Sunday, August 27, 2006

This Week in Texas Methodist History August 27

Ira Key Boasts of Empty Jail in Conroe Sept. 2, 1915

Ira Key was one of the outstanding young preachers of the Texas Conference in the early 20th century. He was born in 1886, graduated from Southwestern University, and joined the Texas Conference. His appointments to Harleton Circuit, Alvin, McKee Street in Houston, and Conroe all before he was thirty years old marked him as one of the rising stars of the conference.

While in Conroe Key threw himself into the political battle in which the "wets" attempted to overturn the results of a "dry" election two years earlier. Key wrote to the Texas Christian Advocate

Conroe has experienced a complete change of front morally in the past three years. Before the prohibition election this town was considered one of the worst in this section. . . It was actually dangerous for women to be on the street. Drunkenness and fighting were the commonest sight. For two years after the saloons were put out there was not more than half a dozen arrests for drunkenness. . . The jail for the first time in this history of this old county, was thrown open without a single prisoner.

Key continued to serve with distinction after Conroe. His other appointments included some of the leading churches of the state including Marvin in Tyler, Temple in Port Arthur, Polk Street in Amarillo, Cameron, and First Texarkana (Arkansas). He also served as delegate to the 1930 and 1934 General Conferences and was Presiding Elder of the Galveston and Marshall Districts. He died in 1943 while serving Bryan and was buried there.


Post a Comment

<< Home