Dorr’s Family

Dorr’s great grandfather, Louis d’Orr, and great grandmother, Frances Benal, were both born in France. Louis had a college education from the University of Paris and was a court gentleman, but he left France to avoid serving five years in the King’s army. Frances was from a poor family and came to America to find work. Louis and Frances met on the boat coming to America around 1845 and fell in love. They were married upon arriving in Mobile, Alabama. They lived in New Orleans for awhile where Louis peddled until he got a stake and moved to Mississippi. He never liked America and was thoroughly miserable all his life, homesick and poor. He always wanted to move on or go home. He never learned farming and hated labor. His brother Victor sent him money to help. He received flower and tree seeds from France and laid out beds at the log house to look like the castle gardens in moons, crescents and stars.

narcissusdorr.jpg.jpg (147439 bytes)Louis had twelve children, one being Dorr’s grandfather, Narcissus Lewis, who married an Englishwoman, Sara Jane Wilkins of Virginia.  They   had nine children, one of whom was Albert Ernest who was Dorr’s father. Albert was born in Sardis, Mississippi on February 17, 1879. After Sara Jane died he married Lucinda Jackson of Sardis.

Laura Estelle Boswell Dorr’s family has been traced backed to Edward Boswell in1782 in Prince William County, Virginia. This would be Dorr’s great-great-great grandfather. Edward was a tobacco farmer as were all his sons. When the land gave out in Virginia he moved to North Carolina around 1798. His son Thomas was born in Virginia and moved to North Carolina with his father. In 1809 he bought 100 acres from his father. Thomas was in Henderson County, Kentucky for a short time with his brother, and then moved to Henderson County in western Tennessee in 1820 and died in 1822.

Thomas Leachman was born in North Carolina and moved to Tennessee with his father. He was a very respected Methodist minister for sixty-five years. Thomas Leachman’s son was Thomas Jones who was a brick mason, but he also raised peanuts, corn, cotton and watermelons as well as hogs, cows and chickens. On his home property he had a corn mill, smokehouse, barn and water well. He left most of the farming to the tenants and concentrated on his chimney building.

EstelleBoswell.jpg (51618 bytes)Mother Dorr, Laura Estelle, was born in 1882 in Macon, Tennessee; she was the oldest daughter of ten children. In 1986 a hardbound bookAlbertEarnestDorr.jpg.gif (51282 bytes) was published on the Boswell family and has much more information on the family. Mother Dorr met Ernest while on a visit to her Aunt Lucy Trotter in Mississippi. She and her sister Lettie were married in a double ceremony in 1907. They moved to McAlester, Oklahoma where Albert Ernest owned a barbershop. Dorr had a brother ten years older than he, Ernest B., and a sister six years older, Dorothy. Six months before Dorr was born his father was killed in an automobile accident and Mrs. Dorr returned to Macon, Tennessee for his birth. Three months after Dorr was born, she moved back to McAlester and bought a nineteen-room house where she took in boarders.mcalesterhouse.jpg (67229 bytes) The house was across the street from the fire station and Dorr became their mascot. When Dorr was only a few years old he fell out of a second story window and landed on his head on the sidewalk. It was a miracle that he lived, but he had a permanent scar on his forehead. He worked as a soda jerk during high school and also in college. He graduated from McAlester High School in 1936 and he and Mrs. Dorr moved to Stillwater where she again ran a boarding house. This enabled Dorr to go to college.

One of Mother Dorr’s sisters, Annie, also lived in McAlester where her husband had a candy business. Dorr’s older brother B. had three children, Albert, Sandra and Kay. His sister Dorothy also had three - Rae Donna, Winston and Leon. Rae Donna lived with us on NE 27th during her senior year in high school so she could attend school in the city.

DadBDorothy.JPG (14337 bytes)

B., Dorothy, and Dorr on 1987?

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