J.C. Irving, Businessman
December 10, 1850 – February 19, 1927
James Castner Irving was born in Metamora, IL to David and Esther Perry Irving. He was known affectionately as “Cass”.
On January 11, 1877 he was united in marriage with Mrs. Catherine Hirsch Kern. After 37 years of marriage, she died in 1914. Later that same year, he married Mrs. Edith Allen of Washington, IL. She survived him as well as one stepdaughter.
After receiving his primary education in the common schools of Metamora, he began his business career as a grocery store clerk. Following 2 years of college at Eureka College, he continued clerking until 1869 when he entered the office of the Woodford Sentinel. There he learned the printer’s trade and grew to the rank of foreman.
In 1880, he accepted the position of deputy circuit clerk and served for 8 years. He followed with 4 years as circuit clerk and 4 years as Master in Chancery.
He also served a number of terms as president of the village board and was ever a foremost citizen in community life and up building. He remained active in all public and local matters up to the time of his death.
J.C. Irving is accredited as father of the water works of Metamora. After the devastating fire of 1886, he was the original agitator and drew plans for the same, which gained approval of the villagers. Fairbanks, Morse & Co. was awarded the contract for $5980.
From the Metamora Herald dated February 25, 1927
Death came to Prominent and Esteemed Citizen of Metamora Saturday Morn
Gradually sinking from the time he was stricken with partial paralysis the morning of January 26th, death closed the eyes of J.C. Irving, beloved and life-long citizen of Metamora, in the final sleep at 2:30 last Saturday morning. He had been hovering on the brink of the great dividing line between life and death all day Friday and his life ebbed away as he slept.