Jay T. Rorick

Jay T. Rorick, 59, of 2032 N.E. Mason street, veteran Union Pacific railroad engineer, died suddenly Tuesday night in his home. Born in Bad Axe, Mich., he moved at an early age to The Dalles, where his father was a pioneer judge.

He served more than 42 years with the railroad, mostly as an engineer, but for several years as road foreman of engines.

Survivors include the widow, Gladys; a son, Jay T., Salem; a daughter, Mrs. Carol Hird, Atherton, Cal.; one sister, Mrs. Faye Condon, North Hollywood, Cal., and a brother, E.H. Rorick, The Dalles.

Funeral service and burial will be Friday in The Dalles under the direction of the Smith-Calloway funeral home.

Source: The Oregonian, September 11, 1951.


Small Town News

Elihu Adams of New York city spent Saturday in town.  (Middletown Times-Press, October 18, 1916)

Mr. and Mrs. Clifton Condon and Mrs. Ann Fox of Hollywood, Calif., were guests last night at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Coahran.  The Hollywood man is a nephew of the late Thomas Condon, noted geologist, for whom a state park in the John Day country was named last week.  The Californians were en route to The Dalles, to attend the golden wedding celebration of his parents. The visitors and Mrs. Coahran were schoolmates.  (The Bend Bulletin, June 3, 1954)

I.P. Gile, whose place is at the mouth of More creek, was in town last Wednesday with a load of apples, the largest and finest we have seen this season.  They sold at 4½ cents.  Mr. Gile says a fruit raiser near his place has trees loaded with peaches, being so full the trees and branches had to be propped up.  The peach crop is almost a total failure in Ada county this season, this man is selling his abundant crop as fast as he can haul it to market, at a bit a pound.  (Idaho Semi-Weekly World, September 25, 1885).

Continue reading “Small Town News”

Jacob T. Rorick

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.

Fay Rorick Condon, DAR Member

FOUNDERS DAY FOR DAR UNIT: Hollywood chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will mark the group’s 77th founders day at a 1 p.m. meeting Oct. 20 in First Methodist Church of Hollywood. The chapter’s 50-year members will be honored, including Mmes. L. Van Horn Gerdine, Arthur C. Christensen, Brintel R. Embree, Lucien A. Dexter and Clifton F. Condon and Miss Lora A. Kuhl.

Source:  Los Angeles Times, October 9, 1967.

Jacob Thompson Rorick

Judge Rorick Answers the Call

Had Long Been a Leader in City’s Life

Was Known as Indian’s Friend

Coming West to Develop North Dalles Tract, He Held Many Positions of Trust

A gifted and stalwart citizen of The Dalles passed from the stage Wednesday afternoon when Judge J.T. Rorick ended a career of almost four score years, most of which had been intimately and prominently associated with the history and development of The Dalles and vicinity.

Although Judge Rorick had been in failing health for a number of months, he remained fairly active to the day of his death. Last Friday, when the circus came to town, he expressed a desire to see the animals and was driven to the circus grounds, where he witnessed the arrival of the animals with all the joy of a boy. As late as Tuesday, he insisted upon being dressed and meeting his friends and it was difficult to make him keep his bed. Active and energetic throughout his life, he refused to be repressed even by a serious illness.

With the judge when he passed away Wednesday afternoon were members of his family, although his daughter, Mrs. Clifton F. (Faye) Condon, who motored from Redondo Beach, California, arrived a short time after the end had come.

The funeral will be held at 2:30 tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon at Callaway’s Chapel. Rev. Oswald Taylor of Portland will conduct the services of the chapel, with the Masonic services at the graveside. Old friends of Judge Rorick will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Was of Revolutionary Stock

About 40 years before the Declaration of Independence, the first Jacob T. Rorick landed in America and settled on the river which bears the name of his fellow countryman Hendrik Hudson. He was the great grandfather of Jacob Thompson Rorick, subject of this sketch. The latter’s parents were Mark and Anne E. Rorick who were natives of New Jersey, and he was born in that state February 9, 1953 [sic]. He 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 Oak Grove Academy, after which he taught school, in the meantime taking a course in the State Normal School at Ypsilanti. He then began the study of law and took a law course at Michigan State University. Before completing his course, however, he entered the newspaper business, becoming editor and publisher of the Bad Axe Democrat, which he conducted for eight years. During that time, he was appointed postmaster of Bad Axe by President Cleveland, serving four years.

Was Friend of Indians

Judge Rorick came to Oregon in 1892, when he became interested in the tract of approximately 2300 acres situated at North Dalles. He made his home there and became prominent in the north bank section. He had a great sympathy and friendliness for the Indians of the northwest and made many friends among the Yakimas and Warm Springs tribes. He learned the Indian language and his advice was sought on many tribal matters. Few men in this section of the country achieved the same influence over neighboring tribes as did Judge Rorick and, after had moved to The Dalles, the lawn of his home here was often the scene of an Indian pow wow.

When the Lewis and Clark Exposition was held in Portland, the management sought to obtain an exhibit of Indians for the entertainment of Eastern visitors. Judge Rorick was suggested as the man who had the influence to secure such an exhibit and he contributed much to the interest of the exposition with the group of northwest Indians whom he secured.

Later Judge Rorick conceived the idea which, having its inception here in The Dalles, has developed into the annual Round Up at Pendleton. So much interest was aroused by the appearance of the Indians in Portland that the Judge decided to continue the idea in an annual Indian conclave at the old fairgrounds here. It proved popular and successful from the start, but was not continued here and subsequently the idea was adopted and enlarged by the Pendleton people.

Moving to The Dalles in 1909, Judge Rorick at once became prominent in civic affairs here. He served on the school board, was twice candidate for mayor of the city, was chairman of the city water commission, serving for eight years, and was a director of The Dalles Chamber of Commerce from 1915 to 1917, when he was elected president. He also served as director and vice president of the Oregon Chamber Commerce.

Judge Rorick had been a Mason for 56 years and a Knight Templar for 38 years. He was a charter member of the Al Kader Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, in Portland.

In 1888 occurred in Ohio his marriage to Miss Carrie Eldridge, whose ancestry in this country also dated back to Revolutionary times. She passed away in 1921. Children surviving include Mrs. Clifton F. Condon of Redondo Beach, California, Jay T., Jr., and Estell H. Rorick of The Dalles, and Mark O. [sic] Rorick of Washington, D.C. A sister, Miss Elizabeth Rorick, aged 84, of Jersey City, N.J., also survives.

Source:  The Dalles Optimist, August 19, 1932.