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Anderson in Anderson County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

James Lawrence Orr

 
 
James Lawrence Orr Monument image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 9, 2009
1. James Lawrence Orr Monument
Inscription.
Born August 29, 1852
Died February 26, 1905
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Founder and President
Orr Cotton Mills
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Honest and Fearless in the
Discharge of Every Duty.
Rest in Peace.

 
Location. 34° 30.6′ N, 82° 38.95′ W. Marker is in Anderson, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker is on East Greenville Street (State Highway 81). Click for map. Marker is located on the northeast side of the museum, near the parking lot. Marker is at or near this postal address: 202 East Greenville Street, Anderson SC 29621, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Orr Monument (here, next to this marker); Boy High School (here, next to this marker); "Old Reformer" Cannon (a few steps from this marker); Girls High School (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Reformer (within shouting distance of this marker); Robert Anderson Memorial Fountain (within shouting distance of this marker); Frierson School House (within shouting distance of this marker); McGee Harness Shop (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Virginia "Jennie" Gilmer (approx. 0.2 miles away); Anderson County Library (approx. ľ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Anderson.
 
More about this marker.
James Lawrence Orr Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 26, 2009
2. James Lawrence Orr Marker
The marker was originally located on South Main Street, near the ruins of Orr's Mill. It was placed on the museum grounds after a tree fell over, breaking the monument.
 
Also see . . .
1. Local man wants someone to save historical marker on South Main Street. Gerald Clevelandís history is on Andersonís Orr Mill hill. (Submitted on June 10, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Anderson County Museum. To collect, care for, exhibit, interpret and demonstrate items that will serve to illustrate the history of Anderson County and will preserve its heritage. (Submitted on January 12, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. James Lawrence Orr Marker. Marker located in Piedmont, South Carolina, dedicated to Orr. (Submitted on December 4, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Samuel Marshall Orr, M.D.
Samuel Marshall Orr, M.D., was one of the sons of Governor James L. Orr, whose record is reviewed elsewhere, and while his two brothers, James L. and Christopher H., adopted the profession of the law, Samuel Marshall became one of the eminent physicians and surgeons of the state, though for many years he also handled extensive business interests.

Doctor Orr was born at Anderson June 5, 1855, and spent all his life
James Lawrence Orr Monument with<br>Anderson County Museum in Background image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 9, 2009
3. James Lawrence Orr Monument with
Anderson County Museum in Background
in that city. He attended private schools, the King's Mountain Military School at Yorkville, completed a literary course in Furman University, and began the study of medicine under the late Dr. W.H. Nardin, Sr., at Anderson. In 1879 he graduated from Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, and returning to Anderson was devoted with all his talents and splendid abilities to professional work for a quarter of a century. For a time he was associated with his preceptor Doctor Nardin. His abilities and experience made him esteemed as a consulting practitioner, and Governor Richardson appointed him a member of the first Board of Medical Examiners for the state. He also served as president of the Anderson County Medical Society and vice president of the State Medical Society, and was surgeon for the Charleston and Western Carolina and the Blue Ridge Railroad Companies.

While in active practice and more particularly after retiring from his profession he gave evidence of his marked qualifications as a business man. He entered the drug business at Anderson in 1883, was prominent in connection with the first building and loan association at Anderson, and after the death of his brother Col. James L. Orr in 1905 he succeeded him in the presidency of the Orr Cotton Mill at Anderson. He held that position at the time of his death, and he had also been vice president of the Farmers
James Lawrence Orr Monument image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 26, 2009
4. James Lawrence Orr Monument
The museum wall has recently been decorated with an enlarged photograph of Orr's Mill.
and Merchants Bank at Anderson, and president and treasurer of the old Anderson Light and Power Company. He was one of the original trustees of the Anderson graded schools, and served many years as a vestryman of the Episcopal Church.

In 1875 Doctor Orr married Miss Charlotte Alethea Allen. Mrs. Orr, who still survives her honored husband, is the mother of four children: Harry A., Mary Orr, Samuel M., Jr., and Lydia. Both sons have achieved distinction as electrical engineers. Mrs. Orr is a granddaughter of Dr. Charles Louis Gaillard, formerly of Charleston, of French Huguenot origin, while her paternal grandfather was Banister Allen of Abbeville County and of English ancestry. (Source: History of South Carolina Volume 3 by Yates Snowden (1920), pgs 111-113.)
    — Submitted December 6, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable Persons
 
Orr Cotton Mills image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Postcards, Vol. IX: Anderson County, by Howard Woody, 1911
5. Orr Cotton Mills
In 1906 Orr Mill had 57,496 spindles and 1,504 looms, consumed 11,000 bales of cotton, and produced print cloths valued at $1 million. Orr Cotton Mills was incorporated in 1899 by J.L. Orr. It employed 700 operatives and had a $175,000 payroll.
Methodist Episcopal Church, Orr Mills image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Postcards, Vol. IX: Anderson County, by Howard Woody, 1908
6. Methodist Episcopal Church, Orr Mills
The Methodist Episcopal Church on South Main Street is shown on the postcard scene above. It is one of the two Orr Mill churches that the mill built for the operatives. Directly behind the Methodist Church is the Baptist Church. The mill gave the lots, 15 percent of the construction costs, and $100 each annually for expenses. Rev. S.T. Creech was the pastor of this Methodist Church in 1905.
Orr Cotton Mills, from Cotton Field to Factory image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Postcards, Vol. IX: Anderson County, by Howard Woody, 1908
7. Orr Cotton Mills, from Cotton Field to Factory
This view with the cotton field symbolized the cycle of mill economics. Farmers grew and sold cotton; cotton was turned into fabric at the mill; and jobs were thus created for operatives. The mills supported churches and schools and contributed taxes to both local and state governments. The village Baptist Church, shown above the left side, had a membership of 254 in 1909 and Rev. H.C. Martin was the pastor.
Orr Cotton Mills Store image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Postcards, Vol. IX: Anderson County, by Howard Woody, 1908
8. Orr Cotton Mills Store
Each mill built commissary-type stores for their operatives, who were usually poor families that came to the mills seeking a steady source of income and needing low cost housing and credit. The factory would assign the family a cottage and let them obtain food, clothing, and medicines on credit and subtract those expenses from the salaries of the fathers, mothers, and children at the end of each two-week payroll. The store stocked every necessity, including coffins.
School Building, Orr Mills image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Postcards, Vol. IX: Anderson County, by Howard Woody, 1908
9. School Building, Orr Mills
The mill owners wanted operatives with a high educational level. August Kohn's book, Cotton Mills of South Carolina, called that "welfare work." This concept caused the directors to build schools with academic and industrial subjects, churches, meeting halls, and gyms. Orr Mills spent $1,000 for a 3-teacher school building for 547 students. M. O'Neal, principal, and two other teachers taught at this school in 1905.
Bird-s Eye View of the Orr Mill Village<br>Looking North from Mill image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Postcards, Vol. IX: Anderson County, by Howard Woody, 1912
10. Bird-s Eye View of the Orr Mill Village
Looking North from Mill
This bird's-eye view of the Orr Mill Village shows the standard layout of a village with identical one-story cottages for small families and two-story structures for larger ones. In 1906 the village had a 1,500 population. The privies were located at the rear of each lot with a wagon path running between them for the entire distance of a street.
 
 
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