Now that the summertime of life has ended and the autumn winds of old age
have come, the subject of this review can look backward over a career that
has been well spent, resulting in good to those whom it touched and has
brought comfort to himself.
Hiram Orr was born in Licking county, Ohio, December 16, 1828, the son of Zachariah and Mary (Dusthimer) Orr, early settlers of the Buckeye state, where it is supposed they were born. Zachariah was a farmer, a Democrat, and a member of the Baptist church. He passed away in Licking county, Ohio, in 1891, his wife having died there at an earlier date. Six children were born to them, namely: Robert, living in Licking county, Ohio; Hiram, our subject; Sarah, deceased; John, who is living in Kansas, a retired farmer; Cyrus, deceased; Eliza, also deceased. Zachariah was married a second time. When he died he had accumulated quite a competency having been a very successful farmer.
Our subject remained at his parental home, assisting with the work about the place and attending the old pioneer schools in cabins with puncheon floors and seats and windows where greased paper was used for panes, until he was twenty-one years old. He has since added very much to the rudiments of education he gained there by systematic home reading and study, and close observation. When of age Mr. Orr decided to devote his life work to farming and consequently bought a farm in his native county, having managed it in a most successful manner until October 1, 1868 when he moved to Marion county, Illinois, believing that still greater advantages existed here on the less crowded western prairies than in the East and where land was much cheaper, having sold his Ohio farm at good figures.
Mr. Orr purchased two hundred and seventy-four acres of land in Stevenson township on which he continuously lived, bringing it up to a high state of improvement, in fact, making it one of the "show" farms of this locality, the fields being well fenced and well drained and kept in first class productive condition through the careful rotation of crops and the application of home fertilizers, and on this place may always be found large numbers of all kinds of live stock of the best grade, Mr. Orr having ever taken a great interest in stock of various kinds. A modern, substantial and nicely furnished residence is owned by Mr. Orr and good barns and outbuildings in general are found about the place. Mr. Orr at present rents most of his land, but still oversees it, keeping it up to the high standard of former years.
In 1849 our subject was united in marriage with Mary Basom, who was born in Perry county, Ohio, about 1830, the daughter of Joshua and Elizabeth Emery, natives of New England. Three children were born to this union, namely: Frances, who is the wife of Peter M. Mechling, a farmer living in Perry county, Ohio. They are the parents of four children, namely: Hiram Orvil, Bertha, Frank and Fred, the last two twins; Martha, the second child of our subject, is the wife of Marion Tolliver Stevenson, who is living in Alma township, Marion county, this state, and are the parents of these children, Edgar, Mabel, Orin, Roy, Edna, Claud and Lloyd. Edith, the subject's third child, is the wife of John P. Brubaker, who is also living in Alma township, being the mother of two children, Hazel and Ada.
These children received all the home training possible and were given good educations, each being well situated in life.
Mr. Orr is a staunch Democrat in his political affiliation, although he has never taken a very active part in public affairs. He ably filled the position of School Director and his support is always to be depended upon in any issue having for its object the betterment of the community in any way. The subject and wife are kind, hospitable and good natured, making all who enter their home feel like they were among friends.
Extracted 10 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 159-160.