David Orr

Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen

David Orr, who is now living on a beautiful farm overlooking the Susquehanna River and 
the city of Oneonta, has lived in this county since he was Twenty-three years of age,
and since boyhood has been engaged in agricultural pursuits. His farm, which contains
150 acres, is well improved and productive, and is upplied with a beautiful residence
and fine farm buildings. He followed farming in West Oneonta for seven years, and has
always been an industrious and successful farmer and stockraiser. For many years he has
kept a dairy, and now has a good herd of Devon cow. He was born in Elizabeth, N.J.,
September 15, 1818, and when quite young removed from his native State to the town of
Davenport, Delaware Co., N.Y., where he attained to manhood. He is a son of David Orr,
a native of Summit, Schoharie Co., N.Y. and who was a son of Hugh Orr, who was born in
Scotland. The latter came to this country when a young man, and settled in Schoharie
County, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying there when upward of eighty
years of age. His wife died in the same county. She and her husband were the parents
of four children, three sons and one daughter. David Orr, father of our subject, was the youngest son. He was brought up in Schoharie
County, and became a mechanic, being usually a boat engineer. For several years he was
engineer on the boats running on the Hudson River. While thus engaged he came over into
Delaware County, and married Charity Houghtaling, who was born in Delaware County, of
Dutch ancestry. She was of a good family and was herself a remarkable woman. After
David Orr and wife were married they went to live at Elizabeth, N.J. and a few years
afterward Mr. Orr was accidentally drowned one stormy night while engaged with his boat.
He was then in the prime of life, and was a very strong man physically. He was a man
of genial nature and had many friends. His widow, with three children, of whom the
subject of this sketch was the youngest, afterward moved back to her people in Delaware
County, where a year or so later she married Mr. John Michael, and settled in West
Davenport, Delaware Co., N.Y., where Mr. Michael died. Of this marriage there were
five children. She was married the third time, to Mr. Jabez Hitchcock, and lived with
him on a farm in West Davenport until his death. She then lived in Delaware County
some time, and in her old age was married to Elijah Whitney, surviving him. her death
occurred when she was eighty-three years old. She had children by each of her first
three husbands, and there are children of each of them still living. The subject of this sketch is the only one living of the three children born to his
parents. He was married first in Delaware County, to Miss Jane Riddle, a native
of the town of Kortright, Delaware County, who died in Oneonta in the prime of life.
She had been married ten years, and left three children, viz: Jane, wife of D. Norman
Beach, a business man of Oneonta; Sarah M., wife of David Whitaker, an engineer on
the D. & H. R. r., living at Binghamton, and David S., a farmer, who is living with
his parents, and who married Miss Lodica Wait, of Otego, Otsego Co., N.Y. Mr. Orr
was married the second time, to Miss Harriet J. Houghtaling, who was born in Oneonta,
July 18 1834. She comes of an old family well known in the county, and is a daughter
of Abraham and Sallie (Price) Houghtaling, natives of Cortland County, N.Y. They came
of Dutch ancestry, and after their marriage settled on a farm in the town of Oneonta,
where they lived the remainder of their lives. They died at the ages, respectively,
of seventy-five and seventy-one years. Abraham Houghtalling was a soldier in the War
of 1812. Both he and his wife were members of the Baptist Church. They were the
parents of nine children, of whom Mrs. Orr was the youngest but one. Three of the nine
are still living. She has no children. Mr. and Mrs. Orr are members of the First
Baptist Church of Oneonta. Politically, Mr.Orr and his sons are Democrats.
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