Orndorff Family of Moundville

This family was in Moundville very early and were featured in the 1887 History of Vernon County. We hope to learn more about them.

From History of Vernon County, Missouri. 1887, p. 802.


(Postmaster, Moundville).

The present popular postmaster of this place, Levi H. Orndorff, is comparatively a young man, but one of the most efficient officials that have been in the service of the postal department of the Government in this community. Some years ago he was engaged in mercantile pursuits here, and established an excellent reputation as a business man. In 1883 he removed to Fort Scott, Kan., and entered into the livery business, but in one year thereafter he returned to this county and in 1884 was again commissioned postmaster, having previously discharged the duties of that position while occupied in merchandising. His service under two administrations is no slight testimonial as to his ability. Mr. Orndorff came originally from Logan county, Ky., where he was born December 4, 1853. His parents, Ira and Nannie B. Orndorff, nee Grubbs, were also Kentuckians by birth, the father being a mechanic and farmer by occupation, and in their family were seven children, of whom Levi was the third son. He grew to manhood in his native State, on a farm, and in 1872 settled in this county, where he gave his attention to agricultural pursuits until embarking in the business, as stated. His subsequent career has been briefly noted. March 1, 1876, his marriage to Miss Allie Allis was consummated. She was born in Louisiana and was the daughter of S. A. and C. M. Allis. Mr. and Mrs. 0. have three sons: Bertie R., Seth B. and Levi H. Mr. Orndorff belongs to the Subordinate Lodge and Encampment of the I. 0. 0. F. and is also a member of the A. 0. U. W., of which he is receiver.

Allie Allis Orndorff, wife of L. H. Orndorff

Based on the 1880 census: Living near Moundville, was Leander H. Orndorff. He was 28 and had been born in Kentucky . His wife, Allie, was age 21 and had been born in Louisiana.. Their sons were Richard B., age 4, and Charles S., age 1, and had been born in Missouri. (note that the names vary slightly from the above - such is research.)

L. H. Orndorff was killed just a couple months after he was employed by a railroad in Arizona. He was trapped between two train cars. One source I have says that L. H. was killed in Maricopa, Arizona.

Clint Goodin shared these two photos and some information about the Orndorff family.

Clint would like to find a copy of the marriage record of Miss Allie Allis to Levi Orndorff.

Alzina "Allie" second marriage was to Charles Gifford De Groff in Tucson, Pima A.T. 20 Nov 1890

Seth Orndorff

Alzina Caroline "Allie" Allis Orndorff De Groff. Photo shared by Lannie Hartman

Lannie Hartman shared the photo of Allie Allis when she lived in Tucson, Arizona and had remarried Charles DeGroff.

She also share the photo to the right of the Orndorff Hotel in Tucson. Since L. H. probably died in Arizona that would explain how a Orndorff Hotel was opened there. Alzina could have been left some inheritance, and even after she remarried in 1890 to Charles DeGroff, she still named the hotels after L. H.

The Tucson Orndorff was not the only hotel that Allie owned. The largest and grandest Orndorff was in El Paso, although it was renamed the Cortez after Alzina’s death.


The paternal grandfather of our subject is Ira P. Orndorff, a native of Kentucky and yet living on his old plantation near Russellville, that state. The maternal grandfather of Richard B.Orndorff was S. A. Allis, a Louisiana planter who was killed in the Mexican war while acting as correspondent for the New Orleans "Picayune." The parents of our subject are L. H. and Alice (Allis) Orndorff, natives of Russellville,Ky., and Louisiana, respectively. In the BlueGrass state and in Missour,i L. H. Orndorff was a successful cattle raiser and dealer, and in 1887 he came to Tucson and entered the employ of the Southern Pacific as a conductor. Before he had been thus engaged two months he was accidentally killed, while signaling for the stopping of a train. His widow subsequently became the wife of Charles DeGroff, who was the postmaster of Tucson under the second administration of President Cleveland. She possesses exceptional business ability and not only placed the Tucson Orndorff Hotel on a good paying basis, running it for eight years, but also is making a success of the Hotel Orndorff, of El Paso, Tex., of which she is the proprietor.

Richard B. Orndorff doubtless inherited his mother's genius as manager of hotels, for he not only is doing finely now, but also contributed materially to her success when she was at the head of this enterprise. He was born in Nevada, Mo., on the last day of the Centennial year, and came to Tucson when he was ten years old. Here he pursued his studies in the public schools and was ready for admission to the University of Arizona in its first class. He continued there until his junior year, when he went to the National Military Preparatory Academy at Highland Falls, N. Y. After spending one year there he returned home and identified himself with the hotel business, for in 1890 his mother had opened the Orndorff on North Church street, and continued to conduct it until 1894, when she purchased the present hotel of the same name, and, having remodeled the building, it began its career as the largest and leading hotel in the city. In 1898 the present owner and manager of the Orndorff became its sole proprietor. Its location is central, at the corner of North Main and Pennington streets.

From 1893 to 1896, under the administration of Cleveland, Mr. Orndorff was assistant to Postmaster DeGroff, of this city, winning many friends and an extended acquaintanceship. He is a member of the lodge and club of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and at present is the esteemed loyal knight of the lodge. He also belongs to the Woodmen of the World and to the Order of Foresters. His marriage to Miss Cora Delano, a native of the state of Nevada, took place in this city, December 31, 1898. They have a daughter, Alzina DeGroff.

Contact us if you know more about this family or have any photo scans that we can add.

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This genealogy page was designed and is maintained by Lyndon Irwin