Walworth County Historical Society


Voree was the creation of Jesse James Strang, who came in 1844 from Nanvoo and began to build a city and temple. It is not told whether he found the name for his holy city in the Book of Mormon, or whether it was revealed to him in another way. He assembled about three hundred disciples, great and small, of whom he was ruler, chief priest, and prophet. He appointed a day and hour, and September 13, 1845, he found his credentials directly beneath a large tree, on the edge of a high bank of White river, in the form of three gold-colored plates on which had been scratched mathematical and astronomical symbols. These he interpreted as a revelation and a heavenly commission. Eighteen more plates were found later. Laban Piatt, Aaron Smith, James M. Van Nostrand, Jared B. Whelan and Edward Whitcomb witnessed these revelations. He printed a newspaper, for which he wrote long "poems": but he did not finish his temple. In 1847 he flitted with his disciples to Beaver Island, in Mackinaw strait, and in 1856 his body was brought for burial after a conflict with a federal marshal's force. He had a few relatives in the town of Spring Prairie and this, with the natural advantages of rich land and good water power, may have determined the place of the city so short-lived, of which but a few fading memories are left.

Excerpt from History of Walworth County Wisconsin by Albert Clayton Beckwith

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