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History of the Upper Ohio Valley
Brant & Fuller, 1890; Vol. II, pages 553-554.

     CAPT. WILLIAM H. ORR, of Martin's Ferry, was born near Abingdon, Washington Co., Va., 1815, the son of William and Mary Orr. His father came to this land from Ireland, his native country, about 1770, with his parents, and settled in Virginia, where he farmed until the outbreak of the Revolutionary war, when he enlisted in the continental army and served until independence was achieved. He died about 1820. Three children were born to him, of whom William H. is probably the only survivor. Capt. Orr was reared upon the farm of his parents, and at seventeen years of age began an apprenticeship at carrrage making, which lasted six years, after which he followed the trade as a journeyman for a considerable period, also engaging in stock dealing, traveling over the greater part of the south. He removed to Wheeling in 1848, but soon crossed to Martin's Ferry and found employment in his trade with Wells Brothers, wagon builders. Two years later he entered the employment of Hoyle & Griffith, man- ufacturers of threshing machines, and when Mr. Hoyle established a separate business, he went with him and held the position of foreman over seventeen years. At the outbreak of the rebellion Capt. Orr, though he had been reared in a slave state, promptly espoused the cause of the Union, and was the first man at Martin's Ferry to open a recruiting station for three-year enlistments. He signed the roll September 2, 1861, the first on the list, and soon had forty men for the First Virginia regiment, who were organized in Company C, with him as first lieutenant. At his first battle, at Winchester, under Gen. Shields, he was severely wounded, his shin bone being split by a bullet. In the spring of 1862, Capt. Millhouse was captured, and Lieut. Orr succeeded to the command, and served as captain until his discharge in 1864, at expiration of period of enlistment. The record made by Capt. Orr as a patriot and soldier, is one highly deserving of commemoration. On his return to Martin's Ferry, he resumed his position with Mr. Hoyle for one year, and in 1866 he was appointed United States inspector and gauger of spirits, a position he held for two years. Being elected mayor of Martin's Ferry in 1868, he served two years, and at the expiration of that time established a bakery, which he conducted until he was wrecked by the great flood of 1884. Since then he has been engaged in the real estate and insurance business. He also acts as health officer of the city, managing trustee of the cemetery, as which he was elected in 1889, and is secretary of the Ohio State Saving and Loan company. He has lived a life characterized by industry, patriotic devotion and public spirit, and is highly esteemed by all. The religious and other organizations with which he is affiliated, are the Methodist Episcopal church, the G. A. R. and D. of R., and the republican party. He was married in 1852 to Jane A. Waters, and they have had three children: Alice W., Eva J., and Marian, now deceased.