The Oranges of Orangeville

In the late 1880s, locomotives in snowy regions of North America began making use of the newly invented rotary snowplow. One of the co-inventors of the rotary snowplow was Orange Jull (1845-1920) of Orangeville, Ontario.

Wait…Orange from Orangeville? There has to be a connection there, right?

Yup: Orange Jull was part of a large extended family that included multiple men named Orange. All were descendants of businessman Orange Lawrence (1786-1861), originally from Connecticut, who relocated in the 1840s to the spot that would later be called Orangeville in his honor. Here’s the story:

Orange Lawrence was just the type of settler this developing community needed – an entrepreneur! On his arrival he bought 300 acres. He laid out the southeast part of town, bought Grigg’s Mill, opened a general store and a tavern, and built a second mill. He also founded the first school in Orangeville, and it was he who became the village’s first postmaster in 1847. So strong was the mark he left on this community that everyone agreed Orangeville was a most appropriate name.

I’m not sure how Orange Lawrence came to be named “Orange,” but his name may have been inspired by the surname Orange, which could have originally referred to a location in France (such as Orange, Vaucluse).

Sources: History of Orangeville – Town of Orangeville

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