The Voorhees name is one of the oldest in both North America and Amsterdam. Steven Coerte Van Voorhees came to America from Holland in April of 1660 and settled in what is now Bergen County, New Jersey. His grandson Hendrick, moved north to Montgomery County in 1782 and became a prosperous farmer. His offspring and their’s branched off into local banking and industry and the Voorhees name became synonymous with success in this Mohawk Valley community for the next century and a half. Both Voorhees Road and Voorhees Street are named after the clan. But it was a family member who left the Rug City after graduating from college who became the most famous and influential Vorhees of all.
Enders McClumpha Voorhees was born on April 28, 1891.He was the fifth child of Jame Voorhees who had succeeded his own father as President of Amsterdam’s Farmer’s National Bank. With so many siblings ahead of him in the pecking order, when Enders began his college career at Dartmouth, it was unclear where or how he fit into the family’s succession plans at either the bank or the knitting firm they controlled. Sure enough, after he graduated from the Ivy League school in 1914, instead of returning to his hometown he accepted a position as an accountant with a firm in Boston and a year later took a job with a New York City importing and exporting firm that sent him around the world. But it was a huge inheritance he received from his father’s sister, Sarah Voorhees in 1917, that made him independently wealthy and most likely turned his status as an ex-Amsterdam resident into a permanent one.
Back then, a guy with $100,000 in his bank account could afford to be very …
The rest of Enders Voorhees’ birthday post will be published in the second editionof A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam NY Birthdays, which will be available for sale right after Thanksgiving. To make sure you get your hands on one of the first copies, join my mailing list here.
The first edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam NY Birthdays, which features my birthday posts for 320 current or former Amsterdam residents, is currently being sold at Liberty Fresh Market, on Route 30 in Amsterdam. You can also purchase it online here.