In reviewing the prominent members of the Tarrant county bar the name of Ira T. Valentine takes precedence of many of his professional brethren. Those who win prominence at the bar of America’s thriving cities, of which Fort Worth is one, must have a thorough understanding of its principles, a keen perception, logical reasoning and above all habits of painstaking, patient industry. All must begin on a common plane and rise to eminence by perseverance, or fall back into the ranks of mediocrity. In like manner with all others, Ira T. Valentine started out to win a name and place for himself, and his success has made him one of the leaders of the Fort Worth bar.
His birth occurred in Bedford, Tarrant county, a son of R. T. and Mary (Armstrong) Valentine. The father took up his residence in Tarrant county in 1867, and there he has ever since resided, a merchant by occupation, and for many years postmaster of Bedford. The son Ira received his early educational training in the public schools of his native city, later attending the Sam Houston Normal School at Huntsville, Texas, where he graduated in 1894 with high honors, being salutatorian of his class. While in school he had prepared himself especially for teaching, and after leaving the normal engaged actively in that profession for about eight years, about four years of the time being spent as principal of the high school at Dublin; also held the same position in one of the ward schools in Houston, was secretary of the State Teachers’ Association for one year and for the same length of time a member of the executive committee. Mr. Valentine was numbered among the prominent educators of the state, but wishing to enter the ranks of the legal profession he abandoned the work of the school room and prepared for his chosen calling in the law department of the University of Texas at Austin, where he took a two years’ course and graduated in 1902. He then returned to his home county and engaged in the practice of law at Fort Worth. He enjoys a large clientage, and has connected himself with much of the important litigation heard in the courts of the district in the past few years. He is a member of the law firm of Bowlin, Valentine & Curtis, with offices at 200 ½ Main street, Fort Worth, while his home is at North Fort Worth, and in April, 1904, he was elected city attorney of the latter place for the term of two years and in connection with his duties in that position maintains an office in the city hall in North Fort Worth.
Mr. Valentine was married near Birdville, Tarrant county, to Miss Pearl Bailey, the daughter of one of the old and prominent pioneer settlers of this county, and they have three daughters— Edna, Olene and Inez. Mr. Valentine is prominent in the Knights of Pythias fraternity, being a member and past chancellor of Lodge No. 330, of North Fort Worth, and has been a grand representative in the state organization. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, the Red Men and the Rathbone Sisters. Mrs. Valentine is the most excellent chief of the Rathbone Sisters of North Fort Worth, where Mr. Valentine also hold membership.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 160-161.