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James Rorison
Fayette, Seneca County, NY



Source: Biographical Sketch from Centennial Historical Sketch of Fayette, Seneca Co., NY 1800-1900 by Diedrich Willers [Press of W.F. Humphrey, Geneva, NY, 1900; reprinted by W.E. Morrison & Co., Ovid, NY, 1982], p.96-97.


     James Rorison, the eldest son of Alexander and Mary Rorison, was born in Centre County, Pennsylvania, Dec. 18, 1788, and was in the tenth year of his age when his parents removed to Fayette. He assisted his father in clearing and improving the farm. Early taking an interest in military affairs, he served with the Fayette Rifle Company, in the first year of the War of 1812 upon the Canada frontier. He also served a second campaign in this war, in the year, 1814, in the defense of Fort Erie, on the Niagara frontier. He afterwards rose to the rank of captain of this Rifle company. His commission, dated April 24, 1818, is signed by Gov. DeWitt Clinton.

      In his town, he was repeatedly elected as collector, constable and justice of the peace, and in the years 1832, 1834 and 1835, he was elected supervisor of Fayette.

      After serving several years as deputy sherigg and court-crier, he was in November, 1828, elected sheriff of Seneca County, and served a full term in that capacity. During his term of sheriff he was called upon to execute the sentence of death, by hanging, upon George Chapman at Waterloo, May 28, 1829, on conviction of the murder of Daniel Wright, at a tavern at the foot of Seneca Lake near the county line, in the Town of Waterloo.

      Residing near the county poor house and conversant with its wants, Mr. Rorison was elected one of the county superintendents of the poor in November, 1848, as one of the first elective board of county superintendents.

      He also served as one of the building committee appointed to erect the present stone county poor house in the year 1852-53 from plans adopted by the board of supervisors - upon that part of the county farm lying in the Town of Fayette.

      Mr. Rorison died March 3, 1872. He was twice married, and two sons by his first marriage survived him, one of whom Alexander Rorison 2d, a well known and respected citizen, died Aug. 31, 1896 at the age of seventy-three years, in the town of Seneca Falls.


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