Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Eldrean Orff (1860-1938)

Portrait from the Kennabec Dailey Journal, January 6, 1909.

   The Maine state legislature in the early 20th century has proven to be a veritable treasure trove of oddly named political figures. Amongst these unusual names is Eldrean Orff, a longtime Cushing, Maine resident who, in addition to holding several political offices at the local level, served two terms in the state house of representatives from Knox County.
   Possessing a name that sounds as if it belongs to a character on Lost In Space or Star Trek, Eldrean Orff was born in Cushing on December 1860, being the son of Payne and Eliza Burton Orff. Prominent in Cushing politics, Payne Orff (1818-1898) served as a town selectman for many years and was also a representative in the Maine legislature in the session of 1878-79.  
   A student in the common schools of Cushing, Eldrean Orff was a farmer and married Harriett "Hattie" Robinson (1867-1942). The couple later became the parents of six children, Willis, Hattie, Lilian, Audrey, Albert and Ralph. Following in his father's stead, Eldrean also served in several political offices in Cushing, including town selectman, assessor and constable. In 1908 Orff won election to the Maine House of Representatives and during the 1907-09 session sat on the committees on County Estimates, Elections and Indian Affairs.

From the Kennebec Daily Journal.

    At the conclusion of his legislative term Orff returned to Cushing, serving once again as selectman and in 1916 took charge of overseeing reconstruction work done to Cushing's "Back road". Orff won a second term in the Maine state house in 1918 and during the 1919-21 session was a member of the Salaries and Fees committee. Little information could be located on the remainder of Orff's life, excepting notice of his death in Cushing on December 29, 1938 at age 78. He was survived by his wife Hattie and was later interred at the Orff family cemetery in Cushing.

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