Well Known Morenci Resident Passes Away

Mark C. Rorick, older son of Cosper and Nancy A. Breese Rorick, was born on a farm in Seneca township, Michigan Dec. 7, 1845 and died Feb. 6, 1922. His brother Leroy W. was born Sept. 14, 1847. He lived with his parents in a log house until the brick house was built in ’68. Cosper Rorick, father of M.C. Rorick, had a small clearing 3-4 mile north of what is now Seneca village, woods being on all sides. Canandaigua was the nearest post office and trading point combined and traveling was accomplished entirely by ox team or by horse back. The nearest church was at Medina, seven miles distant, and this they attended every Sunday morning. It was necessary to make an early start as they drove an ox team and wagon with a board across the wagon box for the little boys.

When about five years of age “Mark” commenced school in the home district 2 1/2 miles way in the Rorick district today. He walked back and forth to school. When the Tufts school house was being built he attended school in a part of the James Lord home, temporarily.

A part of the home farm was deeded for school purposes and the new building was considered adequate for that time. One feature differing from today was the interior arrangement by which the boys and girls sat facing one another. Then he attended school in Canandaigua and later at Medina Academy for one year, where he and his brother boarded themselves.

Adrian was the center of trade for the county at that time and they planned to make the return trip in a day to that point when taking produce, which made a long hard day.

About this time he met the girl of his choice, Mary S. Porter, who was attending Medina Academy. They were married at the parsonage in Medina by Rev. Boyington, Aug. 9, 1868, which was a surprise to their near relatives, as a triple wedding had been under consideration to include Estell H. Rorick and S.K. Porter, who were married the 20th of the same month.

Mr. and Mrs. Rorick lived for one year with his parents in the brick house when they bought 40 acres adjoining on the south and moved into a log house, where they spent one winter and two summers. While the log house was a shelter it would not seem livable to the young folks of today, being of one room with a loft overhead. The windows were stationary and of six small panes.

With great resourcefulness the lack of a clock was overcome by the ingenious device of drawing a line at a certain angle on the doorstep so on a sunny day the young housewife cold tell when to start preparations for dinner. On account of the discomforts of winter the young couple moved back with the parents into the commodious brick house. They sold their forty acres, bought forty of Mr. Rorick’s father and added more to it until there were the 185 acres now owned by John P. Rorick. They remained here until they came to Morenci twenty-seven years ago.

In 1870 the Wabash railroad was built through Seneca and a little village sprang up, including a post office and church. Soon they felt the need of a new church and Mr. Rorick was, with others, successful in soliciting funds for a new building.

Their home was always open to traveling ministers, school masters, singing teachers, or whoever came to the little church for special occasions. It was always a great satisfaction to Mr. Rorick to be able to entertain his friends in his home and to act as host at his bountiful table. His hospitality was unquestioned. Later this church burned to the ground and Mr. Rorick contributed liberally toward a new one, and before this was completed it was struck by lightning and again burned down, to all of which he helped materially.

For many years he was school director and was always interested in anything pertaining to the public good. He was ambitious and unusually strong. He cleared a large amount of land with the ox team. A singular coincidence may be mentioned in that M.C. Rorick and his brother Leroy married sisters, lived in close relationship on adjoining farms and each had a son born on the same day.

The father, Cosper Rorick, died in 1874. To Mr. and Mrs. Rorick were born three children, John Porter, Myrtie, wife of E.N. Baldwin of Fayette, O., and Maude, who died at the age of fourteen.

Mr. Rorick was one of the first dairy farmers in the county, sending his milk to the Horton cheese factory. He took great interest in the county fair, acting as judge for several years, also in the three town Pioneer picnic, which was held annually in a grove near Seneca.

His heart was always with the farmer and his problems, which he solved by himself by hard work, good business judgment and strictest economy. All through his life in Morenci his love remained for the old home on the farm, which though the early years were full of hardship was sacred with the memories of home life.

After coming to Morenci Mr. Rorick entered the retail grocery and meat business, also wool and stock buying. Her purchased at different times more farms which he improved and cultivated.

He joined the Knights of Pythias order as charter member, and has been one of the most loyal, active members to the time of his death.

He had a gift of being able to rise and represent the order, whether at home or in the lodge room of a neighboring town, in a very pleasing manner. His mother’s death occurred in 1912 and the brother Leroy in 1917. The brothers loved each other with a deep loyalty, in fact love of family was a strong characteristic of the deceased.

For many years the Rorick family reunion was an annual event of importance and his home was always ready for the gathering if needed. Mr. and Mrs. Rorick celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary some three years ago. One of the greatest problems before the American people today would be solved if the example of their home life could be more closely imitated. The question comes to one’s mind, with their advantages of education and means, the younger men and women of today will take up the work of the passing generation and apply to it the same amount of ambition and courage. If so what wonderful things may be accomplished.

There remain thirteen grandchildren who have a splendid heritage of honesty, thrift, integrity, loyalty and ambition. Mr. Rorick was strong in the principles he believed to be right, a strong advocate of temperance, staunch member of the Democratic party, always interested in matters of public interest with careful, prompt attention to detail of the management of his farms, which would mean success in any business enterprise. He possessed an unusually social nature and many friends will miss his face at the window, as he would wave a friendly hand to passersby and welcome calls from his physician and friends.

The grandchildren even to the youngest, will never forget the welcome always awaiting them at grandfather’s home.

In the passing of Mr. Rorick the last of the double cousins to bear the Rorick name, descendants of the three Rorick brothers who married three Breese sisters, has gone. But the closing of a well ordered and well spent life bears out the prophecy of Job,

Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age,
like a shock of corn cometh in his season.

The funeral service was held at 2 o’clock, Wednesday, at the home on Main Street and was conducted by Rev. H.A. Manahn and Judge B.L. Hart. The remains were laid to rest in Oak Grove Cemetery. The pall bearers were John Poucher, C.F. Buck, Oliver Onweller, A.A. Kennedy, Ed. Gallup and Tom Snow.

Those from out of town who were in attendance at the funeral were E.N. Baldwin of Fayette, Mrs. W.D. Murphy of Columbus, John Cole of Weston, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Crane, John Rorick and F.T. Sullivan of Fayette, A.V. Foster of Toledo, Mr. and Mrs. George Horton of Fruit Ridge, E.B. Root of Adrian, Judge and Mrs. B.L. Hart of Adrian, Melvin McCloe of Detroit, Mr. and Mrs. James Scott and Mrs. Carl Guss of Medina, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Porter of Weston and Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Moore of Canandaigua.

Source:  Lundahl, Helen Rorick.  (n.d.) The Rorick Family in America.  (NB: This manuscript is held in the Toledo-Lucas County Library and contains a number of transcriptions of undated newspaper clippings.)

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