Ira Ingram

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

Matagorda Cemetery Road
SH 60 & S Gulf Road

2842'1.66"N      9557'16.82"W


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

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.

Matagorda Bulletin, September 27, 1837


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



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Oct. 22, 2011
Oct. 22, 2011