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John Nichol Irwin
Birth: Dec. 25, 1845
Butler County
Ohio, USA
Death: Dec. 11, 1905
Hot Springs
Garland County
Arkansas, USA

Idaho Territory Governor, Arizona Territory Governor, US Diplomat. John Nichol Irwin, son of Stephen and Elizabeth Nichol Irwin, was born Dec. 25, 1845 in Butler County, Ohio and died Dec. 11, 1905 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, of Bright's disease. In 1856 the family moved to Keokuk, Iowa, where his father established the Irwin-Phillips Company dry goods store. During the Civil War, John was a sergeant in Company C, 45th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Technically he was a "commissary" sergeant, earning him the affectionate nickname (by his future wife) of "Commie" (nothing to do with "Communist"). After the war John graduated from Dartmouth College (1867) and worked for a short time with the Keokuk law firm of Miller and Rankin. In Keokuk on June 6, 1871, John Nichol Irwin married Mary Love Rankin, daughter of John W. and Sara D. Rankin. His wife Mary was born in Keokuk on March 1, 1852 and died in Keokuk on April 18, 1936. John and Mary Rankin produced four children: Alice White, Elizabeth Stephanie, Stephen (who died at 4 years), and John Rankin (Jack). John carried on the Irwin-Philips dry goods business, but is especially remembered for his various political posts and for his efforts in getting the high-head electric-power dam built across the Mississippi River at the Keokuk rapids, creating a mile-wide lake above the dam. He was elected Mayor of Keokuk in 1876, 1877, 1878, and 1887-8. In 1883 John served as the Territorial Governor of Idaho and from 1891 to 1892 he served as Territorial Governor of Arizona. In 1899 he was appointed as the United States Minister to Portugal, serving from 1899 to 1900. It was said that John would not stay too long a time away from Keokuk at a political post because he so very much enjoyed the top-of-the-bluff view of the broad Mississippi from the back-side porch of his large rambling 633 Grand Avenue house (not to mention the management of the dry goods business needing attention). The Irwin's Grand Avenue house is listed today in the U. S. National Register of Historic Places. (bio by: John McDermott) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Stephen Irwin (1816 - 1894)
  Elizabeth Martha Nichol Irwin (1820 - 1892)
 
 Spouse:
  Mary Love Rankin Irwin (1852 - 1936)*
 
 Children:
  Alice White Irwin Kendrick (1872 - 1954)*
  Elizabeth Stephanie Irwin Elder (1875 - 1962)*
  Stephen Irwin (1878 - 1882)*
  John Rankin Irwin (1883 - 1959)*
 
 Siblings:
  Mary Crawford Irwin Sawyer (1842 - 1903)*
  John Nichol Irwin (1845 - 1905)
  Wells Marshall Irwin (1852 - 1918)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Oakland Cemetery
Keokuk
Lee County
Iowa, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: K
Record added: Aug 05, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6662051
John Nichol Irwin
Added by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.
 
John Nichol Irwin
Added by: Thomas Fisher
 
John Nichol Irwin
Added by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.
 
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- Arthur F. Meincke
 Added: Jun. 24, 2011
Thank you for serving.
- luvshistory
 Added: Dec. 22, 2010

- Åke Frisk
 Added: Dec. 22, 2010
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