F. D. Orr

F. D. Orr for upwards of forty years has been doing business in the mining districts and ranges of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, primarily in the sale of explosives used in mining operations. For many years past he has been manager of the Duluth headquarters of the DuPont industries.

Mr. Orr was born in Oneida County, New York, January 26, 1857.

His grandfather came to this country from Ireland. The father, Charles Orr, was also born in New York, was a mechanic by trade, and died in 1874. He was the father of three sons and two daughters, and all but one of the sons are still living.

Second in this family, F. D. Orr was reared and educated in the east, and was about seventeen years of age when his father died. He then went out to live with an uncle on a farm at Northfield, Minnesota, attended school for a time, and for five years worked in a cheese factory.

In 1881 Mr. Orr went to Cleveland, Ohio, and after a brief service as clerk in a store was sent to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, selling townsites for an iron company.

He left the townsite business to become salesman for the Atlantic Dynamite Company, selling explosives in the Gogebic Iron Range. That was the beginning of the business which he has followed ever since.

Many years ago he entered the service of the DuPont Company. While the name DuPont is most familiarly associated with powder and other explosives, yet is, as a matter of fact, synonymous with a diversified industry comprehending a tremendous range of products, including explosives, chemicals, coated textiles and other materials and commodities. Since 1914 Mr. Orr has been manager of the Duluth office of the DuPont Company in the Hartley Building. Through this office more explosives are sold than in any other office of the DuPont Company, and thus Mr. Orr has a special post of honor and consideration with this great American industry. As an auxiliary of the Duluth service there is maintained a special fleet of motor trucks for the expeditious and prompt handling of explosives required on the iron ranges.

Mr. Orr has been a resident of Duluth for many years and takes much pride in the city and is closely identified with civic organizations, including the Duluth Commercial Club, the Northland Country Club, the Kitchi Gammi Club and the Duluth Boat Club.


  • Van Brunt, Walter, ed. Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922.
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