Stephen Irwin

Darrtown, Ohio and Keokuk, Iowa

Stephen Irwin moved to Keokuk, Iowa and founded the Irwin-Phillips Company, a major clothing manufacturer.

John Nichol Irwin, son of Stephen, was involved in the company but became more involved in politics.

Wells Marshall Irwin, son of Stephen, remained in Keokuk and was heavily involved in the management of Irwin Phillips Company.

The Irwin Dry Goods Store was founded about 1856 by Stephen and his brother, Sylvester. It later developed into the Irwin Phillips Company. The company celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1931.

The Irwin Phillips Company building in Keokuk, Iowa.

Workers pose.

The Irwin Phillips Company sponsored a championship commercial league basketball team in 1915. I am interested in more information about this team. Click on the picture for a larger view and possible identities. Its a large scan, so be patient while it loads.

Big Dam Ad card.

The Irwin family plot in Keokuk's Oakland Cemetery features a large red marble stone surrounded by many small head stones.

Dru Bain is a collector of antique advertising, He purchased this sign at an antique auction. He offered to let me post this photo of this tin sign, that measures 10 x 14 inches..

A paper item from the Irwin Phillips Company .



To the right is my favorite ad for Big Dam Overalls.

Thanks to John McDermott for sharing photos of his ancestors:

left: Stephen Irwin


right: Stephen's wife: Elizabeth Nichol Irwin

Left: Young John Nichol Irwin (1843 - 1905)

Right: pre-wedding photo (ca.1870)of Mary Love Rankin and John Nichol Irwin. John had studied law under her father, John W. Rankin.

Left: John Nichol Irwin (1843 - 1905)

Right: Wedding photo (1872)of Mary Love and John Nichol Irwin


John also shared these photos of his great grandmother, Alice White Irwin, daughter of John N. and Mary Love Rankin Irwin and granddaughter of Stephen and Elizabeth.

left: Alice in 1873

right: Alice ca. 1899


Click here to read a letter written by Stephen to his grandaughter Alice in the early 1880's.

left: Alice ca. 1899

right: Alice (Mrs. Rolla Kendrick)

right: Alice on right, her mother, Mary Love Rankin Irwin on left with baby Mary Stephanie Kendrick. ca. 1902

Thanks to John McDermott for sharing these photos.

Mary Love Rankin 1860



1860 childhood photo of Mary Love Rankin - future wife of Gov. John N. Irwin



Standing is Mary Stephanie Kendrick McDermott. Seated is Mary Love Rankin Irwin (wife of Gov. John N. Irwin) holding great-grandson, John McDermott and beside daughter Alice Irwin Kendrick. John McDermott, the infant in this photo, is the father of John McDermott who shared these photos. ca. 1926.


Photo of John N. Irwin with Vice president Teddy Roosevelt. Click on the photo for a larger photo and an explanation.

Thanks to John McDermott for sharing these.

Left: John Nichol and Mary Love Irwin's second child and younger daughter, Elizabeth Stephanie Irwin Elder. Her sister Alice called her "Sister" and her descendants called her "Tia".

Above: Alice and Elizabeth with some New York boarding school friends (from left to right): Alice Irwin, Alicia Bradford, Marie Morse, Eliza Irwin, Amy DuPont (of the Delaware DuPonts).

Go back to the Darrtown Irwin Page.

If you have questions, email me.