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.)

A Well Known Citizen Gone

Death of Leroy W. Rorick at his Home in Morenci Last Saturday Morning

Leroy W. Rorick, a well known citizen of Morenci, died at his home here last Saturday morning, March 10, 1917, after an illness of several months. The funeral service was held Monday under the direction of the K. of P. Lodge of which he was a member.

Judge B.L. Hart of Adrian and Hon. B.D. Chandler of Hudson, who represented the order, gave words of sympathy and helpfulness to the bereaved family.

Miss Virginia Wilson sang a solo. The out of town relatives who attended the funeral were: Mrs. William Rorick of Buffalo, N.Y., Mrs. Spencer Sloan, Mrs. Della McCloe, H.C. Rorick and wife, A.V. Foster and wife of Toledo, J.C. Rorick of Wauseon, Dr. and Mrs. E.H. Rorick, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Sullivan, P.F. Cawley and daughter, Helen, Earl Baldwin and wife, John Rorick and Mrs. G.H. Crane of Fayette, Hon. G.B. Horton and John Cole of Weston.

Leroy W. Rorick was born in Seneca township, Sept. 14, 1847. His father, Cosper Rorick, a native of New Jersey, came to Michigan in 1840 and commenced with the pioneers in the work of changing a wilderness to a domain of elegant homes and productive farms. His father was married to Nancy A. Breese, Jan. 15, 1845, and they settled on a farm one mile north of Seneca in a log house with primitive surroundings, where Leroy was born. He grew up on the farm laboring with his father in the fields as boys in those days did and walking two and a half miles to a district school house for his education which was completed at the Medina Academy.

He was married Feb. 10, 1870 to Harriet L. Porter to whom were born one daughter, Nellie R., wife of Dr. Murphy of Columbus, OH and Cosper M., cashier of the First National Bank of Morenci. He commenced the work of an active life on the farm where he resided until 1888, when he moved to Morenci where he lived a retired life for one year, then going to Fayette where he purchased a livery business which he successfully followed for nine years. Disposing of the same, he followed the business of harness making for about six years in Morenci, after he which he purchased a farm two miles west of Weston where he resided about three years. He then purchased a small country home near Seneca where he lived until the spring of 1916 when he built a home and moved to Morenci.

His life has been a full demonstration of industry, kindness and business integrity and his faithful friends are numerous wherever he is known. His departure is mourned by all who knew him. He is survived by one brother, Mark C. Rorick of Morenci.

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.)

A Sad Death

Mrs. F.E. Bryant Taken From Loved Ones

One of the saddest deaths we have been called upon to record was that of Mrs. Frank E. Bryant of Seneca, who was called from her beloved family last Monday afternoon. Expressions of regret at the death of beautiful and useful life in the prime of womanhood were heard everywhere in the community. She had been ill only two weeks and her condition was not considered serious until a few days before her demise. Sad indeed was the taking away to the loving husband and children who still need the care and devotion of a mother’s heart. To her father, Jacob Rorick, and her grandmother, Mrs. Caroline Sayres, who is still young at the advanced age of 91, the loss of her companionship is a sad affliction. In fact, all her many friends and relatives mourn her early departure.

Kate B. Rorick, daughter of Jacob and Mary Rorick, was born in Canandaigua, Mich., January 9, 1872, and at the time of her death, October 24, 1910, was aged 38 years, 9 months, and 15 days. She was united in marriage to Frank E. Bryant September 7, 1893, and to this union were born five children, two sons, John and Jacob, dying in early childhood. The three surviving children are Mary L., Florence S., and Gerald, ranging in age from 12 to 16 years. During her life, she was a devoted daughter, wife and mother.

Besides the mourning husband, children, father and grandmother, the latter two in later years making their home with her, she leaves one brother, William R. Rorick of Buffalo, and two sisters: Mrs. Mel McCloe of Detroit and Mrs. Carl Guss of Medina, besides a host of friends and relatives.

The funeral, which was one of the largest in attendance the county has seen in recent years, was held on Wednesday afternoon, Rev. Henry Coates officiating. Appropriate songs were rendered by Miss Susan Furman and Mrs. Ed. Moore, with Miss Flossie Allen accompanist. The bearers were composed of relatives and near friends, who tenderly carried the remains to their last resting place. The floral tributes were beautiful and numerous and attested the loving esteem in which the departed was held.

Among those attending from a distance were Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Rorick of Buffalo, N.Y.; Dr. and Mrs. E.H. Rorick and daughter, Mrs. Fred Sullivan, and Mrs. G.H. Crane of Fayette; Mr. and Mrs. Mel McCloe and daughter, Mertie, and Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Sloan of Detroit; Mrs. Hervey Spencer and Mrs. Howland of Birmingham, Mich.; Mr. and Mrs. W.C. McConnell, Mr. and Mrs. Clark E. Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs. Chas Ream and Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Vedder of Adrian; Mr. and Mrs. John Rorick and Mr. and Mrs. Will Gorsuch of Wauseon.

Source: Undated newspaper clipping in the possession of Mike Meister.

Brief News Items about the Roricks in Michigan

Lieut. and Mrs. Alan G. Rorick arrived last evening from Hot Springs, Ark., to spend the next ten days with his father John P. Rorick and other relatives in the city. Lieut. and Mrs. Rorick were met in Toledo last evening by his sisters Mrs. H.W. Lundahl, Mrs. J. Clayton Scott and Mrs. Russell Raymond of Bryan, Ohio. (Adrian Daily Telegram, December 15, 1942)

Lt. Alan G. Rorick has been released from the government hospital at Hot Springs, Ark., where he has been a patient for nearly two years after an illness of infantile paralysis. He is being sent to the United States Military Academy at West Point as an instructor in mathematics. He and Mrs. Rorick are spending a few days with his father John P. Rorick and after a visit with her parents in Cleveland they will go to West Point where he reports for duty June 20. (Adrian Daily Telegram, June 2, 1943)

FORTY YEARS AGO (1909): The play, Queens and a Kingdom, given at the M.E. church last Friday evening by the Epworth League under the direction of Mrs. Leonard Schnorr, was a great success. The characters in the play were represented by twenty-eight girls, each in costume. Miss Claribel Rorick, of Detroit, a little girl of about ten years, gave several numbers and was encored again and again, bringing down the house with her selections. (Lake Orion Review, October 7, 1949)

The family of Mrs. C.H. Rorick celebrated her birthday anniversary Sunday with a dinner at the cottage of Mrs. G.H. Rorick at Wamplers Lake. Other members present included Mrs. A.N. Brewer of Ann Arbor, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Ranger, C.H. Rorick, Jr. and Mrs. Margaret Hixson. (Adrian Daily Telegram, August 16, 1943)

C.M. Rorick left Saturday for California where he will spend several weeks visiting his sons George Rorick and Mr. and Mrs. Max Rorick and family in Pasadena. (Adrian Daily Telegram, April 3, 1943)

Seneca — Relatives here received word that Curtis Rorick suffered a severe heart attack at Curtis, MIch. Mr. and Mrs. Rorick had been spending a vacation at their cottage near Curtis. (Adrian Daily Telegram, October 19, 1943)

Adrian, May 15. – Josie Boyant [sic] attempted suicide at the home of G.H. Rorick, in Seneca. She accompanied Mrs. Rorick to a social Saturday evening and seemed in good spirits. They returned home about 10 o’clock and soon after Mrs. Rorick heard her in the kitchen, groaning as if in pain. Hastening to her she found her vomiting, and seemingly in agony. She hurriedly summoned a physician, and it was soon discovered that the girl had taken paris green. Antidotes were administered. The girl was in spasms and great pain all day Sunday. She was very low at last accounts and may not recover. The deed was prompted by disappointment in not having a deep affection for a young man living in the neighborhood returned. (Marshall Statesman, May 18, 1894)

Mrs. Leeila G. Rorick and Mrs. Leone Scott of Lansing will come Friday evening to spend the weekend with Mrs. C.M. Rorick and Mrs. L.A. Kennedy. (Adrian Daily Telegram, January 9, 1942)

Mrs. Leslie G. Rorick has received word from her son Wyman in the U.S. Navy that he is safe in Honolulu. Mrs. Rorick last heard from her son December 6. (Adrian Daily Telegram, January 9, 1942)

Miss Lulu Rorick returned from Buffalo Friday accompanied by her sister, Mrs. Mel McCloe, of Detroit. (Adrian Daily Telegram, December 17, 1903)

M.C. Rorick and H.P. Rorick were in Union City, Ind., the first of the week on business. (Adrian Daily Telegram, December 10, 1901)

Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Rorick, formerly of Plainwell, are staying in Morenci with his mother, Mrs. Curtis Rorick, until their new home in Lansing is completed. (Adrian Daily Telegram, March 4, 1960)

Ensign William R. Wilson who has finished the aeronautical course at Jacksonville, Fla., has been transferred to San Francisco.  He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Rorick of this city.  (Adrian Daily Telegram, October 21, 1942)