Born: October 28, 1880, Leavenworth, Kansas.
Died: May 7, 1964, Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan.
Buried: Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan.
In 1905, Vories went to Omihachiman under the auspices of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). He stayed in Japan the rest of his life, acting as a missionary, businessman, architect, social worker and educator.
One of his greatest accomplishments was the establishment of the Christian Omi Brotherhood to support his missionary work. He was also a successful entrepreneur, establishing the Vories Architectural Company (1907) and the Omi Sales Company (1920).
Vories designed over 2,000 western style buildings in Japan, Korea and China. He also established the Omihachiman YMCA, the Omi-Brotherhood Pharmaceutical Company, the Omi Sanitarium and Hospital, and the Omi Christian School System.
After World War II, Vories was instrumental in negotiations between General Douglas MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito; some gave Vories credit for Hirohito’s remaining emperor.
To this day, numerous Japanese visit his birth place in Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1997, Leavenworth and Omihachiman, Japan, became sister cities.