Estell H. Rorick

HON. ESTELL H. RORICK, Superintendent of the State Institution for the Feeble Minded at Columbus, Ohio, was born in Lenawee county, Michigan, September 1, 1842. His father moving, from Horseheads, N. Y., in 1836, was one of the early pioneers of that part of Michigan and was a large land owner when the subject of this sketch, was a. boy. Educational facilities were not good, but young Rorick, by close attention to his studies at the district school and at home to enter the Medina Academy at the age of sixteen. He afterward attended college at Kalamazoo, Michigan. but lacking means to finish his course, he taught two terms of district school, intending later on to return to college. At the Medina school, he formal the acquaintance of Dr. Weeds, a physician of note, and thereby, conceived the idea of studying medicine and turned his studies, in that direction Dr. Weeds, who became a surgeon in the United States service was located at Nashville. Tenn., where Mr. Rorick joined him in 1864 served as hospital assistant until the close of the war. He then returned to Michigan and in due time entered the University, of. Michigan at Ann Arbor and graduated, from the medical department in 1869. and located for practice at Tedrow. Ohio, and was rewarded with eminent, success from the beginning. Three years later he sold out his practice to Dr. G. P. Campbell and bought out Dr. J. 0. Allen of Fayette. He did much toward building up Fayette and making it one of the most prosperous educational and business towns of its size in Ohio, He contributed largely toward the expense of establishing the Palette Normal University and at his own expense furnished a room in the institution, fitting it up with mannikins, models, charts and all other useful apparatus and delivered regular courses of lectures, on the subjects of anatomy, physiology and hygiene free of charge. He took a postgraduate course at the Detroit Medical College and graduated March 2, 1875. In 1877 he went to Scotland and took a partial medical course in the University of Edinburgh and after visiting and studying the principal hospitals of London and Paris returned to his practice in 1878. He again took a post graduate course at the Alabama Medical Collage at Mobile and graduated March 15, 1883. He was elected to the state legislature in 1887 and again in 1889; serving four years, His service as representative was satisfactory to: his constituents and useful to the state. As a member of the Finance committee of the House he was required to visit frequently the State institutions, this giving him an opportunity to carefully study their conditions and to note their requirements. His education and professional experience as well as his interest in and familiarity with the state institutions became so well . known that he was recognized throughout the state by those in authority as a man well adapted to assume the difficult management of a state hospital, for which his name was prominently mentioned in connection with the superintendency of several institutions, but at the close of his second term in the legislature he returned to his practice in Fayette, after taking a course of studies at the Polyclinic in New York, and graduating in 1892. Under the first administration of Gov. Asa S. Bushnell, he was elected by the board of directors to the superintendency of the State Hospital at Athens, Ohio, which institution he took charge of in June, 1896. His administration was a successful one and his business management a great saving to the state. The grounds and buildings were vastly improved, and at the same time the per capita cost of maintenance was reduced to the lowest figure in the history of the state for a similar institution. A vacancy occurring by the death of Mr. Doren, Dr. Rorick was requested to take charge of the Institution. for Feeble Minded at Columbus by Gov. Myron T. Herrick, which he did in May, 1905. The same business methods used at Athens were employed at Columbus, resulting in a saving to the state of $13,222.58. for the months ending October 15, as compared with the same months for the year 1904. Dr. Rorick’s father, who was of German descent, was born in New Jersey, March 30, 1805, and died at Morenci, Mich., January 15, 1898. His mother, Phoebe Ann Breese, was of English parentage, born at Horseheads, N. Y., October 27, 1811, and died in Seneca, Michigan, September 1, 1858. He was united in marriage to Mary P. Acker, August 20, 1868. They have but one child living— Mabel, who is attending the university at Columbus. The eldest child, Clark, died at the age of eight and Georgie at the age of twenty. Dr. Rorick has been financially successful, being a large real estate owner as well as having controlling interest in the First National Bank at Morenci.

Source: Mikesell, Thomas. 1905. The County of Fulton. Madison, WI: The Northwestern Historical Association.

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