Raymond Joseph Hork was the eighth child of John Anton Hork and Julia Ann Sievert. He was born on 11 Nov 1889 in Stuart, Guthrie Co, Iowa. The family had lived there at least since 31 Oct 1886, when his next oldest brother, Anthony was born. By the 1890’s, they were living in Oregon, where the next sibling, Urselle was born.
Raymond lived a short life, dying on 1 Dec 1917. He was only 28 years old. So what happened in his short life?
Two census records give some minute detail. The family finally settled for good in Hamilton, Ravalli County, Montana, where they were found in the 1900 census. His father was a tailor and they were renters. Raymond was listed as being born Nov 1890 and 9 years old. In 1910, he was a 21 year old, living at home with his widowed mother, Julia, three brothers, Albert, Tony, and Cyril, and two sisters, Carrie and Urselle. Raymond was a printer.
Newspaper accounts give some information. He was invited to children’s parties along with his sister, Urselle.
He played a country boy in the play “The Whirl O’ The Town” at the Eastern Star Lodge.
He played baseball with the “Peshick’s Pets” as the first baseman.
In 1910, he learned to work a linotype machine in San Francisco by taking a two month’s course. He was working at the office of the Western News. He had been working there at least since 1907 when he worked as a compositor. By 1909 he was a foreman at the paper.
Around 1912, he left Hamilton. In April of 1913, he was working on a Mergenthaler keyboard in Topeka, Kansas. His family was worried when they didn’t hear from him after a cyclone had passed through the region. His older brother, Albert, who was also the County Clerk, sent a telegram to the secretary of the typographical union at Topeka to ask about Raymond. About a week later, the family received a card saying he was fine.
Other places he worked were on a Mergenthaler linotype in a newspaper office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
By Sep 1913, he was back in Montana, working for The Missoulian in Missoula. He was still working there in 1915.
And then there was no news until his death.
He died on 1 Dec 1917 in Warm Springs, Deer Lodge Co, Montana. The death certificate said it was the Montana State Hospital. There was no named informant and many of the lines were filled as unknown: birth, parent’s names and birthplaces. Cause of death was exhaustion of dementia precox and contributory cause of dementia precox. The doctor had attended him from 7 Oct 1917 to 1 Dec 1917. It was unknown how long.
Just two months.
After some research, I found that dementia precox, or “premature dementia” is a psychotic disorder that often begins in early adulthood. The cognitive ability becomes impaired and there is a “disruption in cognitive or mental functioning such as in attention, memory, and goal-directed behavior.” This differs from manic depressive illness. It was believed that one did not recover from dementia precox. The term was popularized by a German psychiatrist named Emil Kraepelin. Later, the term schizophrenic reaction was used for this disorder.
Also learned a little about the Montana State Hospital. It was the only mental hospital in the state and was located in Warm Springs, which is near Anaconda. It was founded in 1877 before statehood and was run by two doctors, Armistead H. Mitchell and Charles F. Mussigbrod. Between 1891 and 1907, it was run by Dr. O.Y. Warren and then Dr. J.M. Scanland. In 1912, the hospital became a state institution. In 1917, there was a special investigation to look into charges of gross mismanagement and corruption at the hospital. The management were not found guilty of any charges. Gradually the hospital changed from being primarily a custodial asylum to a hospital using modern treatments.
The Montana Historical Society Research Center in Helena, Montana has the records for the State Hospital between 1877-1973. Patient records are restricted but the website said to contact the archivist. I might do that to find out what I can about what caused him to be admitted.
Mental illness does run in the family. His father, Anton Hork, was an alcoholic, and another brother, Frank was in the same hospital since before 1910 until his death in 1952.
After his funeral at St. Francis Catholic Church, he was buried at Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton. So sorry you had such a short life, Ray. No pictures that I know of. Just this marker to remind us of your short life.
 Hork Family Bible, Heilige Schrist, privately held by Alice Irene McGee, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Lexington, Kentucky., "Geburten", #8, Raymond Joseph, 1889.
 Ibid, #7, Anthony, 1886.
 Ibid. #9, Urselle Clementine, 1992.
 Montana State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Certificate, Deer Lodge Co, no. 126234, 1917, Raymond J. Hork.
 1900 U.S. Census, Ravalli County, Montana, population schedule, Hamilton, ED 81, Sheet 15, line 79, John A. Hork, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jun 2011), citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 914.
 “Hamilton News,” 22 Oct 1900, p 10, Raymond Hork.; digital image, Genealogybank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com: accessed 6 Dec 2008).
 “Cast is Announced in Hamilton,” The Daily Missourian, 27 Mar 1910, p 9, col 4; digital image, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov : accessed 9 Nov 2014).
 “Valley Mercantile Company Picks Up Defi of ‘Peshick’s Pets,’” The Daily Missourian, 17 Jul 1910, p 8, col 3; digital image, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov : accessed 9 Nov 2014).
 “Hamilton Notes,” The Anaconda Standard, 10 Aug 1910, p 7, col 5, Genealogybank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com: accessed 11 Jul 2008).
 Missoula and Hamilton City Directory, R.L. Polk & Co, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Jun 2012), 1907, p 368, Raymond Hork.
 Ibid, 1909, p 502, Raymond Hork.
 “Ray Hork is Safe in Cyclone Region,” The Daily Missourian, 3 Apr 1913, p3, col 1; digital image, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov : accessed 9 Nov 2014).
 “Hamilton Briefs,” The Daily Missourian, 27 Aug 1913, p 5, col 1; digital image, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov : accessed 9 Nov 2014).
 “Hamilton News,” 13 Sep 1913, p 12, col 2; digital image, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov : accessed 9 Nov 2014).
 Missoula and Hamilton City Directory, R.L. Polk & Co, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 9 Nov 2014), 1915, p 401, Raymond Hork.
 “Dementia Praecox,”Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dementia_praecox : accessed 9 Nov 2014).
 Guide to the Warm Springs State Hospital Records, 1877-1973,” Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA), http://nwda.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv86189 : accessed 9 Nov 2014.
 St. Francis Catholic Church, photocopy of death/burial register, p. unk, #7, Raymond Joseph Hork, 1917. Also photo of tombstone, Riverview Cemetery, Hamilton, Montana, taken by author, July 1999.