Skip to main content

White, Lucy Van Voorhis, 1869-1935



  • Existence: 1869 - 1935


Charles Smith Van Voorhis and Lucy A. Dennis were married on March 17, 1860 in Knox County, Ohio. They had seven children: Mattie, Lucy, Frank, Minnie, Eva, Ora, and Hattie. Lucy Van Voorhis was born on May 8, 1869 in Grundy County, Iowa. When Lucy was two years old the family moved to Liscomb, Iowa, where they farmed until 1872. In the fall of 1874, there was another move to Pleasant Township, Iowa. It was here that Lucy attended her first school.

Farming was a family affair, the women sharing the work equally with the men. Lucy managed, however to devote much time to her studies, and decided early on that she would become a school teacher. On May 8, 1884, at the age of fifteen, Lucy wrote in her diary, "I am going to be an old maid, and teach school in a little yellow schoolhouse in the backwoods of Dakota, if it is proper to speak so of a prairie state." The latter but not the former proved true; Lucy Van Voorhis taught her first class in 1888, and continued teaching until her marriage. On February 22, 1896 Lucy Van Voorhis married George Thomas White of Dallas County, Iowa.

George and Lucy White had three children: Louise (b. July 17, 1898), Stanley V. (b. December 9, 1901, who married Sarah B. Dykstra in 1927) and Phyllis (b. August 13, 1905). Stanley and Sarah Dykstra had three children: Jeane (born Jean Eloise) Van Voorhis White, Carolyn Ruth White Robertson, and Janice Marie White). The family farmed in Dallas County, Iowa, growing crops of corn, hay, wheat, and oats, in addition to raising lambs, chickens, hogs, and dairy cattle. When Phyllis was nine months old, Lucy Van Voorhis White began teaching Sunday school at the local Presbyterian church. She was an avid seamstress and cook, as well as being a writer of "circle letters" that were distributed regularly among her family members

The Whites moved to Ames in 1920. While there all of the children received degrees from what was then Iowa State College. During that time the farm was rented out. After Stanley White married, he returned to the farm and together with George White resumed the operations. The "home 80" of that farm is still owned by Jonathan M. Kimple, son of Jeane Van Voorhis White, and became a century Farm in 1982.

Lucy Van Voorhis White died from cancer in 1935.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Lucy Van Voorhis White papers

Identifier: IWA0074

Schoolteacher and farm wife of Dallas County, Iowa.

Dates: 1861-1939