James Duane Ireland Jr. - Founder Peerless Eagle Coal Co.
12521 Lake Shore Boulevard
Young Jim Ireland achieved a degree of notoriety in Bratenahl. Toting his newly acquired bb gun, Jim went to the home next door. He shot out all the Italian Murano blown glass globes that enclosed the lights at William Mather's Gwinn estate. He had to face Mr. Mather and pay for the damage out of his own pocket money.
Jim’s father died when he was eight years old. His escapade with the bb gun may have caused the introduction of his widowed mother to William Mather. His mother, Elizabeth Ireland, remarried to William Mather in May 1929. Jim became William Mather’s stepson.
James “Jim” Ireland Jr. was born on December 1, 1913, in Duluth, Minnesota, to James & Elizabeth Ireland. Raised in Bratenahl, he attended Hawken School, St. Paul's School, and Kent School. He graduated from Cornell University in 1937.
Jim married Cornelia Wilmot Allen on November 30, 1946. Cornelia was born on April 9, 1923, in New York. She graduated from Chatham Hall in Chatham, Virginia, and attended Barnard College in New York City. They had four children: James Duane III, born on January 1, 1950; Lucy Elizabeth (Weller), born on May 4, 1952; Cornelia Seward (Hallinan), born on June 5, 1953; and George Ring, born on August 2, 1956. James, Lucy, and Cornelia attended Bratenahl School.
Interested in mining, Ireland joined the Hanna Coal Co. in St. Clairsville, Ohio, where he became division superintendent by 1945. In 1946, he moved to West Virginia. Jim founded the Peters Creek Coal Co. that became the Peerless Eagle Coal Co., a leader in mechanized coal mining. He sold the company in 1975.
Ireland returned to Cleveland in 1950 and, in 1951, was elected to the board of Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. He chaired the executive committee from 1980 to 1986. He was a director of Society National Bank from 1962 to 1978.
Ireland was a founder and chairman of the Bratenahl Development Corporation and vice chairman of University Circle Inc. He served on the boards of Cleveland Botanical Garden, University Hospitals, Case Medical Center, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Western Reserve Historical Society, and Society National Bank.
He was a pilot and flew his plane weekly until an accident caused him to quit in 1954. He owned a sailboat and constructed model trains and boats as a hobby.
James Ireland died on January 26, 1991, of an apparent heart attack. About 1993, Cornelia visited Alaska, the purchase of which was negotiated in 1867 by her great-grandfather, William H. Seward, when he was Secretary of State. On August 6, 1997, Cornelia died from lung cancer and buried alongside James in Lake View Cemetery.