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The Scotch-Irish in America
Proceedings of the Third Congress at Louisville
John Orr, Steubenville, O.


JOHN ORR, STEUBENVILLE, O.
STEUBENVILLE GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 21, 1891.

This community was shocked Friday evening by the announcement of the death of John Orr, an old and one of the most prominent citizens of Steubenville, which occurred at 4 o'clock. The cause of death was jaundice, and he had been confined to his house but a few days.

Mr. Orr was born at Ballyhalbert, near Belfast, Ireland, November 29, 1827, and came to America in 1846, first locating in Pittsburg, He remained in that city only a short time, coming to Steubenville, where he entered the grocery store of his uncle, John Orr, at the corner of Third and Washington Streets.

In 1851 he opened a retail grocery on the opposite corner, which business he continued up to 1860, when at the death of his uncle ho returned to the old store. He remained in the retail grocery business up to 1867, when he engaged in oil refining, building a plant below the Jefferson Iron Works. In 1877 he also engaged in oil refining in Pittsburg, but two years later he sold the two plants to the Standard Oil Company, resuming the retail grocery trade at the "Old Orr Corner."

In 1882 he erected the large block at the corner of Market and Fifth, and taking his son Robert into partnership, engaged in the wholesale grocery trade, in which he was very prosperous, his house at his death having a solid standing, the result of business sagacity and honest dealing.

In 1855 he was married to Mary Jane Orr, the issue being five children, Robert, John, Will, Mary, and Annie, who, with the wife, survive him. He was a public-spirited citizen, a man of enterprise and wholesome influence, always taking an active interest in public improvements. It was during his membership of Council in 1868 and largely through his influence and persistent efforts that the sidewalks were widened and many of the street lines wore straightened and the city began to emerge from its village life. It was also largely through his influence as a councilman that the first steam fire-engine was purchased. He was one of the Trustees of the Union Cemetery, was in the directory of the old Jefferson Fire Insurance Company, of the old Jefferson National Bank, and was a Director in the Steubenville National Bank at his death. He was a friend of the Y. M. C. A., to which organization ho was a liberal and hearty contributor. He was a member of the Humane Society, and contributed largely to the support of the work in the prosecution of which he was deeply interested. In fact, he was prominent in all movements for the betterment of the community and its citizens. He was of a jovial disposition, kind-hearted, and his acts of kindness and charity will keep his memory green in the hearts of many beneficiaries.

He was a member of the Second Presbyterian Church and a regular attendant at this sanctuary. He was a Democrat, in his younger days being one of the most active of the local adherents of the party of Jefferson. He was one of the first Ohio members of the Scotch-Irish Society of America, and no one took a deeper interest in the annual proceedings of its Congress. Ho looked forward with much pleasure to an anticipated attendance at the next meeting of the Congress to be held in Louisvilie in May.

Mr. Orr was a good citizen, and his death is deeply mourned by our people. His many good traits of character endeared him to the hearts of many. His remains were interred in the Union Cemetery Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock.


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