Ira Ingram
 


first speaker of the
texas house of representative
ira ingram
(1788 - 1837)

Matagorda Cemetery Road
SH 60 & S Gulf Road

28°42'1.66"N      95°57'16.82"W
 


 
IRA INGRAM
 
FIRST ALCALDE OF MATAGORDA MUNICIPALITY, 1834. MEMBER OF THE CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC AND FIRST SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 1836. PIONEER PATRON OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS. BORN IN VERMONT AUGUST 18, 1788. DIED SEPTEMBER 22, 1837.

ERECTED BY THE STATE OF TEXAS 1936
 
Inscription typed by Faye Cunningham


Ira Ingram
 

Ira Ingram, son of Phillip and Rachel (Burton) Ingram, was born August 18, 1788, in Brookfield, Vermont. A veteran of the War of 1812, he had been severely wounded by a bayonet at the Battle of Lundy's Lane and suffered its effects the rest of his life. He married Emily Polish Hoit in New Orleans, and they had one child, Mary Elizabeth. Both died in 1824

In August, 1826, Ira Ingram came to Texas to be near his brother, Seth, who had secured for him title to a labor of land and a building lot in present Waller County, thereby making Ingram one of Austin's "Old Three Hundred" colonists. His letter of introduction to Austin was written by Governor H. Johnson of Louisiana on February 15, 1825.

The brothers, Ira and Seth Ingram, became merchants at San Felipe in 1828, and this endeavor lasted about two years. Ira was a Mason and attended the first Masonic meeting held in Texas at San Felipe on January 11, 1828. Ira was the first chairman of the Committee and Safety and Vigilance, which was organized to oppose the Mexicans; he authored the first Declaration of Independence; and joined Captain George M. Collinsworth's company of the army, October 2, 1835, and participated in the capture of Colonel Francisco Sandoval and the taking of Goliad.

Ira Ingram served in three of the legislative assemblies: in the Convention of 1832 as a delegate from Mina (Bastrop), in the Convention of 1833 as a delegate from San Felipe de Austin (Austin County), and in the First Congress as Representative from Matagorda County. In this last body, Ingram served as Speaker of the House until his resignation, just prior to the convening of the second session, May 1, 1827. He was the first alcalde of Matagorda in 1834.

Ingram was mayor-elect of Matagorda at the time of his death on September 22, 1837. His grave in Matagorda Cemetery next to his brother, Seth, is marked by a 1936 Texas Centennial Historical Marker. His will revealed that he had left a considerable inheritance to his sister-in-law, Susannah (Rice) Ingram, wife of his brother, Seth. He planned to leave $75,000 to the inhabitants of Matagorda County to establish a school fund. One of Texas' early pioneers, he was a principle founder of Matagorda, a soldier, a patriot, statesman and philanthropist.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume I, pages 72-73
 


DIED,
On Friday last, IRA INGRAM, Esq., aged 49 years.

At a Meeting of the Board of Aldermen of the Town of Matagorda--Present Harvey Kendrick, President pro tem., Messrs. Clements, Elam, McCamly, Brigham, McLellan, Mitchell, and Jack--on 26th September, 1837--called for the purpose of taking into consideration the measures proper to be adopted upon the occasion of the decease of the Hon. IRA INGRAM, Mayor Elect of said Town--the following Resolutions were unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That in the estimation of the Board of Aldermen, the death of the Hon. Ira Ingram, Mayor Elect of this Town, is a public misfortune, and will for an epoch in the history of the place which can never be forgotten.

Resolved, That for the beneficent donations, estimated at 70,000 dollars or more, made by the deceased in his last will, to the present and future inhabitants of the Town, for the support of Schools and Seminaries of Learning therein, the said inhabitants owe to the deceased an everlasting debt of gratitude.

Resolved, That the devoted and patriotic services of the deceased to the Republic of Texas, since the commencement of the Revolution, are such as merit the highest approbation of the whole people, and that his death ought to be regarded as a national loss.

Resolved, That as a very humble and inefficient evidence of the grief which this melancholy event has caused to the Board of Aldermen, as individuals, they wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.

Resolved, That these proceedings be signed by the President pro tem, and Secretary, and that copies be sent to the Matagorda Bulletin, and the Telegraph and Texas Register, for publication.

                                                                              HARVEY KENDRICK, President pro tem.
JAMES NORTON, Secretary

Matagorda Bulletin, September 27, 1837
 


IRA INGRAM,

Esq. Mayor Elect of the Town of Matagorda whose demise is noticed in another column, removed to Texas in the early part of the spring of 1825, and attached himself to Austin's Colony. In the management of the archives of the political authorities of the country, the colonists received frequent and important advantages from his legal attainments, as well as general business capacity; he being ever ready to serve the public in the most inferior stations, without reward, and never claiming or wishing distinction,--indeed, we are told by one not counted to be in life his friend, that the greatest services by him rendered to his adopted country , were secretly performed, and that he preferred another to have the credit, if there was any attached, to making himself conspicuous--though from over-persuasion he has been induced, on one or two occasions, to yield his to the wishes of friends, and has served his country, in obedience to their call, at the expense of personal feeling. Mr. Ingram was first to raise the one-star'd banner--author of the first Declaration of Independence--first, and with one exception, the only man from Matagorda, who obeyed the call of the Brazorians, in June 1832, to attack Ugartecha at Velasco; which place, however, he unfortunately reached a few hours too late. He never took a conspicuous part in political affairs, but at the commencement of the present war, was among the chief promoters of resistance to Mexican oppression, and foremost in persuading his fellow-citizens to oppose the threatened invasion of the enemy's army, under General Cos, in 1835. He was made the first Chairman of the "Committee of Safety," in Matagorda (the first organic authority to oppose the Mexicans,)--was one of the Spartan band who, in October 1835, under Major Collinsworth, captured Col Sandoval, by forcing the gates of Fort Goliad, which was the first open and avowed attack at the authority of the Mexican nation; previous skirmishes being nothing more than internal commotions, having for their end the aggrandizement of advancement of some party of chief. Since this time, the deceased has remained in the service of his country, declaring as he has often done in our hearing, that with it--her independence--he would sink or swim. Mr. Ingram had his enemies,--and who among us has not;--there are those who differed with him on matters of policy--and some there were, who, not being on terms of intimacy, deemed his manner sometimes abrupt, and on this account took exceptions to him as an acquaintance; but with all his excentricities, and faults, from which sins none are exempt, it may truly be said, Matagorda has lost one of her principal founders--an exemplary and good citizen,--Texas one of her first pioneers, a soldier, patriot, and statesman--and mankind a philanthropist. He was eminently, though secretly, the friend of the widow and orphan--none ever came to him in distress, no matter in what condition of life, but received tokens of generous, open-hearted, and generous feeling.

The Will of the deceased was opened and read in open Court yesterday--from which we learn, that besides Cash and Lands to a very considerable amount, bequeathed to his only relatives in the States--and an independence to the wife of his brother--he has left a School Fund to the present and future inhabitants of Matagorda, estimated at SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!

Matagorda Bulletin, September 27, 1837
 



 


Will of Ira Ingram
Matagorda County Will Book A, Pages 2 - 6

In the name of God.—Amen!

About to depart for the army of my country as a volunteer soldier in its service & having been informed by letter from my Brother Seth Ingram, of the doubtful fate of my Papers sent a few days before the Mexican Army crossed the Colorado, to the care of Walter C. White and Josiah H. Bell Esqrs. Columbia, for safekeeping among which papers with my will, written, dated, & signed with my own hand; therefore, being desirous of preventing if possible, all altercation, or litigation and indeed of removing as far as on me depends, any probable or possible cause of dissatisfaction, in Relation to my succession, I, Ira Ingram, of the town, & one of the proprietors of the Town of Matagorda, Department of Brazos Texas recently declared Free sovereign, & Independent, hereby make & declare this instrument of writing my last will and Testament.

I was born, according to a copy of my Father's family Record furnished me by him, on the 19th day of August 1788, in the Town of Brookfield, County of Orange, and state of Vermont, “United States of America.”—

I have no Heirs in the direct ascending Line.--  I have none in the descending—my Father Philip Ingram & my Mother Raechel Burton Ingram, are both dead.-- My child Mary Elizabeth, & her mother, Emily Polish Hort, are also both dead.-- My ever beloved, ever affectionate & faithful Brother Seth Ingram, who is also a Citizen, & one of the proprietors of the Town of Matagorda, first aforesaid, is my only Heir by blood in the first degree of the Collateral line. To my aforesaid Brother, Seth Ingram, I will all my private Papers, Notes, and Bonds, Reights, reversions, dues & demands, of every kind, character & description. I will also unto my said Brother, Six hundred & forty acres of land out of my League No. 12. adjoining the Town League of Matagorda, Eastwardly and fronting the N W Shore of Matagorda Bay-- said six hundred and forty acres, English or American measurement, to include the situation within said League commonly called by me & generally known as Battle Island, & to be bounded Eastwardly by the Bayou, called little Boggy.—West, by the East boundary of the Matagorda League, South, by the Bay of Matagorda & North, by an East & West Line, at such distance from the North Shore of the Bay, as to include the said Six hundred & forty acres.

And I furthermore Will unto my Brother aforesaid, Seth Ingram, One fourth part of all my Interest in the Town, and Twon League of Matagorda—One fourth part of my League of Land No. 12. fronting on the Bernard River S. W. side & including two fronts on Caney Bayou, & I will unto him also, my undivided half of the Thousand acres out of his League No 9 fronting the said Bernard, purchased of him many years ago,--said Thousand acres includes the improvement made by him & myself jointly on the S. W. bank of said River in 1826. 7 & 8  I will all the foregoing Property, real, personal and incorporated unto my said Brother & the Heirs of his Estate in the direct descending line of the first degree, & their Heirs forever.—

I will unto my Cousin Mrs. Mercy B. West of the Town of Thetford , Orange County, & State of Vermont, aforesaid, & unto her heirs forever,--one half of all that portion of my league of Land No. 12, lying west & S. W. of Little Boggy, not included in my legacy to my Brother,--and I will unto her, & her Heirs, the one Half also of all that portion of my said League of Land, lying East & N. E. of said Bayou called little Boggy.

And I will unto my Cousin aforesaid, one fourth part of all my interest in the Shell bank coast and interior tracts including, one fourth part of my interest in the Out lots of the Town & Town League of Matagorda as known, partitioned, designated & marked on the General Statement of the proprietors of said Town of Matagorda & as noted on the plat of said property, made by their surveyor, one of the owners, my aforesaid Brother, Seth Ingram.

I will unto my Cousin, Miss Jane W.  Ingram, Daughter of my Uncle Roswell Ingram at present of Bloomfield, Oakland County, Michigan Territory, the one fourth part of all my interest in the inn Lots of the Town of Matagorda & to her Heirs forever.

And I will unto the present & future Inhabitants of the Town of Matagorda, for the support of schools & seminaries of learning, for the education of the children & youth of all persons (those of the Poor to have the preference & the first provided for), all my real estate not intended to be included in the above or foregoing legacies to wit—all my interest in the above mentioned League of Land No 12, on the Bernard River, not herein willed to my Brother aforesaid, & not heretofore sold but not yet conveyed, to William H. Wharton, as per my Bond, made & filed in the proper office in Brazoria, 8th of October 1834, all my interest in the league of land on the E. side of the Brazos, originally granted to John McFarland & purchased by me of H. H. League, as per deed on file in the proper Office in the municipality of Columbia.—One Labor in the Brazos bottom, opposite San Felipe,-- One out-lot & all my Interest in the in-lots of this Town, -- all my interest, (to wit one half) in the in-lots of The Town of Matagorda & in said Town League, including one five hundred acre tract, the half of one other five hundred acre tract & one half of any Interest in the Shell-bank coast, & interior tracts—and One half of my Interest in the Out lots of the aforesaid Town of Matagorda & all that portion of my aforesaid League of Land No 12. adjoining the Matagorda League, not herein before willed to my Brother S. Ingram & to my first named Cousin Mrs. West.—

This legacy, to the present & future in habitants of the Town of Matagorda, made for the promotion of Education, is made on condition of its being managed free of charge, by commissioners in number, from three to five, to be elected on the fourth day of July, annually, under the superintendence of a committee of Election, to be previous chosen for this express purpose, by the Citizens of said Town—No citizen shall be eligible to serve on said board of Commissioners, more than one year in three.—and the new board shall have power to call their predecessors, mediate or immediate, to account for their honest management of said legacy.

Any material neglect to comply, with the above conditions shall render the legacy thereto appended null—and it shall go to my heir, Seth Ingram.

Written and signed with my own hand this 4th day of July 1836 & in the Town of Matagorda.

Ira Ingram

(Codicil to the foregoing will.)

Co dicil to my will, written, signed, endorsed with my own hand, & dated in July 1836 in the Town of Matagorda. Since the date of that instrument I have sold my Interest as proprietor, in the Town of Matagorda, & since then too, an event has taken place in the family of my Brother, (to wit) a voluntary separation between himself & wife, which from the utter failure of my long reiterated, and best intended effort to prevent, I have much reason to fear will be as lasting as life either of which seems to require, & both in conjunction obviously demand a corresponding modification of my wishes. In July ’36 my property was entirely in land:--now it is in land & Notes.—Of the latter the payment of which is secured by mortgage. I have a little upwards of Forty Thousand Dollars.—These Notes, or nearly the whole of them were received for Town property, in the Town of Matagorda:--this property is disposed of in my aforesaid Will, but as it is now sold, it is my duty, as well as my right,, to make amongst my legatees, such as apportionment of the assets or Proceeds, where realized, as I was to have made & carried into effect after my demise.

To my Cousin Mrs. Mercy B. West, named in my said will, I give in lieu of the Town Property therein mentioned, of the proceeds of the notes of S. Mussena when paid, Ten Thousand dollars.

To my Cousin Jane W. Ingram, another legatee named in my said Will, I give of the same fund & payable in the same manner in lieu of the Town property given to her therein, the sum of Five thousand dollars.—

To the Inhabitants of the Town of Matagorda, for the purpose of educating the children of the poor, as stated in my will aforesaid, I give the sum of Fifteen thousand Dollars, payable as aforesaid, & out of the same fund.

And as my Brother has refused to make any provision for the support of his wife, thereby leaving her destitute & dependent on the hospitality of a censorious world, -- I hereby revoke the Legacy in my aforesaid Will to him, & transfer the same to his wife Susannah Rice.—I give also unto her the said Susannah, the unappropriated residue, or balance, including the Interest on the whole of what will be due my Estate from S. Mussena, this will amount to nearly Fourteen thousand Dollars,-- I will & bequeath to her also, all the Matagorda Town Property, rights or Reversions of, or to Town Property, in said Town of which I may die possessed.

As there will in all probability be more realized from the payment of my other Notes, than I shall probably owe at my demise, I have only to add, that, after the payment of my just Debts, and funeral expences, out of my ready Cash, & the proceeds of my notes, other than those of Mussena. I will and bequeath the residue to my last named Legatee Susannah Rice.

Ira Ingram

Matagorda September 15, 1837

Recorded 21st Nov 1837         Thos. Harvey, Clerk pro Tem.

 

 

Copyright 2011 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Created
Oct. 22, 2011
Updated
Apr. 19, 2014
   

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