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Delaware County, Iowa

 Biography Directory


James Ireland


Delaware Township




      JAMES IRELAND, a prosperous farmer of Delaware county, Iowa, was born in Cumberland, England, May 23, 1837, and is a son of John and Mary (Bainbridge) Ireland, both natives of the same place. The family emigrated to America about 1845, and settled in Chautauqua county, N.Y. where Mrs. Ireland died about 1883, at nearly seventy years of age. After her death Mr. Ireland went to Norfolk, Va., and lived with his daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Gillard, until his death, which occurred August, 1884, at the age of eighty years. He was a weaver in England, but in America became a farmer, also became a man of easy circumstances, and died possessed of a good farm.  He was a member of the Church of England and died in that faith.

      He was the only child born to his parents. James Ireland's parents had born to them twelve children, named as follows: Hannah, the wife of John Kenney, of Meadville, Pa.; Ann, the wife of John Little, a farmer in Chautauqua county, N. Y.; John, who was killed in the army at Brownsville, Miss., in Company B, Fourth Iowa cavalry, in which he was a private; Mabel, the wife of Adam Haas, a tanner of northeast Pennsylvania; Frances, the wife of Charles Homewood, a farmer in Chautuaqua county, N. Y.; James, whose name heads this sketch; Margaret, the wife of Augustus Gifford, a farmer and blacksmith in Chautauqua county, N.Y.; Mary, deceased, wife of William Whitney, a farmer in Chautauqua county, N. Y.; Ellen, the wife of William Farnsworth, a farmer in Chautauqua county, N. Y.; Elizabeth, the wife of William Gillard, a farmer in Virginia; Thomas, a farmer in Chautuaqua county, N. Y., and an infant son.

     James Ireland was raised in England and Chautauqua county, N. Y., on a farm and received a common school education. He remained with his father until nineteen years of age and then started out in the world to do for himself. He then came to Delaware county, Iowa, in March, 1857, and hired out by the month to do farm work, afterwards renting land which he farmed until August, 1861, when he joined the army as a private, enlisting in Company I, Second Iowa cavalry. He served in Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama with the Tennessee Second brigade under Sherman and Grant. He participated in the battles of Farmington and Corinth, Iuka and Rienza, and many other skirmishes, and was on the field most of the time. He served three years and two months and was never off duty but one day; was never wounded, but had his hat rim cut off by a rifle shot.


     When he was discharged he returned to Delaware county, Iowa, and again began farming on rented land, and afterwards bought thirty acres of timber land in Delhi township. This he sold, and bought forty acres of raw prairie land in Milo township, and in 1870 bought eighty acres where he now lives, in section 3, of Hazel Green township. He has since bought eighty-five acres more, and now owns a total of one hundred and sixty-five acres. He has done all the improving on his farm, as it was nothing but raw prairie when he settled on it. He came to Iowa a poor man, and all he has he has made by his own exertions. Dairying, farming and stock-raising have occupied his attention, and he milks from fifteen to twenty cows, but now rents his farm and has retired from active farm work. He built his barn in 1878 with a view to acquiring other funds, which enabled him to erect his beautiful dwelling in 1880, and both are models of  rustic architecture. He has been one of the township trustees for seven years and is at present, and has held the office of school director and road supervisor for several years. He received the appointment of census enumerator in 1889, the duties of which position he filled faithfully. He was never in court, was never sued and never sued another. A man of unquestioned veracity, he stands high in his community socially, and, as a republican, has met with its approval in his fulfillment of the duties of the office to which it has elected him. G.A.R. Post, No. 190, at Manchester, claims him as one of its most efficient members.

      December 19,1858, Mr. Ireland married Miss Adelaide Crosier, of Delhi township, Delaware county, Iowa, a daughter of Horace C. and Sybil Pitcher Crosier, natives of Massachusetts and New York, and early settlers in Delaware county, Iowa, where Adelaide was born April 15, 1841.


      To Mr. Ireland and lady have been born two children, viz.: Horace M., a farmer in Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, and married to Miss Jennie Walkup, of Hazel Green township, Delaware county, Iowa, and. Annie L., the wife of Nathan M. Rowley, a farmer in Coggon, Linn county, Iowa.


~ source: Biographical souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan, Iowa; Chicago : F. A. Battey, 1890. Page 620; LDS microfilm #985424

~ contributed by Thom Carlson