the old-timers of this community, having run cattle in this part of the state in the early days, and often visited his son, George Voorhees who lived here until moving to Pinedale a few years ago.

He was born in New Jersey and came west in 1859, arriving at what is the present site of Denver, in an outfit consisting of five yoke of oxen and a "Murphy" wagon. He followed the mining industry until 1869 in Colorado and in the Territory of Washington, now Montana.

On April 16, 1874 at Salt lake City he was married to Florence Calia Jenks, and in 1876 he came to Cheyenne and organized a stage coach and express line which operated between Cheyenne and the Black Hills. this was the first Cheyenne-Deadwood line.

In 1882 Mr. Voorhees went into the livestock business, buying about 12,000 head of mixed cattle and placing then on range in the Rawhide Buttes country.

He always took an active part in the improvement of Cheyenne. He organized the company that built the first gas works there and also the first street car company, and was active in many civic enterprises.

Mr. Voorhees was appointed Territorial treasurer of Wyoming, being the first officer to hold office in the new capitol building. He also held the office several years after Wyoming became a state.

In 1913, President Wilson appointed him receiver of public moneys and disbursing agent of the United States Land Office in Cheyenne.

He is survived by his widow, his son, George, and daughter-in-law, Mrs. George Voorhees, granddaughter, Gleen, age 4, and a grandson, Elwood.

Funeral services were held in the Episcopal church in Cheyenne last Sunday afternoon with the Commander of the Knight's Templar in attendance and burial was made in the Lakeview cemetery. 

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