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INGRAM, IRA (1788–1837). Ira Ingram, soldier, legislator, and member of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, was born in Brookfield, Vermont, on August 19, 1788, the son of Phillip and Rachael (Burton) Ingram. After sojourning for a time in Tennessee he seems to have moved to New Orleans, where he married Emily B. Holt of Tennessee on March 13, 1823; she died in October 1824. They had one daughter. At the instigation of his brother Seth Ingram, Ira moved to Texas in January 1826 and settled in the Austin colony in the area that became Waller County. In 1828 he and his brother were partners in a merchandising establishment in San Felipe de Austin. Although defeated by Thomas M. Duke in the election for alcalde in 1832, Ingram represented the Mina District at the Convention of 1832 and San Felipe in the Convention of 1833. He also served as secretary of the local committee of public safety, organized to resist Mexican Centralist authority. In 1834 he was elected the first alcalde of Matagorda and wrote the Goliad Declaration of Independence, signed on December 22, 1835. During the Texas Revolution Ingram participated in the capture of Goliad as commissary and secretary to commandant Philip Dimmitt. In November 1835 he requested a transfer from Stephen F. Austin. He served in Capt. Thomas Stewart's company of Matagorda Volunteers in 1836. On April 5, 1836, Gen. Sam Houston ordered Ingram, then commissioned as a major, to return to East Texas and the United States to recruit volunteers for the Texas army. Ingram was Matagorda representative in the First Congress of the Republic of Texas and was elected speaker of the House. He resigned from the legislature on May 1, 1837, possibly because of the disclosure that he had once been convicted of forgery and imprisoned in New York. He was again elected mayor of Matagorda, but died on September 22, 1837, before his inauguration. Ingram was present at the first meeting of the Masonic fraternity in Texas on January 11, 1828. In his will he left $70,000 to the Matagorda schools.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Samuel Erson Asbury Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Compiled Index to Elected and Appointed Officials of the Republic of Texas, 1835–1846 (Austin: State Archives, Texas State Library, 1981). Joseph W. Hale, "Masonry in the Early Days of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 49 (January 1946). Ira Ingram Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).
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