Lewis Van Blarcom

Lewis, eldest son of William Van Blarcom, was born in Sparta township, July 19, 1835. His early education was obtained at the common school in his native township, and under the private instruction of Edward A. Stiles, a well-known teacher of Wantage.

His minority was spent mostly at home, where he became inured to farm work, and learned the inestimable lessons of self-reliance and perseverance. After reach the proper age he was a teacher for four terms.

In 1858 he began to read law with M.R. Kimble, of Hamburg, and after one year entered the law offices of John Linn, of Newton.

On Aug. 25, 1862, Mr. Van Blarcom enlisted as first lieutenant, Company D, Fifteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, and for meritorious service was promoted in June, 1863, to captain of Company C. This regiment was part of the First New Jersey Brigade, which formed a part of the Army of the Potomac, First Division, Sixth Army Corps.

Capt. Van Blarcom was in the following engagements: Fredericksburg, December 1862; second Fredericksburg, at Salem Heights, May 1863; Gettysburg, Jul 1863; Rappahanock Station, November 1863; Spottsylvania, May 8, 1864.

In this last engagement, he was wounded and captured by the rebels, and had his leg amputated by them. After remaining in the hospital for ten days, he was carried to Richmond and placed in Libby Prison, where he remained until Sept. 12, 1864, when he was exchanged and placed in the hospital at Annapolis. He received his discharge from service on Dec. 19, 1864, and returned home.

After his admission as an attorney he began the practice of law in Newton, where he has successfully practiced his profession since. From 1869 to 1873, Joseph Coult was associated with him in business, and from 1873 to 1880, Lewis Cochran. He was appointed prosecutor of pleas by Governor Randolph, March 25, 1869, and discharged the duties of that office with acknowledged ability and justice for a term of five years.

Capt. Van Blarcom is, politically, a Republican, and leading and influential in his party in Sussex County.

Upon his return from the war in the fall of 1864 he was the Republican candidate for county clerk, but failed of election on account of his party being largely in the minority.

For two years he was one of the chosen board of freeholders, and he has been chairman of the Republican county committee for the past eight years.

He married, Aug. 17, 1871, Mary, daughter of Alexander H. Thompson [sic], of Marksborough, Warren Co., N.J. His children are Kate and Andrew.

Source: Snell, James P. 1881. History of Sussex and Warren Counties, New Jersey. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck.

Lewis M. Van Blarcom

As a prosperous citizen and a most estimable citizen, Mr. Van Blarcom is of high standing in his home town of Belvidere. Truly public-spirited, he loses no opportunity of advancing the best interests of his community.

Garret Van Blarcom, father of Lewis Van Blarcom, was born April 10, 1836, in Sussex County, New Jersey, and followed the calling of a farmer. He married Sarah Elizabeth Monroe, who was born March 22, 1844, at Lafayette, Sussex County, and died April 5, 1900, surviving her husband but two years, his death having occurred April 20, 1898.

Lewis M. Van Blarcom, son of Garret and Sarah Elizabeth (Monroe) Van Blarcom, was born December 10, 1863, at Lafayette, Sussex County, New Jersey, and educated in the public schools of his native town, afterwards taking a course at Eastman’s Business College, Poughkeepsie, New York, graduating in 1882. For twelve years thereafater Mr. Van Blarcom was engaged in the hardware business in Dover and New York City, and at the end of that time became a student at the Renouard School of Embalming in New York. After acquiring a thorough knowledge of the profession he carried on the business in Sparta, Sussex County, under his own name, for a period of six years, where he was most successful.

In May 1906 Mr. Van Blarcom came to Belvidere, where he has since been at the head of a high class undertaking establishment, carrying a complete line of modern equipment. At the present time he is the only undertaker in Belvidere, and has built up an enviable reputation for integrity and efficiency.

Politically, Mr. Van Blarcom is a Republican. His fraternal affiliation is with the Free and Accepted Masons, Lodge No. 13; the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 13; the Junior Order United American Mechanics, No. 224, of Lafayette, Sussex County; the Improved Order of Red Men and the Paphandaising Tribe, No. 236. His only club is the Rotary Club of Belvidere. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, serving on the official board.

Lewis M. Van Blarcom married, October 28, 1891, Lida J. Fort, daughter of Rev. Jacob and Margaret (Force) Fort, the former a member of the Newark Methodist Conference. The Rev. Jacob Fort was born in 1818, in Burlington County, and died in 1893. His wife was born in 1831, at Red Mills (now Arcola), Burlington County, and died in 1916. George F. Fort, brother of Jacob Fort, was Governor of New Jersey in 1850, and John Franklin Fort, of the next generation, was Governor of the same state in 1910. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Van Blarcom are the parents of three daughters: Helen A., who died January 1, 1928, wife of Louis G. André of Passaic, New Jersey; Margaret Louise, wife of Arthur J. Stewart, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, and the mother of two children, John Lewis and Jane Ella; and Janice Howe, wife of Joseph W. Fisher, of West New York, New Jersey.

Mrs. Lewis M. Van Blarcom was born in Peapack, Somerset County, and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution by right of descent from John Fort, of Burlington County, a soldier in the Continental Army.

Throughout his career Mr. Van Blarcom has received and merited the titles — than which there are none higher — of an honorable business man and a patriotic citizen.

Source: Honeyman, A. Van Doren. 1927. Northwestern New Jersey: A History of Somerset, Morris, Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex Counties. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company.

Kate Van Blarcom & Henry T. Kays

Newton, N.J., Aug. 14 — The marriage of Miss Kate Van Blarcom, of Newton, N.J., and Mr. Henry T. Kays, also of Newton, took place here on Saturday afternoon at about 4 o’clock in the home of the bride, 39 High street. Miss Van Blarcom is a sister of Prosecutor Lewis Van Blarcom of Sussex county and Andrew Van Blarcom, of Sussex county.

Mr. Kays is Sussex county general counsel and former Assemblyman from Sussex county for 1913, 1914 and 1915. At present he is a candidate for Democratic nomination for State Senator. The wedding ceremony was attended only by a few close relatives. Rev. Charles W. Rouse, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, officiated. The couple left immediately after the wedding for an automobile trip to Pennsylvania and will return Thursday.

Source: Middletown Times Press, August 14, 1918.

James E. Price

JAMES E. PRICE was born October 18, 1830, in Washington Township.  His parents, Peter and Emma (Hopkins) Price, were old settlers in the county, coming here from New York in 1824.  Peter Price came to Washington when he was seventeen years old, and married a sister of Orman W. Hopkins, of Romeo.  He purchased a farm of 160 acres from the Government August 1, 1831, patented by Andrew Jackson.  In 1838, he removed his family to Romeo, where he engaged in mercantile business under the firm style of Pratt & Price.  This relation existed until 1844.  In the spring of  that year, he started a foundry in Almont, which he operated until 1850, when he moved on the old Philip Price farm, three miles south of Romeo.  January 2, 1868, he went to Bronson, Branch County, where he died in October, 1873, in his sixty-seventh year.  Mr. Price, of this sketch, was associated with his father in the foundry at Almont, and, in the spring of 1850, went to Rochester, Oakland County, and entered the employ of Jennings & Bro., merchants, and remained until November, 1853, when he went to California.  After about two years in the gold regions, he returned, in June, 1855.  He spent a few months in Wisconsin, and then returned to the employ of Jennings & Bro. at Rochester.  He was married, in November 1857, to Ella Duncan, a native of this county, who died July 26, 1861.  They had a daughter, the wife of Elliott R. Wilcox, of Pontiac, Oakland County.  In April, 1859, he went a second time to California nd returned to his old employ at Rochester April 15, 1861, coming to Romeo September 15, 1862, going into company with O.W. Hopkins in crockery and grocer store.  He sold out February 20, 1863, and afterward opened a small store in the frame building south of the Commercial House, where he did business twenty months.  April 22, 1865, he bought the premises where he is now located, called the Chapman property.  Here he was married again, September 10, 1867, to Lucy A. Van Blarcom, of Newton,  New Jersey.  The have one daughter, Lulu A., twelve years old.  Mr. Price has always been a Republican.  From 1870 to 1874, he was Village Trustee; resides on Chandler street.

Source:  History of Macomb County, Michigan. 1882.  Chicago:  M.A. Leeson & Co.

Henry T. Kays

As Vice-Chancellor of New Jersey, Henry T. Kays, of Newton, occupies a prominent place in the judiciary of this State.

Vice-Chancellor Kays was born September 29, 1878, in Newton, New Jersey, son of Thomas M. and the late Marielle Ryerson (Anderson) Kays. He received his early education in the Newton public school, and in the English and Classical School in Newton, from which he was graduated in 1899. In that year he entered Princeton University, where he was graduated with the class of 1903 with the degree of Bachelor of ARts. He then taught science at the English and Classical School, after which he studied law in the office of his father. In February 1910, he was admitted to the New Jersey bar. In 1910 and 1911 he was a member of the board of chosen freeholders of Sussex County, and in 1911 and 1912 he served as county counsel. He was again named county counsel in 1917, and held the office continuously thereafter until his appointment to the Court of Chancery.

In 1913, 1914 and 1915 he rendered Statewide service as representative of Sussex County in the New Jersey Assembly. In 1918 he was elected State Senator from Sussex County, and in 1921 was reelected. While a State Senator he was chosen minority leader for the 1921 session. During the First World War he was Federal Food Administrator for Sussex County. In 1924 Governor Silzer appointed him a job of the Court of Errors and Appeals to succeed Judge Ernest J. Heppenheimer, who had resigned from the office. In order to accept this post, he resigned as State Senator on March 8, 1924, being sworn in on that day as a member of the Court of Errors and Appeals.

On his appointment at Vice-Chancellor by Chancellor Luther A. Campbell, Judge Kays resigned as judge of the Court of Errors and Appeals and was sworn in as Vice-Chancellor on June 24, 1935. He was reappointed for a second term in 1942. The Court of Chancery of New Jersey dates back to 1705, after which, until 1844, the Governor or person acting as chief executive was ex-officio Chancellor. Since adoption of the 1844 constitution, chancellors have been appointed by the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. From the time of Lord Cornbury the first Chancellor of what was then the province of New Jersey, many distinguished men has graced this office. The office of Vice-Chancellor was a natural creation arising out of increased business devolving upon the Chancellor. In 1871, when the office was first established, there was but one Vice-Chancellor. The number has since grown to ten, of whom Vice-Chancellor Kays is one. In his political views he is a Democrat.

Vice-Chancellor Kays is a man of broad interests. He was elected president of the Merchants National Bank, of Newton, and upon its consolidation with the Sussex National Bank, became chairman of the board of directors and afterward president of the new institution, the Sussex & Merchants Bank, of Newton. He is a trustee of the Newton Library Association, the Newton Cemetery Company, the Newton Hospital, and has been interested in many civic improvements to the advantage of Newton.

Vice-Chancellor Kays married Katherine Van Blarcom, daughter of the late Lewis Van Blarcom and the late Mary (Thomson) Van Blarcom.

Source: Myers, William Starr. 1945. Prominent Families of New Jersey. Volume II. New York: Lewis Publishing Company.

Henry Kays Dies; Ex-Jersey Judge

Vice Chancellor of State 1935-1948 Served on Bench of Superior Court, 1948-1949.

NEWTON, N.J., July 27 — Henry T. Kays of 97 Main Street, Vice Chancellor of New Jersey from 1935 to 1948 and State Superior Court Judge in 1948-1949, died yesterday in Newton Memorial Hospital after an operation. His age was 79.

Mr. Kays, a lawyer, had been president and chairman of the Sussex and Merchants National Bank of Newton, vice president of the Newton Library Association, president of the New Jersey Herald and a director of the S&M Building and Loan Association. He was president of the Sussex County Bar Association from 1948 to 1954.

A great-grandson of New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cox Ryerson, Mr. Kays was born in Newton. He was also a descendant of Daniel Haines, Governor of New Jersey from 1848 to 1851.

Graduating from Princeton in 1903, Mr. Kays read law in his father’s firm and was admitted to the bar in 1910. He served as counsel for Sussex County in 1911-12 and from 1917 to 1935.

Elected as an Assemblyman from Sussex County on the Democratic ticket, Mr. Kays served from 1913 to 1916. He was State Senator from 1919 to 1924 and minority leader in 1921.

Mr. Kays served in the Court of Errors and Appeals of New Jersey from 1924 to 1935. He represented Sussex County at the 1947 Constitutional Convention in New Brunswick and was named to County Welfare Commission in 1943.

He belonged to the Princeton Club of New York, the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sussex County and New Jersey Historical Societies.

Survivors include his widow, the former Katherine Van Blarcom.

Source: New York Times, July 28, 1958.


Following are links to additional information about the Roricks and related families.

Albert V. Foster — From the Toledo’s Attic Website.

Beneath the Starry Flag: New Jersey’s Civil War Experience — A book that includes a description of Captain Lewis Van Blarcom’s experience as a prison of war at the Andersonville prison.

Colleen Gormley’s Page — Related families in Lenawee County, MI.

Columbia Gorge Photo Archives — Use the search feature to find pictures of Eck Rorick as a young man playing baseball and leading a dance band. There is also a photo of the Celilo train crash that killed Mrs. J.N. Walling and her grandson.

George Edward Anderson Collection at BYU — Use the search feature to find photos of Roe A. Deal and his wife, Louise Rorick Deal.

History of Dallesport — Information on J.T. Rorick’s role in the history of this town. Continue reading “Links”

Small Town News—Van Blarcom

Andrew J. Van Blarcom has purchased of Jacob T. Bunnell, of the New Jersey Herald, his house and lot on High street, Newton. (Middletown Daily Press, February 13, 1893)

Miss Anne Van Blarcom, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Van Blarcom of Nutley, is visiting her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Inslie[sic] of Newton. (New York Times, December 11, 1942)

Among the speakers at the New Jersey Prisoners of War Association in Morristown last week Thursday was Capt. Van Blarcom of Newton. A committee was appointed to procure an appropriate flag for the occasion and Col. Sill was chosen orator. (Middletown Daily Press, September 30, 1891)

Three Biographies of Andrew Van Blarcom

Andrew, second child and eldest son of Lewis and Mary (Thomson) Van Blarcom, was born in Newton, Sussex county, New Jersey, November 12, 1881, and is now living in Newark, New Jersey.  He was educated at the Newton Collegiate Institute, after which he read law in the office of Mssrs. Count [sic] & Howell, Esquires, and was admitted to the New Jersey bar as attorney in February, 1902, and as counsellor in February, 1905. Since that time he has been in the general practice of his profession in Newark, New Jersey, where he is regarded as one of the rising men of the present generation.  In politics Mr. Van Blarcom is a Republican.  He is a Presbyterian, and a member of the Essex Club of Newark, of the Lawyers’ Club of Newark, and of the Wednesday Club.  May 9, 1906, Mr. Van Blarcom married in Newark, Sara Streit, daughter of Joseph M. Riker.  Children:  Andrew Jr., born April 19, 1907.  Sarah Hunter, born September 24, 1909.

Source:  Lee, Francis Bazley.  1910.  Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey.  New York:  Lewis Publishing Company.  

Andrew Van Blarcom, one of the rising lawyers of Newark, New Jersey, is a representative in the seventh generation of an old Dutch family which came to American from Blarcom or Blerkum, Holland, from which town the family name is derived. He is a son of Lewis and Mary (Thomson) Van Blarcom, the former, also an attorney, having served with distinction in the Civil War, in the course of which he lost a leg by amputation.

Mr. Van Blarcom was born in Newton, Sussex county, New Jersey, November 12, 1881. He was educated at the collegiate institute in his native town, read law with Coult & Howell, was admitted to the bar of New Jersey as an attorney in 1902, and as a counsellor in 1905. He engaged in the practice of his profession in Newark, New Jersey, in 1902. The firm of Raymond, Mountain & Van Blarcom was formed September 1, 1908. January 1, 1910, Mr. Van Blarcom was appointed assistant prosecutor of Essex county.

His political affiliations are with the Republican party, and his religious with the Presbyterian church. He holds memberships in the Essex, Lawyers’ and Wednesday clubs of Newark.

Mr. Van Blarcom married, May 9, 1906, Sara Streit, daughter of Joseph M. Riker, and they have children: Andrew J., Sarah Hunter and Mary Thomson.

Source:  A History of the City of Newark. Volume III. 1913. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. 

Occupying a position of prominence in the legal fraternity of New Jersey, Andrew Van Blarcom is one of this State’s outstanding attorneys and a member of the well-known legal firm of Riker & Riker, having offices in the Federal Trust Building at 24 Commerce Street, Newark.  Mr. Van Blarcom is descended from some of New Jersey’s pioneer settlers, and the history of this section is replete with accounts of the important and constructive part which the members of this family have taken in the development and upbuilding of the State through successive generations.  He known as an attorney of great ability and achievements, while he is also a counsellor-at-law of the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey.

Mr. Van Blarcom was born in Newton, November 12, 1881, son of Captain Lewis and Mary (Thomson) Van Blarcom (see preceding biography).  Captain Lewis Van Blarcom was a prominent attorney and counsellor-at-law, and an active factor in State politics, also a veteran of the Civil War.

Andrew Van Blarcom was educated in the public schools of Newton and later prepared for the legal profession, being admitted to the bar of New Jersey as a practicing attorney at the February term, 1902, and as a counsellor during the February term, 1905.

Source:  Honeyman, A. Van Doren.  1927.  Northwestern New Jersey:  A History of Somerset, Morris, Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex Counties.  Chicago:  Lewis Publishing Company. 

Anne Van Blarcom & Percy Ballantine

Newton, N.J., April 15 — Miss Anne Brackenridge Van Blarcom, daughter of Mrs. Andrew Van Blarcom of Newark, formerly of Nutley, N.J., was married here this afternoon to Percy Harper Ballantine, also of Newark, son of Mr. and Mrs. Percy Ballantine of Lake Wales, Fla.  The ceremony was performed at Windy Brow Farm, the home of the bride’s brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph H. Inslee, by the Rev. George C. Vincent, pastor of the Union Congregational Church of Upper Montclair.  The bride, given in marriage by her brother, Joseph R. Van Blarcom of Rutherford, wore an ivory satin gown trimmed with rosepoint lace and an heirloom rosepoint veil.  She carried gardenias, lilies of the valley and white orchids.  Mrs. Inslee was her sister’s only attendant.  Peter Ballantine of Newark was his brother’s best man.

Source:  New York Times, April 16, 1944.