Mayor of Pittsburgh

I’m from Pittsburgh, and my Grandfather, after arriving from Ireland settled finally in Seldom Seen/West End of Pittsburgh.  He became a Ward chairman for the democratic party.  Maybe I should move back and run the city…. 

William Wallace Irwin (January 8, 1803 – September 15, 1856) was Mayor of Pittsburgh and a Whig member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

William Irwin was born in Pittsburgh in 1803, and as a boy earned the lifelong nickname “pony Irwin” because of his habit of riding a pony everywhere he went. He was a graduate of Allegheny College. Coming home to Pittsburgh he ran successfully for Allegheny County District Attorney in 1838. 

He married on February 28, 1839 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sophia Arabella Bache, born November 14, 1815 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died on March 24, 1904 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Richard Bache, Jr., who served in the Republic of Texas Navy and was elected as a Representative to the Second Texas Legislature in 1847 and Sophia Burrell Dallas, the daughter of Arabella Maria Smith and Alexander J. Dallas an American statesman who served as the U.S. Treasury Secretary under President James Madison. She was also granddaughter of Sarah Franklin Bache and Richard Bache, and more notably she was the great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin as well as a niece of George Mifflin Dallas the 11th Vice President of the United States, serving under James K. Polk.

 They were the parents of educator Agnes Irwin and American businessman and the Kingdom of Hawaii’s Minister to Japan, Robert Walker Irwin. 

Upon being elected mayor in 1840 Irwin oversaw the expansion of infrastructure and government in the city to catch up with the regions rapid expansion. Under his administration four additional wards were added to the city. 

He his term as mayor as a touchstone for his race as a representative for U.S. Congress. He was elected as a Whig to the Twenty-seventh Congress. He was not a candidate for reelection in 1842.

After his term in Congress, Irwin was United States Ambassador to Denmark 1843-1847. He died in Pittsburgh in 1856. Interment in Allegheny Cemetery.


 William W. Irwin at Find a Grave 

Wife  Sophia Arabella Bache Irwin (1815 – 1904)


  John Irwin (1832 – 1901)*

  Richard Biddle Irwin (1839 – 1892)*

  Agnes Irwin (1841 – 1914)*

  Robert Walker Irwin (1844 – 1925)*

  Sophia Dallas Irwin (1845 – 1915)*

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