Benjamin G. Orr
Orr, probably born in Virginia, was a grocer in Georgetown – which in the early 19th century was a separate town from Washington. He moved into the city in 1812 and was elected an Alderman, but resigned one year later and became a supplier to U.S. Army brigades in Ohio and Michigan.
As mayor, Orr procured public improvements such as grading of the streets and established Washington’s first volunteer fire companies, appropriating $1,000 for the purchase of four fire bells and procured apparatus for the companies. He also authorized a lottery to raise funds to build a penitentiary and city hall.
He died in 1822 and was buried in Congressional Cemetery. Benjamin Orr Elementary School in Washington is named for him.
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James H. Blake
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