b. 1827 – Kentucky
Prior to moving to Seguin in 1853 Ireland studied law and was a constable and sheriff. He was elected mayor of Seguin and was a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army. He served as a district judge in 1866–1867 before being removed from office. He was elected to the Texas House and the Texas Senate, where he opposed land grants and subsidies to railroads and served as an associate justice on the Texas Supreme Court from 1875–1876.
Ireland was elected governor in 1882 and again in 1884. He generally continued Roberts’ economic policy, but he reversed policies for the state’s purchase of its own bonds and the rapid sale of public lands. He worked to develop state institutions, including the University of Texas. The cornerstone of the Capitol was laid during Ireland’s term. It was Ireland who insisted that the building be constructed of Texas pink granite rather than imported Indiana limestone.