Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
SILAS IRELAND was born in Concord township, Ross Co., Ohio, Nov. 10, 1818, and was the eldest of twelve children.
His father, Stephen Ireland, was a native of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and of Scottish descent; his mother,
Elizabeth (Carmean) Ireland, a native of the same place, was of German descent. They removed to Ross County about
the year 1808.
Silas' father being poor and he the oldest son, lie had to assist in the support bf the family, working on his
father's farm. When about sixteen years of age he commenced studying mathematics and surveying, devoting all of
his leisure time to it, and we may say is a self educated man, having had very little opportunity for schooling.
In October, 1839, he emigrated to Michigan, having but seven dollars in money upon his arrival. He worked at whatever
came to his hand, doing some jobs of surveying. May 3, 1842, he married Miss Matilda Michael, a native of Greene
Co., Ohio, but at the time of her marriage living within three miles of their present home.
Mr. Ireland, in June of that year, bought eighty acres five miles east of Berricn Springs, upon which they settled,
first living in a log cabin. This was the site of their present home. They have resided on this place ever since,
except two years and a half, in Dowagiac, Cass Co., where they moved, to educate their children, returning the
day after Abraham Lincoln's. first election. Mr. Ireland's family consists of the following children: Elam N.,
born July 5, 1843; Alpheus F., March 3, 1846; Almeda M. Nov. 28, 1847, died Jan. 5, 1865; Carey H., May 6, 1849,
died Oct. 19, 187T; Martha Alice, May 14, 1851; Charley A., Nov. 28, 1853; Mary E., Nov. 21, 1855; Frank S. A.,
Oct. 4, 1857; Milo S., Dec. 11, 1860; Hattie B., Aug. 3, 1863; Roscoe W., Sept. 28, 1866; George R., July 2, 1868.
Mr. Ireland has held every township office except treasurer. He has been superintendent of the county poor twelve
years; was supervisor five years. He acted as one of the committee to draft and make specifications for county
jail, sheriff's dwelling, and county poor house, which he built in 1869. Has been engaged as guardian for minors
and others and settling estates of deceased persons for the past thirty years; was elected representative to the
State Legislature from the first district, Berrien Co., in November, 1876, receiving as the Republican candidate
sixteen hundred and ten votes to his Democratic opponent's thirteen hundred and ninety four. He has continually
held some office since the age of twenty two. Has been deputy surveyor of Cass and Berrien Counties. Was a Democrat
till the opening of the Kansas and compromise troubles, when he joined the Republican party; was a firm supporter
of the Union during the war. At present he owns some seven hundred acres of land and a fiouring mill at Silver
Creek, Cass Co.; he is a director of the First National Bank of Niles, and vice president and director of the First
National Bank of Dowagiac.
History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.