Charles Noah Orr was born in Princeton, Minnesota, on June 7, 1877. After completing high school he entered Hamline University at St. Paul and then St. Paul College of Law. He established his practice in St. Paul and became the senior member of the firm of Orr, Stark and Redder, one of the leading law firms of the state. In 1906 he married Miss Ellen May Adams, and two daughters were born to them. Mrs. Orr died in 1938. Sir Knight Orr was a member of the Methodist Church and an active advocate of education and of the need of a spiritual renaissance.
He was elected to the Minnesota Legislature in 1911, and served two terms in the House of Representatives. In 1915 he was elected to the State Senate, and was reelected for four successive terms.
Orr passed away suddenly of a heart attack on January 10, 1949, while on his way to the State Senate in St. Paul, Minnesota. The funeral was held in the Masonic Temple on January 12th. The services were conducted by Damascus Commandery No. 1 of St. Paul, and brief religious services were carried out by Sir Knight Robert J. Rice, Superintendent of the Minnesota District of the Methodist Church. The funeral was attended by many of the Grand Encampment officers and members of the other Masonic bodies, as well as by representatives of the House, Senate and Supreme Court, and by members of the Bar Associations. Interment was in Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Sir Knight Orr was made a Master Mason in Midway Lodge No. 185 on March 1, 1904, and served as Worshipful Master in 1908 and 1909. He was Exalted in Palmyra Chapter No. 55 on April 11, 1905, and served as High Priest in 1910. He was Greeted a Royal and Select Master in St. Paul Council No. 1 on May 24, 1905.
He was very active in the Scottish Rite, and was Commander of St. Paul Council of Kadosh in 1930. In 1925 he was elected a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor and was coroneted a 33o Honorary Inspector General in 1929. He was a member of the Red Cross of Constantine, the Royal Order of Scotland and the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
Sir Knight Orr was Knighted in Damascus Commandery No. 1 on June 25, 1907, and served as Eminent Commander in 1920. He was elected Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Minnesota in 1928.
At the Conclave of the Grand Encampment held in Minnesota in 1931 he was appointed Grand Standard Bearer and in 1943 was elected Grand Master. At the Annual Assembly of the Sovereign Great Priory of Canada, the rare distinction of Honorary Past Supreme Grand Master of the Sovereign Priory was conferred upon him by that body.
Reference: From Dr. Francis J. Scully's...History of the Grand Encampment, Chapter XXIII, Biographies Of The Grand Masters, as published in the Knight Templar Magazine, January 1995 Edition, page 16, and the June 1995 Edition, page 16