J. Roderic Korns, son of William Henry Korns

Page 257 of the "Catalog of the University of Utah" shows J. Roderic Korns as a freshman at the University of Utah for the school year 1911-1912. According to page 89 of the 1949 book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County Pennsylvania", Roderic was the son of William Henry and Roberta (Stalcup) Korns. Page 90 states "J. R. Korns, was married Jan. 30, 1917, to Sara Beck Marrill, a granddaughter of the well-known pioneer mining man, John Beck of the Bullion-Beck Mine. Two sons have been born to this couple, James Roderic on Jan. 20, 1918, and William Lester, Nov. 18, 1921."

Roderic Korns was a co-author of the well-known history book " West from Fort Bridger: The Pioneering of the Immigrant Trails Across Utah 1846-1850", which first appeared in 1951 as Volume XIX of the "Utah Historical Quarterly", and has been reprinted several times in book form (1994 hardback ISBN: 0874211786, 1994 e-book ISBN: 0585029350, 1995 paperback ISBN: 0874211891). A photograph of Roderic Korns is included on page 7 of the February 1939 issue of "The Desert Magazine", and he is mentioned in numerous places in the accompanying article titled "On Manly's Trail to Death Valley". Roderic Korns is also mentioned briefly on page 11 of the June 1943 issue issue of "The Desert Magazine" in an article titled "Autographs in Stone", in the context of following original immigrant trails in Nevada.

The book “West From Fort Bridger…” contains a biography of J. Roderic Korns by his friend and fellow researcher Dale L. Morgan. That biography indicates that J. Roderic Korns:

  • Was born July 24, 1890 and died July 2, 1949
  • Was a member of the Utah State Historical Society
  • Was born at Tekamah, Burt Co, Nebraska
  • Was the son of William Henry Korns and Roberta (Stalcup) Korns.
  • Was the grandson of Solomon Korns
  • Had an older sister Rowena who married Charles A. Maly of Salt Lake City
  • Changed his first name from Rodric to Roderic and added the initial “J” as a prefix
  • Was known as “Jimmy the Kid” as a child
  • Was setting type by the time he was five years and eight months old
  • Lived Casper, Wyoming, Chadron, Nebraska, and Salt Lake City, Utah as a child, moving to the latter in 1901
  • Took over his father’s warehouse company in Salt Lake City in 1922, when his father died
  • Was Utah’s first amateur heavyweight boxing champion
  • All state football center in 1907
  • Captain of the state championship football team in 1908
  • Was involved in the Masons, Knight Templars
  • Was a Republican
  • Served in various volunteer positions during the world wars, including district air raid warden, Red Cross, and bond drive worker
  • Married Sara Beck Merrill on Jan. 30, 1917 in Salt Lake City
  • Had two children; James Roderic Korns and William Lester Korns
  • Became interested in golf in 1921
  • Had a heart attack in 1944 that damaged his heart valves
  • Was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery

    For a page on Roderic's son William Lester "Bill" Korns, click here. Bill Korns e-mailed the following to me in 2008 regarding the Korns Warehouse Co. in Salt Lake City: "The Korns Warehouse Co. was started by my Grandfather after they moved to SLC in the late 1890's... I helped there during the late 30's after school and on weekends.. After WW11 I took over the operation following my Dad's heart attack and remained there until the business was leased out... We were a general warehouse for storage and distribution and leased some area to small businesses. It was adjacent to the Rio Grande Railroad's track, and we had out own spur to our building. It did suffer some damage when an earthquake hit the area about 1934. We could handle six freight cars at any one time in the one level building, and had some cool storage area in the front basement area, tho no cold storage.". William indicated that his son is deceased and was never married, and that his daughter married and is now a Hughes.

    The following image of the draft card of J. Roderic Korns was provided by Marqel Godzich.

    J. Roderic Korns' draft card

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