Buried in the Masons Cemetery,
Block 16, Lot 4, Grave 4
Samuel Korrick was born in April, 1871, in Grodno, then part of tsarist Russia. After coming to the United States around 1890, he worked briefly as a dry goods clerk in New York before moving on to another store in El Paso.
In 1895, Korrick was on his way to California when he stopped in Phoenix. Something about the up-and-coming city attracted him, and he decided to stay.
Despite his relative youth, he was able to combine his previous experience in the dry goods business with a flair for merchandising, determination and hard work. He set up his first store in a narrow space at 218 East Washington Street. To make his shop sound more sophisticated, he called it the New York Store.
Korrick was a savvy businessman. Newspaper advertisements for his store trumpeted quality merchandise, low prices, seasonal and annual clearance sales. The ads noted his buying trips to Eastern markets, which must have added a certain cachet for his customers.
Korrick was more than just a successful merchant. He joined the Freemasons and the Elks, and he donated handsomely to Sisters’ Hospital, now St. Joseph’s. He was active in the local Jewish community and ran newspaper notices announcing the Jewish high holy days.
Running the New York Store left Korrick little time for a private life; he never married. As the business expanded, he brought his younger brother Charles over from Russia in 1899. Charles became his understudy in running the business.
Tragically, Korrick’s health began to decline in 1901 and he died on March 23, 1903, at the age of 32. According to Korrick’s obituary, no other man had "left such a deep impression upon the mercantile life of Phoenix." Customers and competitors alike esteemed him as an honest and upright businessman.
Korrick’s funeral service was an ecumenical affair. After the reading of Jewish rites, a Methodist minister delivered a eulogy. The hearse was accompanied by a long cortege, and Korrick was interred in accordance with Masonic rites in the Masons Cemetery.
© Derek Horn and Debe Branning. Last revised May 21, 2023.
Photo of Charles and Sam Korrick, about 1901, courtesy of the Korrick family