I recently had some luck in finding my 2nd Great-Grandfather Samuel Thomas ROORK and his family mentioned in The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times at the Chronicling America website!
From the website: “Chronicling America is a Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress. An NEH award program will fund the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories.”
I knew that Grandpa and Grandma Samuel Thomas and Amanda Melvina (MOULDER) ROORK lived in Tucumcari, New Mexico, in their elderly years but I didn’t know anything other than the vital facts. Amanda died there on 12 May 1924. Both Amanda and Samuel are buried there.
The newspaper articles help to flesh out their lives and give us a glimpse into their world at that time and place. Samuel Thomas always goes by S. T. ROORK in the articles and most of the other people mentioned in the newspapers go by their first two initials followed by their surname as well.
Samuel and Amanda are living in Tucumcari well before July 9, 1914 as we see that they have moved their second-hand store from somewhere else in the town to 1st and Main Streets.
Tucumcari News, July 9, 1914 – “We have moved our second hand store to the U. S. Smith store building, corner 1st and Main, where we will have more room to carry on a larger business. We have bargains in house furnishings. – S. T. ROORK & Son”
[I am pretty sure that the “SON” in the business is Samuel’s son Samuel Thomas Roork, who goes by Thomas and dies in Tucumcari in 1965. He was an employee of J. C. Penney’s and is described as working as a merchant.]
Tucumcari News, December 10, 1914: An advertisement reads, “S. T. ROORK & SON, Have Moved, From the Simpson building to the building two doors east of the postoffice on Center Street. We are in the market for all kinds of second hand furniture, stoves, etc. Call phone 227. Do not throw your old furniture and stoves away when you can sell them here. S. T. Roork & Son”
Tucumcari News, January 28, 1915: “Mrs. Green, who is on her way from California to visit relatives in Oklahoma, is spending a few days at the home of Mr. Roork.”
[I am not yet sure who Mrs. Green is in this sentence. I do not yet have all of the marriages for the Roork women.]
Tucumcari News, July 20, 1916: “Thos. Roork of Quanah, Texas, was here the past week visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. T. Roork, and other relatives and friends. He has a good position in a dry goods store in that excellent little city.”
[Samuel “Thomas” Roork is the son of S. T. and Amanda Roork.]
Tucumcari News, March 22, 1917: “S. T. Roork has our thanks for another dollar on subscription. His example should be followed by a few more News subscribers.”
Tucumcari News, August 23, 1917: “Claude Smith and wife of Frederick, Okla., arrived this week visiting Mrs. Smith’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. T. Roork. They were accompanied by their son and his wife.
[Claud Franklin SMITH married Nancy ROORK (the third daughter of S. T. and Amanda ROORK) in 1894 in Arkansas. I now believe that my Grandfather Claud Franklin ROORK, born 15 May 1911, was named after this Claud. Nancy Roork was my great-grandfather’s older sister.]
Tucumcari News, August 22, 1918: “O. W. York and family of Enid, Okla., are visiting Mrs. York’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. T. Roork. They came to take in the Roundup.”
[Oma Elizabeth Roork married Odus York in 1900, in Arkansas. Oma was the 6th child of S. T. and Amanda Roork.]
On 12 May 1924, my 2nd Great-Grandmother Amanda Melvina (MOULDER) ROORK dies in Tucumcari, Quay County, New Mexico. She was 75 years old.
Sometime after this date S. T. ROORK moves to Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, to live with his son where he dies in 1933 at the age of 82. They are both buried in Tucumcari, Quay County, New Mexico.
S. T. and Amanda Roork are right and front. Does it look like S. T. and Amanda are in their 70’s? or 60’s? I need to work to identify the three daughters in the background and two sons on the left.