Folks in Falcon are wondering why the sign on U.S. Highway 24 and Judge Orr Road disappeared. Here is a map from www.FlashEarth.com showing the intersection. You can see a car buzzing through the intersection on Judge Orr, right in the middle of U.S. 24. The sign was on the signal tower on the east side of the road. It blew down in a storm a year ago.
This larger map shows the region. The new Woodmen Hills neighborhood is just west and north of the intersection.
Judge Orr Road is an east-west road running through central and eastern El Paso County.
The New Falcon Herald published a story in September 2005 identifying the road’s namesake as Judge James A. Orr, who was born in Scotland in 1863 and came to the United States with his parents when he was 4 years old, growing up in the southeast Kansas town of Independence.
Orr graduated from the University of Kansas law school and moved in 1863 to Gillette, a gold rush town near Cripple Creek in Teller County. Gillette, now a ghost town, was famous for the bullfight it hosted a century ago.
Orr’s law partner, the Herald story reported, was Charles L. McKesson, who later became mayor of Colorado Springs.
The Herald story quoted a book, “Before the Bar, a History of the El Paso County Bar Association,” which included a biography of Orr. The book said Orr, as an attorney and judge, “handled many celebrated cases with a long record of public service.”
It also quoted Orr’s obituary in The Gazette from Jan. 3, 1928. According to the obituary, Orr and McKesson had moved their practice to Colorado Springs and Orr was elected a county court judge in 1902, serving until 1905.
Orr reportedly spoke at the dedication of the new county courthouse in 1903 and presided over the first case heard in the courthouse, known today as the Pioneers Museum. The case earned national attention, the story said, because the jury included a black man, William Seymour. A statue of Seymour stands on the museum grounds commemorating his status as the county’s first black juror.
Orr lived on Prospect Street where he once held court on his front porch. He was quaranteened because his children had chicken pox. Attorneys and witnesses stood in the street and shouted to be heard by the judge, the story said. At the time of his death on Jan. 2, 1928, he lived on Cascade Avenue. There is no proof he ever lived in the Falcon area, although historians have cited him as a landowner in the area. Some Falcon residents commonly referred to a house near the Meadow Lake Airport as “Judge Orr’s home.”