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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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George A. Orr is of Scotch-Irish parentage, and is a son of William Orr, who was born in County Londonderry, Ireland, and Jane (Adams) Orr, who was born in County Antrim. They were the parents of six children who lived to maturity: Paul, Jane, George A., Mary, Isabel and John. They came to America in 1832 and settled in Tuscarora County, Ohio, but five years later came to Lawrence County, Mo. The country was very wild at this time, and grass grew to be five feet high. Mr. Orr paid $700 for his claim, and was afterward obliged to purchase it again from the Government. He built a log cabin, and settled down to tilling the soil. Game of all kinds was very plentiful, and deer in immense herds could be seen at almost any time. He and wife worked very hard, and soon began to accumulate property by raising hogs and cattle. He owned at least 380 acres of land. Both he and wife were members of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, and in politics he was an old line Whig and afterward a Republican. He was a strong Union man during the war, and was exceptionally intelligent and well educated. He was postmaster at New Salem for many years. He accumulated a property valued at $25,000, although when he came to Ohio all the money he possessed was an old English sovereign valued at $4.85. He lost this, however, as a physician purchased it of him to present to his wife, but forgot to pay for it. He also became security for the same party to the amount of $25, and was obliged to pay the obligation. As he had to earn this money by chopping wood at 25 cents per day this taught him a lesson, and he would never go security for any man again. He was one whose word could be thoroughly relied upon, and was respected by all who knew him. George A. Orr, his son, was born in Tuscarora County, Ohio, in 1838, and received a common-school education. He was reared on a farm in the wilderness of Southwest Missouri, and can well remember the appearance of the country in its early days. In 1862 he joined the Missouri State Militia, and was in a great many skirmishes with the bushwhackers, and for honorable conduct was promoted to the rank of captain. He afterward joined Company I, Second Missouri Light Infantry, and served about one year as lieutenant, making a total service of four years. He was shot while in Mississippi County, Ark., by a bushwhacker, who was not ten feet away from him. The charge entered his right side, and he was conveyed to the hospital, first to New Madrid and then to St. Louis, where he remained from March until July, and was then honorably discharged, owing to his wounds. He returned home, and November 29, 1866, was married to Emily Cushman, a daughter of Obid and Harriett (Tillotson) Cushman, who were Ohio people from the western reserve, formerly from New England. The following are the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Orr: Annie, Hattie, Walter, John, Harry, Ethel and Roy. Mr. Orr was in the milling business in Mount Vernon for two years, but since then has resided on his farm of 700 acres. He is a Republican, and he and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. He is a Mason.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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