T. A. IRVIN, sheriff and tax collector of Callahan county, making his home in the city of Baird, is a son of William R. Irvin, whose birth occurred in Coweta county, Georgia, on the 2d of January, 1853. He was sixteen years of age when he left his native state with his parents and came to Texas. His father was Russell Irvin, and his mother’s ancestry can be traced back to the coming of the Mayflower to this country. The family name cannot be ascertained, but it is definitely known that they were of Dutch stock, while the Irvins are of Scotch lineage. William R. Irvin settled in Cass county, Texas, where he lived from 1868 until 1882, in which year he arrived in Callahan county, making his home in the southeastern part near Cross Plains, where he engaged in farming. In his family were nine children, three sons and six daughters, all of whom are yet living.
Thomas Alvah Irvin, the eldest member of the father’s family, was reared upon the old home farm and was educated in the public schools. He devoted his attention to study in the winter months and in the summer seasons aided in the labors of the farm. His time was thus occupied until he was sixteen years of age, after which he became a student in College Hill Institute, at Springtown, Parker county, devoting two years to study there. He afterward began teaching school, which profession he followed for eight years, spending nearly the entire time in Callahan county. He was principal of the schools at Cross Plains for four years and at Cottonwood for two years and was regarded as a capable educator, having the ability ti impart clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he had acquired. During the periods of vacation he engaged in clerking in the grocery store of Norton & McGowen, at Baird, remaining with that firm for eight months. On putting aside the work of the school room he entered political life in the spring of 1900 as a candidate for the office of sheriff and tax collector, having six opponents for the nomination. However, at the primaries he received the highest vote and was duly elected in the following fall. So acceptably did he discharge his duties that in 1902 he was re-elected and once more, in 1904, so that he is now serving for the third term.
Mr. Irvin was married in 1894 to Miss Eva Aycock, a native of Coryell county, Texas, who died two years later, and in 1898 he wedded Miss Mamie C. Aycock, a sister of his former wife. Their family numbers one son and two daughters, namely, William Buel, Irma Lee and Freda Lurlene.
Mr. Irvin is a member of the Masonic fraternity and is also identified with the Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World in Baird. He was reared in the Methodist faith, although he is not a member of any church, and his wife holds membership with the Seventh Day Adventist church. Although a young man he has occupied a position of prominence and trust, and has been active in the public and business affairs of the county. At all times his fidelity to duty, genuine worth and unfaltering integrity have gained the esteem of his fellow men, and he enjoys the unqualified regard of those with whom business, social or political relations have brought him in contact.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, p. 446.