Wayne County Biographies

Part of the Indiana Biographies Project

Oliver L. Voris

Professor Oliver L. Voris, the efficient and popular principal of the Hagerstown high school, is a native of this state, his birth having taken place in Switzerland county, May 21, 1859. His paternal grandfather, Major Cornelius Voris, was a native of Kentucky, whence he removed to Switzerland county at an early period, becoming one of its founders and influential citizens. Our subject's father, Joseph Voris, was born in 1825, in the county named, and after passing his entire life in that section, was called to his reward on the 8th of December, 1898. The wife and mother, whose maiden name was Mary Van Nuys, is still living at the old homestead. Of their ten children, eight sons and two daughters, seven are yet living, and at different times all have been engaged in teaching. Joseph H. is in charge of the scientific branches in the Huntington high school; Peter V. was superintendent of the Hagerstown schools for five years; John A. is now engaged in farming in Johnson county, Indiana; Harvey B. resides on a farm near his father's old homestead; Cornelius A. is carrying on a portion of the parental estate; and Rose E. is with her mother in the old home.

In his early years Professor Oliver L. Voris lived on a farm and received his preliminary education in the district schools. In 1881 he entered the Terre Haute State Normal School, where he was graduated seven years later. In the meantime, as he had been obliged to pay his own way through school, he had spent considerable time in teaching, which method was not without its peculiar advantages, though it was not a matter of preference with him. Two of his brothers, Peter V. and the youngest, likewise were graduated in the same institution. In the course of his career as an educator Professor Voris has taught in the district schools of his native county three years; was two years in Boone county; then taught in the schools at Lebanon, Indiana, for one year; for two years was principal of the Centerville high school, and for six years was the superintendent of the schools there. His connection with the Hagerstown high school dates from the beginning of the school year of 1898, and marked changes for the better have been inaugurated here in the interim. He is a ripe scholar and assiduous student, and to his well directed energy and zeal is due, in large measure, the excellence of the high school, which now ranks with the best in the state.

The marriage of Professor Voris and Miss Carrie S. Peitsmyer, a native of Warren county, Ohio, was celebrated in 1891. Mrs. Voris, who for ten years was successfully engaged in teaching in Wayne county prior to her marriage, was reared in the faith of the Society of Friends, but is now identified with the Presbyterian church, as is the Professor. They are the parents of one child, a daughter named Edna. Their home is a happy and attractive one, where warm-hearted hospitality is always to be found by their numerous friends.

Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties, Indiana, Volume 1, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1899