Some two hundred years ago and about forty years before the Declaration of Independence, the first Jacob T. Rorick landed in America and settled on the river that bears the name of his fellow countryman, Henrich Hudson. This first Jacob T. Rorick was the great-grandfather of Jacob Thompson Rorick, of The Dalles. The latter’s parents were Mark and Ann E. (Moore) Rorick, who were natives of New Jersey, and in that state he was born in 1853. His grandmother Moore was an aunt of Rev. John Russell, who was a candidate of the prohibition party for president.
Mr. Rorick was educated in the district schools of Michigan, where he was sent on the death of his parents to live with an uncle. Later he entered the Oak Grove Academy, after which he taught school for a time, in the meanwhile taking a course at the State Normal School at Ypsilanti. He then began the study of law and took a law course at Michigan State University. For some reason, he abandoned the practice of law and turned his attention to the newspaper business, becoming the editor of the Bad Axe Democrat, which he conducted for eight years, and during this time he was appointed the postmaster of Bad Axe, Michigan, by President Cleveland, serving in that office for four years.
It was in 1892 that Mr. Rorick came to Oregon, locating at Grand Haven on the opposite side of the river from The Dalles. There he secured twenty-three hundred acres of land and of this he still owns thirteen hundred acres. He also has one hundred and eighty acres in Benton county, Washington, under ditch, devoted to fruit and alfalfa. He has given much attention to cattle raising and was one of the organizers of the Castle Rock Land Association. While in the cattle business, Mr. Rorick always believed in full-blooded sires and his Durham bulls were all of registered stock. Closing out his cattle business, he took up dairying and used only Jerseys, again adhering to registered sires. Since 1909 he has practically retired from active connection with farm work.
Mr. Rorick has always evinced an interest in public affairs, though in no sense is he a politician. He has served on the school board; was twice candidate for mayor of The Dalles; and for eight years served as one of the city water commissioners. He served as director of The Dalles Chamber of Commerce from 1915 to 1917, when he was elected president of that body, occupying that office until 1919. He is vice-president of the Oregon State Champer of Commerce, and one of the five eastern Oregon directors of that important organization. He has been a Mason for forty-six years, and a Knight Templar for twenty-eight years. He has held all of the chairs in the blue lodge and is a Noble of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
In 1881 Mr. Rorick was married to Miss Carrie E. Eldridge, whose great-grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. She is a daughter of Rev. H.P. Eldridge, a Baptist clergyman of the middle west, who left his pulpit and fought gallantly with the Federal army during the Civil war. The living children of Mr. and Mrs. Rorick are: Mark, who is a chief yeoman in the United States Navy; Faye, wife of Clifton Condon, of The Dalles; Jay T., Jr., and E.H., a supercargo in the service of the United States Shipping Board. There are eight grandchildren, two of whom, Jay T., 3rd, and Elizabeth, they are rearing.
Source: Carey, Charles Henry. 1922. History of Oregon. Volume 3. Chicago: Pioneer Historical Publishing Company.