Was Alone In Opposition to Women’s Reformatory.
A Sincere Old Standpatter.
His Interviews With Columbus Newspapers Made Their Newspapers Ridiculous.
Dr. E.H. Rorick, a Republican member of the State Board of Administration, has sent a letter to Governor James M. Cox to the effect that his resignation will be placed in his hands at any time the governor wishes to fill the place, which the govern will undoubtedly do at the earliest possible moment. Dr. Rorick is the man who is responsible for every bit of the opposition to the women’s reformatory in Marysville. His statements to newspaper reporters were accepted as facts and printed without investigation as to the truth of the statements made by the doctor. In these statements Dr. Rorick was quoted as representing the state board. As a matter of fact he represented himself alone. The other three members of the state board, Messrs. Davey, Creamer and Philbrick, were always in sympathy with the spirit and purpose of the local institution.
Dr. Rorick was at all times entirely ignorant of the law governing the Marysville institution. He did not know anything whatsoever of the vast need of the institution or the wide scope of reform work to be performed here. He knew nothing whatsoever of the local institution as it will be or in fact, as it is. He did not even comprehend the fundamental principle upon which the institution is base.
Affable and approachable, Dr. Rorick was easily seen by the Columbus newspaper reports, who accepted his statements as representing the state board, and as being correct. The Columbus Dispatch editorially praised the reformatory and the work here, and in its news columns printed Dr. Rorick’s fiction stories. Other newspapers took up these stories and enlarged upon them, leaving the realm fiction to enter that of mendacious falsehood.
Locally, Dr. Rorick has established a reputation as a politician wearing horns and a barked tail. As a matter fact he is personally one of the finest old gentlemen who was ever appointed to a state office. He was probably honest in his view and likely did not realize the vast extent of his ignorance of the institution he was supposed to help manager. The trouble with Dr. Rorick is that he doesn’t believe in any of the progressive ideas of government. He’s an honest old standpatter. He believes everything ought to be just as it was in his prime. He does not believe for a minute in any attempt at reform among prisoners. He thinks it’s all “bosh.” Progressive ideas have arisen, been adopted and become accepted as conservative, yet Dr. Rorick does not believe in any of them. He’s the champion of all the conservatives.
Before he was appointed one of the four members of the State Board of Administration, Dr. Rorick was outspoken in his belief that the State Board of Administration should be abolished, and that Ohio should return to the old plan of boards of trustees for each state institution. Nor did his appointment to the board change his belief. He continued up to the last election voicing his hope that the legislature would abolish the State Board of Administration, of which he himself was a member. He so completely believed in his position that he urged the legislature to legislate himself out of office.
Naturally, as a member of a board governing Ohio’s greatest department, he was one vast failure. There’s a man living not far from Marysville who believes the entire school system should be abolished, because the school wagons damage the roads, yet no one would advocate placing him in charge of the public school system. There are men who do not believe in banks, yet no board of bank directors would hire one of them as a cashier. Yet this is exactly what Governor F.B. Willis did when he appointed Dr. Rorick a member of the State Board of Administration. He is but another example of the retiring governor’s unusual incapacity for naming the right man for the right place. In some positions Dr. Rorick might have been a valuable official for the state but he certainly landed in the wrong berth.
So he is doing Ohio one of the best things he ever did in volunteering to step out of office as soon as convenient.
Source: Marysville Union County Journal, January 9, 1917.