John P. Irish
photo public domain via Wikimedia
John Powell Irish (January 1, 1843 – October 6, 1923) was the outspoken editor of the Oakland Times newspaper, and "an opponent of prejudice against Japanese, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, women's suffrage and labor unions." 1

John was born in 1843 to Frederick Macey Irish and Elizabeth Ann Robinson (Irish) in Iowa. In Iowa, he was editor of the Iowa State Press from 1864 to 1882, and he served as a representative in the state legislature three times from 1869-1872. 2 In 1875 he married Annie Fletcher (Irish), and in 1882 they moved to California.

In California, Irish became the editor of the Oakland Times. In 1885, he became editor of the Daily Alta California 3. John and Annie had two children, Francis Irish (Hus) and John Powell Irish, Jr. In 1913, they lived at 1904 Adeline St.

In 1894 he was appointed Naval Officer of Customs in San Francisco and was thereafter known as "Colonel." 1

He was friends with Joaquin Miller, and scattered Miller's ashes at the gathering in "The Hights". 6

Death and Burial

Irish died in 1923 from injuries from a fall while attempting to board a moving streetcar in Oakland, or possibly from being struck by a streetcar while crossing the street. 4Rev. Charles W. Wendte presided at his funeral. Honorary pallbearers included George C. Pardee, George Shima (known as the Japanese "potato king") and Ng Poon Chew, Chinese editor. 1 His remains were cremated at the California Crematory (now known as Chapel of the Chimes). 5

Links and References

  1. John P. Irish on Wikipedia
  2. John Powell Irish papers at Stanford
  3. About the Alta Daily Alta California October 20, 1885
  4. John P. Irish Seriously Hurt Oakland Tribune October 7, 1923
  5. John P. Irish Oakland Tribune October 9, 1923
  6. Ashes of Sierra Poet Rest on 'The Hights' Oakland Tribune May 26, 1913