Ira is an unincorporated community in Scurry County, Texas, United States. It lies in the southwestern corner of the county at the junction of State Highway 350 and Farm to Market Road 1606, 10 miles southwest of Snyder, and has an estimated population of 250. Ira’s history began sometime in the early 1890s, when Ira Green established a general store in the area. Green’s store became a meeting point for the stagecoach and mail route, and a community began to spring up. A school opened in 1893, and Ira Green became postmaster when the community’s post office was activated three years later.
After reaching its peak in the early 20th century, Ira survived a period of economic downturn in Scurry County, and in 1980 was reportedly home to 485 residents. This had fallen by almost half by 1990, and in 2000, Ira reported about 250 residents.
Little history of beginning Ira:
Before Ira became Ira, it was a campground for Captain R B. Marcy’s Expedition. Marcy was charged with opening a wagon trail to California in 1849. One of Marcy’s Lieutenants was Montgomery Harrison, son of President Benjamin Harrison. Marcy’s camp was in a Chinaberry grove at a creek. A source from Big Spring told the Montgomery had been ordered to scout the area, but it was assumed he would take a group of men with him- Instead he went alone. His body was found the next day, stripped and scalped. The tracks and other indications pointed to Kiowa’s. The corpse was packed in lime and charcoal and was shipped back to Ft Smith, Arkansas.
In the early 1890’s a wagon driven by Ira Greene was traveling north from Colorado City, (then just Colorado), when the wagon broke down with a loose wheel. He had to unload the wagon of the supplies to make the repair. Supplies were very scarce at that time, so he had no trouble selling the supplies. He went back to Colorado City and filled his wagon with more supplies. He returned to Ira and again sold the supplies immediately. The area was being settled by some early pioneers, so Ira Greene decided to open a trading store at the crossroads. The store quickly became a gathering place for the people to gather and share news. At first the mail started coming from Colorado City and Ira Greene applied for a post office. Since there was already a Greenville in Texas they decided to name it Ira. Ira Greene was the first postmaster. The post office is still functioning.
There is no record of what happened to Ira Greene. Some think he left and a Mr. Tumer ran the store in 1901. There were some other stores opened &ring the early1900’s. Some of the early merchants were Horace Holly, Edgar Taylor, Albert Leach, Mr. CIeckler, J. M. Smallwood and W.M. Howard. There were two banks, a blacksmith, a barber shop, doctor’s office, md school during the early 1900s.
Farming and oil are the two major industry of the area. There are several oilrelated businesses in Ira. The population has changed over the years with the census showing about 250 people in Ira. I would say that there is closer to 500with the area included.
The first school in Ira was in a dugout just north of the where the gin sits today. It burned and was replaced with a one room school built on the old Stinson Place south of Ira and was called Center View. A curtain was used to divide the room when a second teacher was hired. The building was then moved to Old Egypt on the Colorado River.
lra is only 11 miles southwest of Snyder on Highway 350 and those who have been there for many years are very proud to call it home.