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George Richardson Irvine
9th Generation Richardson and Upham - 4th Generation Irvine
GEORGE, Born in St. Louis, Mo., 28th Oct., 1904, the 4th child of Louis Clarke Irvine and Julia Richardson Upham. George was a 2 year old infant when his fathers lease on the old Montecello Hotel was sold and the family made a temporary move to the Los Angeles area - spending the winter in Santa Monica, but as the lease sale backfired they returned to St. Louis and then moved to Mobile, Alabama by 1907. It would seem some sort of influence was instilled in the boy by these frequent moves for the rest of his life he was on the move - going places to do things. As an 8-9 year old at Spring Hill, Mobile, Alabama he circulated among neighbors for impromptu visits - much to the amusement of many widows and spinsters; at 10 he ranged farther canvassing them to buy collapsible canvass buckets - for aid to ailing auto radiators of the era (taken over from his brother who failed to sell em); at 11-13 was paper delivery boy for morning and evening papers by bike and pony (habitually late for school because "the pony liked to run in the morning").
This proclivity for change of scenery marked his progress thru school - 6 grades at Austin School just a block from home, 7th at University Military School, Freshman High at Barton Academy, sophomore at Spring Hill High, then graduated form Barton where he captained the football team and was President of his class of 1922 - and in the popularity pole caused the creation of a new award title - the " Most fascinating student". As a Freshman, at at the University of Alabama he was in Business Administration . Polytechnic Institute, Auburn University, he had further football aspirations. After two weeks was cut from the squad, he said because he had been so often squished into the mud the Coach couldnt find him. He flunked Journalism because it was an evening class, and in his words "Thats when I go to sleep". Succinct paternal advice was "Catch the first train for home". The following year at Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama, he obtained a football scholarship, using it "until basketball season".
The same move about urge steered his vocational life - arrived at through exposure to his fathers promotional maneuverings in home tract projects, farm lands, tick eradication campaigns, creamery promotional etc. As a 16-17 year old a lowly start was as painters then carpenters apprentice. George was far from averse to work but felt that crawling up a ladder in Mobiles summers with a pack of shingles on his back or plying a roofers hammer failed to satisfy his move about urge. His expression "I hold no grudge against those little nails". In 1925, he was his fathers assistant manager in an experimental re-opening of old Point Clear Hotel, Point Clear, Alabama. So successful was this, that his father being otherwise occupied, George teamed with Miss Hattie Greshams able culinary expertise (long experienced thru management of cafeteria at Barton and Murphy High) and split the $1600.00 profit. This available cash was perhaps unfortunate for George for he was stimulated to venture into strange waters by inexpertly trying to follow some fatherly advice on promotional techniques, and this profit stimulated his imaginations.
Specifically: George had sold 5 or 6 of his moony-eyed young pals the idea that if they would put up the money and himself a commission - which he would contribute toward the fund as his share of the Syndicate. They did and he did. The Florida Boom was in full swing and had spread to Mobile, and George was hearing of Big Money being made. The Syndicate bought a $21, 000 property - part cash, part mortgage deed. By 1927 the Florida Boom was a Bust - realty transfers were becalmed - and the Syndicate had Tax and Interest Problems. His father was in similar difficulties - the boys had arranged to defray his insurance and home taxes with George acting as agent. To meet his share of the "Syndicates bills while in this extremis he generously helped himself to these contributions. T his skullduggery went undiscovered until 1930 when, by chance, his father read in the paper a "3rd and last" notification on mothers Old Shell Road pride and joy home. Enclosed it without comment to me [Adrian] in Ohio. The insurance had lapsed - irrecoverable. Such behavior being strange to me I concluded to react positively - for his futures sake.
In the meantime, George was Collector-Salesman for W.G. Horn Realty Company at $75 a month and commissions, and late in 1927 sold a $52,500 property. In 1928, Horn Realty combined with another firm and George worked for Alabama-Baldwin Investment Co. as mortgage solicitor and insurance salesman on a commission basis. George Bass, his senior in the Dept and his mentor, soon left for another job and George found himself the sole solicitor and commissions of $3-400 rolling in monthly. In 1930, the Company re-organized putting him on a straight $200 salary. This continued until 1932 - with the Depression at its peak - L.A. Cowan joined him in forming the Cowan-Irvine Company, a real estate company.
After 8 years of on and off courting, Lucille Starke became his wife on 4 December, 1932. Lu was born in Mobile 1 Oct., 1907, and was a college graduate, sorority active, and socially very popular in Mobiles post-college following. Her father, Samuel Oliver Starke, having died in November, their 1st home was with Mrs. Starke (Cecile Green), on Dauphin St. Lu's older sister, Mildred Starke, had married Pat Cowan, brother to Georges partner, L.A. Cowan. An older brother, Oliver Starke, conducted a printing business.
By 1935, on a $150 salary, a wife and 2 children, he bought the Hunter Ave. home and resided there until about 1952-3. He was prosperous enough to build his 'dream home Levert Ave. - a $40,000 venture in a newly opened and magnificently oak-treed forest. Furnishings were antiques - some Starke, some Upham heirlooms - with many, as Lus selections, in full harmony with an affluent past.
As the Cowan-Irvine Co. affairs prospered, the partners' incomes inspired commensurate expansions in their ventures - simple rental agents, transfer and insurance agents, and single property ventures, they opened home building tracts, built and managed apartments, the last of which was on Dauphin Island - and George, being the extrovert pusher of ever grander ventures - was advancing into prominence in community activities. As of 1950 here follows Georges own resume of his experience qualifications:-
Readily appreciable is the fact that to fulfill this list of responsible activities our George was still demonstrating the effect of the influences grafted into his psyche during that infantile sojourn to and from California. From 1940 to his end in 1956 - for appraisals or conferences - he winged his way throughout the length and breadth of the Land. And when discovered in death he was committed to fly to Washington that midnight to attend a National Realtors Conference to the nature of certain life.
In 1956, George had visited his dentist several times for relief of a bite line sensitivity. (Corrected.)
For some 2 months, he had recovered from a vocal chord affliction causing painless hoarseness that was presumed due to cancer (Recovery followed from solely refraining from talking for several weeks).
Other passing symptomatic insignificancies - occasional indigestion, reduced hearing due to ear wax accumulation.
George passed away one Sunday morning, December 16, 1956, while the family was at church.
Irvine Jr., b. 16 Nov. 1932;
Irvine, b. 18 May 1935;
Irvine, b. 21 Feb 1939;
Samuel Oliver Starke
Irvine Sr., b. 14 April, 1943;