Saturday, October 18, 2008

James N. Vodrey Obituary

James N. Vodrey

Died on January 24, 1902

The East Liverpool Tribune

This well known pioneer potter died suddenly at the Riverside Hotel, Cambridge Springs, Friday evening, January 24, shortly after 6 o'clock. In company with Mr. B. Rand, the retired C. & P. engineer, he went to Cambridge Springs two weeks ago. He has been frequently going there for several years past, so has Mr. Rand. They talked of coming home on Saturday, and Mr. Vodrey had gone out and purchased some candies for his seven grandchildren, it being his custom to always bring them some when he came back from there. This was found in his overcoat pockets. About four o'clock he said to Mr. Rand: "let's stay until February 1. that's what we will do." Soon after they started out to visit the springs for their drink of water before supper. Mr. Rand and Benj. F. Harker, of this city, started for one spring, and Mr. Vodrey and a companion—Mr. J. D. Lewis, of Genesco, N. Y., concluded they would go to the Magnesia Springs which were nearer, as they both had been drinking rhe Magnesia Water. Mr. Rand and Mr. Vodrey, in fun, threw a few soft snow balls at each other. Mr. Lewis and Mr. Vodrey returned to the Riverside Hotel before the others, and the latter hung up his overcoat in the office, on the hook he usually did, and sat down near the heating register. He remarked to Mr. Lewis: "I will just show Barney how to eat a good supper tonight. I am all rady for one." He sat by the register a few moments, when he moved over where Mr. Lewis was. He remarked that it was time that the other fellows were back. In a few moments he said to Mr. Lewis' "Will you help me up to my room? I am sick." Mr. Lewis thought he was in fun, and said; "Of course I will." When he saw that Mr. Vodrey was indeed ill. He called the clerk and they took him to his room. Messrs. Rand and Harker soon came in. he asked the latter to telegraph his son, John W., this city, to come on at once—declaring that he was not going to get well. A physician was soon in attendance, who told his friends that he was dying. Within twenty minutes he was dead. The messages announcing his illness and his death were delivered at the same time, and were received here at 6:57 Friday night. His sons, John W. and Will. E. Started with a good team about nine o'clock for Beaver, where they caught the midnight train, and arrived at Cambridge at six o'clock Saturday morning. Three hours later they started for home, accompanied by Mr. Rand, reaching here at 3:40 Saturday afternoon.

Funeral services were held at his late home Monday afternoon, at two o'clock. Rev. C. F. Swift, of Beaver Falls, a former pastor of deceased's church, and the resident pastor—Rev. W. H. Gladden, conducted the services, assisted by Rev. J. C. Taggart and Rev. F. P. Hummel, of Toronto, the Methodist Protestant church choir had charge of the music. Interment followed at Riverview cemetery.

Deceased has been a member of the board of trustees of the Methodist Protestant church since its organization, and was known as one of the ever to be relied on workers in that church. While not demonstrative in his religion, and not given to parading his piety, yet he leaves a place in the church that will certainly be missed. He was a good every day Christian man, whose daily walk for nearly half a century is worthy of emulation.

James N. Vodrey was born at Louisville, Ky., June 20, 1834, and was in his 68th year. He married Isabel Jobling, of this city, December 31, 1859. The ceremony was performed by Rev. C. J. Sears, at that time pastor of the church he was a member of. His wife died about fifteen years ago, and with the exception of their first child, a little babe dying in infancy, his is the next death to take place in his immediate family. The living children are: Ellen V., now Mrs. Joel B. Taylor, Jno. W., president of the Vodrey Pottery Co., William E., and James N., also connected with the same pottery. Deceased lived in the same house, corner College and Robinson streets, over forty years. The house was built by his father, Jobez<sic> Vodrey, and was his home until he died.

The Vodreys have been long connected with American pottery, Jabez Vodrey, their father, came to America in 1827, and engaged in making yellow ware on the "Old Fourth Street Road," now Fifth Avenue extension, out of Pittsburg. About 1832 he went to Louisville, Ky., and became connected with a pottery there. James N. Vodrey was born while the family lived in Lousiville. Several years afterward a party of English capitalists built a potery <sic>at Troy, Indiana, and his father became associated as manager, but it was impossible to carry out the intention of the owners to make C. C. ware from the inferior clay found there. In 1847 he came to East Liverpool in search of work. The manufacture of Yellow and Rockingham ware was flourishing here then. When Woodward, Blakely & Co. took the contract to make the tera<sic> cotta ornaments for the old Pittsburg Cathedral, a contract involving over $10,000, the Vodreys were employed. The contract had much to do with the failure of the firm in 1857. There was quite an amount of hard earned dollars due the Vodrey Brothers for wages, and in settlement of the claim in court they bought all that portion of the Woodward & Blakely pottery east of College street. The firm of Vodrey & Bro. Was established in 1857, and was incorporated as the Vodrey Pottery Company in 1898. They have traveled all along the line of pottery production from yellow Ware to finely decorated Semi-Porcelain.

James N. Vodrey was on of the directors and original stockholders in the First National Bank, of this city, and at a recent meeting of the board of directors the following resolutions were prepared and adopted:

"Whereas, it has been the will of God to take from this world our friend and former member, James N. Vodrey, and one of the original shareholders of this bank.

"Resolved, that we feel it our duty to express officially our regard and respect for our late fellow-member, as well as our deep regret at hs decease; ever faithful to his official duties, judicious and considerate in all his business relations, and so genial, cheerful and kind in his social characteristics, that we profoundly realize that we have lost not only one of our most esteemed members, but also a personal friend. His high character for integrity, candor and manly virtue was such as to endear him to all as a companion and friend. We deeply deplore his death and sympathize with his family in their great affliction." DAVID BOYCE, President, N. G. MACRUM, Cashier.

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