Ira James, wholesale dealer in coal oil, Mattoon; was born in Dearborn (now Ohio) Co., Ind., May 24, 1826; his father was a cotton and woolen manufacturer; at. the age of 17, he left home and engaged in boating on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers for a period of about ten years; he commanded during the time seven steamboats; his first boating was in the packet trade from Rising Sun to Cincinnati; afterward he entered the trade from New Orleans and Cincinnati; in 1853, he went to California and spent three years; engaged a portion of the time in milling and the remainder in mining; in 1856, he returned to Rising Sun, Ind.; he next made a tour through the Southern States of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, setting up machinery-cotton-screws, cotton-gins and steam machinery; in November, 1857, he located in Mattoon Tp., and engaged in farming three years; in 1860, he moved to Mattoon, and, in 1861, was chosen Police Magistrate and served one year; he next engaged in buying and shipping hay, and, in 1865, began dealing in grain; in 1873, he retired from the grain trade and went to Southern Colorado, where he discovered the mines and laid out the town of Rosita; here he spent most of two years; in 1875, he returned to Mattoon, and, in connection with J. D. Herkimer, purchased the gas works, which he has since operated. He was married in 1859 to Cynthia A. Hendricks, a native of Illinois; she died Feb. 15, 1872; his second marriage to Jennie II. Crow, a native of Ohio, was celebrated Aug. 18, 1875; from first wedlock he has three sons-John Q., Frank P., Justin C.; from second, two children – Harline and an infant daughter. Owns two-thirds of the gas works and 240 acres in Coles Co:; he does a large business in the wholesale oil trade. and is President of the Mattoon Gas-Light & Coke Co.
Biography of Ira James
MLA Source Citation:Chapman Brothers Portrait and biographical album of Coles County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 26 January 2015. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/illinois/biography-of-ira-james.htm - Last updated on Oct 19th, 2011
Contribute to the Conversation!
Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.
You must be logged in to post a comment.