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
Death and Burial
Irish died in 1923 from a fall while attempting to board a moving streetcar in Oakland. Rev. 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