James R. Orr was born in Cedarville, Ohio, in 1848. He married Josephine Little in 1869. He opened a general merchandise store in Cedarville, which he operated until his death in 1927. He early also engaged in business with his father, John Orr, and conducted a lime and brick business as well as operating a farm. The 9.5 acres of land purchased for Cedarville College in 1888 was part of the Orr family farm. The original Orr farm home is still located in the Village of Cedarville. His oldest son, J. Alvin Orr, was a member of the first graduating class of Cedarville College in 1897. A total of 5 of his children graduated from Cedarville. James Orr was a member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Cedarville in which his father was an elder for 50 years. James Orr died in 1927 and is buried in Cedarville, Ohio.
Josephine Little Orr was born in Cedarville, Ohio, in 1851, and married James R. Orr in 1869. She and her husband had six children, the oldest son being J. Alvin Orr, a member of the first graduating class of Cedarville College in 1897. A total of 5 of her children graduated from Cedarville. Josephine was one of the earliest members of the Greene County Womens Christian Temperance Union and a life-long member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Cedarville. Active in the Womens Missionary Society of that church, she was also affiliated all her life with the American Bible Society. Josephine died in 1924 and is buried in Cedarville, Ohio.
John Alvin Orr was born in Cedarville, Ohio in 1874, the oldest son of James and Josephine Orr. He graduated from Cedarville College in 1897, the first graduating class of that institution. The following year he received a B.A. degree and then an M.A. degree in 1900 from the University of Pennsylvania. J. Alvin Orr grew up in the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Cedarville, and while doing some of his college work, he also completed some of his theological studies, first at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and then the Allegheny Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh. Following ordination to the ministry, he was pastor until 1913 of the Norris Square United Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, followed by the pastor of the First United Presbyterian Church in Allegheny, Pennsylvania until 1939. Cedarville College conferred on J. Alvin Orr a Doctor of Divinity degree in 1916. Beginning in 1939, he taught at the Erskine College and Seminary in South Carolina. Dr. Orr was the moderator of the United Presbyterian General Assembly during 1934/35, and he served for many years on important boards of the United Presbyterian Church, including chairing the New World Movement from 1919 to 1924. After retiring as an active teacher in the Erskine Seminary, he continued as the chaplain at Erskine College. J. Alvin Orr married Imojean Roadarmer in 1902, with whom he had four children. She preceded him in death in 1929, and he married Mary Wilson Edie in 1932. Dr. Orr died in 1957 and is buried in Cedarville, Ohio.
Cedarville University Collection Catalog Record