Elias B. Rorick was born in Horse Heads, Chemung County, N.Y., December 9, 1831, and came to Michigan with his parents in December, 1836. His father, William Rorick, was born in Deckertown, Sussex County, N.J., March 30, 1805, and was the son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Wilson) Rorick, who were natives of Sussex County. The ancestor of the Rorick family was a German, who settled in Sussex County, N.J., early in the 18th century. The ancestors of the Wilson family were Irish. William Rorick lived in Sussex County until 1826, when he went “West,” and settled in the “Lake Country” near Horse Heads, and lived there until the fall of 1836. In December, that year, he started for Michigan with a team of horses, coming through Canada, and crossed the Detroit River from Windsor on the ice. From Detroit he came to Adrian, and finally settled on Section 18, in Seneca Township, in this county. Here he was successful and continued to purchase land until he owned some 200 acres. He resided on this farm for about 35 years. He was a thrifty, successful businessman, and was held in high esteem by all who came in contact with him.
He became a victim of ill health, and about 1875 removed to the village of Morenci, where he died, January 15, 1898. May 22, 1830, William Rorick married Miss Phoebe Ann Breese, daughter of Elias and Deborah (Bennett) Breese, Horse Heads, N.Y., and they had five children, as follows: Elias B., John C., Jacob M., Estell H., and Lussetta. Mrs. Phoebe (Breese) Rorick was born in Horse Heads, N.Y., October 27, 1811, and died in Seneca, this county, September 1, 1858.
Elias B. Rorick was reared a farmer, and was educated in the primitive country school house, supplemented by a three months’ course in the Medina Academy, J.M. Barrows, principal. At the age of seventeen years he went to Adrian, and for two years was engaged as clerk in the then large and prosperous hardware store of George L. Bidwell. In 1852, he went to Corning, N.Y., and for two years acted as clerk in a dry goods store. In the winter of 1854-5 he went to Cleveland, Ohio, and spent three months in Fulsom’s Commercial School. In the spring of 1855 he went to Green Bay, Wis., where he was engaged for six months in the fish business with a Cleveland, Ohio firm. The next two years he spent at Ontonagon, as manager of the Evergreen Bluff copper mine. He returned home in the spring of 1856, making the trip from Ontonagon to Green Bay with dogs and Indians. In April 1856, he went to Kansas in the height of the “Border Ruffian” troubles and witnessed many thrilling scenes. He soon found employment in the government corps of topographical engineers who were selecting a route for a future railroad to San Francisco. He remained in this service for about six months, and returned home in December. In the year 1857 he went back to agriculture, which he followed for about three years, when he went to Aurora, Illinois, and farmed it for about seven years.
In 1867 he went to Chillicothe, Mo., purchased a small farm, and remained there until 1869, when he returned and went on his father’s farm. In April 1873, he removed to the village of Morenci and went into the employ of J.P. Cawley & Co. in the general mercantile business. That fall he went to work for Rothrock, Cawley & Green, in the hardware business, and has been engaged in that trade ever since. In April, 1876, he purchased a half interest in the store, in company with Henry E. Green. He was for 27 years express agent and six years postmaster in Morenci. In 1896 he was made cashier of the Bank of Morenci. In 1900 a national bank was organized, and Mr. Rorick was elected president, which position he now holds. He has acted as Town Clerk for six years, and has served on the public school board for 25 years.
He is a member of the Congregational Church, and affiliates with the Republican party. August 25, 1857, Elias B. Rorick married Miss Mary A. Corwin, daughter of George E. Corwin, of Batavia, Ill., and they had three children, as follows: Luella, born in Seneca, this county, June 9, 1858, married Pearly [sic] Cawley, of Morenci, was the mother of three children, and died in Fayette, Ohio, November 27, 1899; William B., born in Aurora, Ill., August 12, 1861, resides in Morenci, and is engaged in the hardware business; George C., born same place, November 29, 1863, died July 11, 1889.
Mrs. Mary A. (Corwin) Rorick was born in Watkins Glen, N.Y., March 14, 1835, and died in Morenci, March 23, 1895. September 21, 1899, Mr. Rorick married Miss Amelia Shepherd, of Morenci. She was born in Monroeville, Ohio, March 16, 1850. Her parents were English, and were early settlers in Huron County, Ohio. They afterwards removed to Fulton County, where they resided for many years. Her mother died in Morenci, June 9th, 1898.
Source: Knapp, John I. and R.I. Bonner. 1903. Illustrated History and Biographical Record of Lenawee County, Michigan. Adrian, MI: The Times Printing Company.