Horton C. Rorick

Horton C. Rorick was a Toledo financier, real estate owner, and president of the Spitzer-Rorick Trust and Savings Bank.

Horton was born on 16 December 1866, at a farm 35 miles from Toledo near Morenci, Michigan. His parents were Gosper and Alice Rorick. His father, who died in 1910, was president of the First National Bank of Morenci and the Fayette State Savings Bank of Fayette in Ohio.

The first Rorick landed in New York in 1716 and two of the family fought in the Revolutionary war. Horton's great-great grandfather, Michael (born April 10, 1749) served as a private in the Sussex County militia during the war. Alice Melissa (Horton) Rorick's aunt, Laura M. Perkins, was the mother of General Ceilan M. Spitzer who established Spitzer and Company in 1871. Horton's mother died in 1891.

Horton spent his early life on the farm and, for two winters prior to starting college at the age of 16 years, he taught school. Horton graduated from Adrian College after five years, with honors, in 1890.

He was briefly employed by the Missouri and Pacific Railroad to survey the layout of tracks from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Webb City, Missouri. He then attended the University of Michigan for two years, graduating in law in 1892. Horton was admitted to the Ohio Bar and established a successful law office in Toledo.

Horton practiced law until 1902 when he joined his cousin in business and became a member of Spitzer and Company bankers. In 1911 the company changed its name to Spitzer, Rorick and Company. During the same year the two also organized the Spitzer-Rorick Trust and Savings Bank of Toledo, dealers in municipal and corporate bonds. Horton Rorick became president of the Bank in 1913.

The company, established in 1871, was one of the oldest and largest bond houses in the country. It had offices in New York, Boston, Toledo, Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, and Austin, Texas. Spitzer-Rorick and Company had an international reputation, handling both United States and Canadian interests.

Horton's sons, Marvin and Ceilan, also became involved in the company. Marvin later became vice-president and partner in the firm, while Ceilan became partner and secretary.

The company became involved in important financing, nationally and internationally. Between 1916 and 1925, the company supplied Florida officials with eleven and a quarter million dollars to finance the draining of the Florida Everglades. During WWI, the firm also initiated the financing of the Canadian municipalities, formerly the monopoly of London.

Horton Rorick was involved in Toledo's development. From 1899 to 1902, he laid out and sold "Rorick's Addition, Second and Third Additions" to the city.

Horton was a member of the Toledo Club, the Toledo Country Club, Toledo Commerce Club, and the Bankers' Club of New York City. From 1926 to 1936, he was on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Everglades Club of Palm Beach, Florida.

In 1891, Horton married Marie Edna Packard who was born on 7 December 1868. Marie had also attended Adrian College in 1885, graduating in music in 1888. The couple were the parents of three children: Alice Marie born 7 January 18944, Marvin H., born 1897, and Ceilan Rorick.

Alice Marie graduated from Mrs. Dow's School near New York City. Her "coming out" party in November 1912 was said to be the finest ever given in Toledo. Her marriage to Peter Prudden (of the investment firm of Cummings, Prudden & Co.) was also one of the major social events in Toledo society at that time. [(Toledo Biography Scrapbook, Local History Room, Toledo Lucas County Public Library). See also Randolph C. Downes, History of Lake Shore, Ohio, vol. 3 (New York: Lewis HIstorical Printing Co., 1952), 111-112. Nevin O. Winter, A History of Northwest Ohio, vol. 3 (Chicago & New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1917), p.1647]. Horton C. Rorick died on 18 August 1946. His wife, Marie P. Rorick, died on 13 January 1950. They are buried in Woodlawn Historic Cemetery, Section 2, Lot 43.

 

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