Mary Orr

The Ohio Connection

“It’s best to write of the things you know. I made Ohio pay off.”

– Mary Orr, Canton Repository, June 5, 1955

  • Mary Orr was born in Brooklyn, New York, but her family moved to Canton, Ohio, in 1926.
  • Her family lived at 1819 Market Ave. N in Canton, and her parents continued to reside there until their deaths.
  • Mary attended McKinley and Lehman high schools in Canton.
  • According to Mary Orr’s mother, Jessica Orr, Mary considered Ohio her home until she was married, in 1947.
  • “Wallflower,” which Orr co-wrote with her husband, Reginald Denham, was performed by the Canton Little Theater of Jewish Center in April, 1949. The play is set in Ironville, Ohio, a fictionalized version of Canton.
  • In reference to her play, “Be Your Age,” Mary Orr said: “I remember that in my mind I set it in Canton although I didn’t call the setting Canton. There’s a reference to the Brookside Country Club and the McKinley Hotel…”

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