Museum the New Llano Colony

Rosella "Ella" (Demoree) Voorhees

Birth: She was born in 1866 in Pennsylvania.  

Family Information: Married to Arthur Voorhees.

Mother of Riley Demaree and Viola (Demaree) Gilbert.  


Pre-Colony History: In 1895 she was living in Kansas with her two children. In 1900 she and the children were living in Kansas with her first husband, Leonard Demoree who was a farmer. By 1905, however, she and both children were living with her second husband, Arthur S. Voorhees, in Topeka, Kansas.

In 1910, she was living with Arthur and Viola in Utah. In 1920 she was living in Los Angeles, California with her son, Riley.

At some point in the 1920's (probably 1922), she and Viola visited the Harriman family in California, then sold their place in Los Angeles  and the two of them traveled by Southern Pacific train to Newllano, arriving at the end of April, 1922.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: Soon after her arrival she and Violet were both working in the laundry where help was most needed.  

Other Info:  

Post-Colony History: The family remained in the colony until 1924, when they were part of a group who supported the Commonwealth College in their dispute with Pickett and decided to move with the college to a new site near Mena, Arkansas.

In 1930 she was living in Arkansas with her son and listed as widowed on the census form.

In 1932 New Llano colonists, Doug Bridger and E.T. Hiatt, visited Mena, Arkansas where they ran into "Mother" Voorhees of "California memory".

A couple of years later, when George Pickett was promoting the Self-Help Co-operative idea in Washington and asked for assistance to develop farm units near the city of Washington, she donated $2.00 to the cause.

In 1936 it was reported that she was still in Ink, busy with her cows, chickens and quilt scraps. In 1940 she lived alone, still in Arkansas.  

Death: She died in 1958 at the home of her daughter, Viola Gilbert, in Ink, Arkansas.  

Sources: Kansas State Census: 1895, 1905; US Census: 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940; "Autobiography of Viola Gilbert": Unpublished; "Llano Colonist": May 6, 1922, May 13, 1922, May 12, 1934, February 29, 1936;; "The Mena Star": December 18, 1958  


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