"Our Friends on the Acres"
Mr. & Mrs. Darius Orr
This week the Herald's inquiring reporter visited the old Orr farm one mile northeast of Postville. It is one of the oldest farm properties in Allamakee county and was the scene of a happy event Sunday when Mr. and Mrs. Darius Orr celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Probably no other farm land in Allamakee county is of richer soil than the Orr farm, which is operated by Mr. and Mrs. John A. Palas, son-in-law and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Darius Orr.
The farm was entered from the government in 1853 by a brother of James Orr, who paid $1.25 an acre. When Mr. and Mrs. Orr settled on the farm a year or two later they lived in a small log house which was located near a spring, a short distance from where the large, modern farm home stands today. James Orr continued successfully in farming and stock-raising until 1898, when he and his wife moved to Postville. Mr. Orr was over 90 years old when he passed away and Mrs. Orr passed away in 1929. He was prominent in public life, having held the offices of township trustee and assessor. He and his wife were the parents of seven children.
Their second son, Darius Orr, rented the homestead in 1880 for ten years. His labors were successful and he purchased the place. He improved the property by erecting modern buildings, installing modern machinery, and working the soil. Mr. Orr gave considerable attention to stock raising, breeding Shorthorn cattle and Shire horses, as well as Poland China hogs.
On November 26, 1889, he was married to Miss Bertha Harris. They continue to reside on the farm. An account of their golden wedding anniversary celebration appears on another page of this issue. The operation of the 223 acre farm is now in the capable hands of John A. Palas. He has continued to improve the farm, constantly repairing and rebuilding, until today it is one of the most valuable properties in Allamakee county. Four years ago Mr. and Mrs. Palas decided to further modernize their home, going to considerable expense in having electricity wired a mile from Postville to the farm house. The comfortable home is composed of 12 rooms and in addition has numerous clothes closets and large halls.
The farm itself is typical of northeastern Iowa farms. In addition to a large barn, it has a new silo, machine sheds, hog and hen houses, garage, corn cribs, etc. All are in good repair. A total of 33 1/2 acres of corn was planted this year by Mr. Palas and he husked a record breaking amount of corn this fall. He estimates the yield at 100 bushels to the acre. After filling his silo he has approximately 3000 bushels of corn stored away in cribs. Other crops on the farm were good this year. He had six acres of soy beans and 31 acres of oats. Stock on the farm includes 60 head of young cattle, 115 pigs, 20 milking Shorthorn cows, five horses and about 100 Leghorn chickens.
Mr. and Mrs. Darius Orr occupied the farm several years before the Milwaukee railroad was constructed in 1863 across the road, on land just south of their house. They can recall many hardships of those early years and tell many interesting stories of pioneer days. They are the parents of four daughters, who all attended public school in Postville, walking the mile into town each day and returning by foot in the afternoon. The daughters were all here for the golden wedding anniversary observance. They are Mrs. Geo. L. Opper of Riverside, Ill., Miss Eve Orr of Dayton, Ohio, Esther Swenson and Mrs. John A. Palas at home.
~Postville Herald, November 30, 1939
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