On September 6, 1882, Boston hosted the nation’s first 100-mile bicycle race. Americans simply went bicycle crazy from the 1880s to the 1910s, loving the sense of independence it gave them.
Peabody’s own James (Jim) F. Ingraham was a champion cyclist, among his many other accomplishments. Ingraham was born on May 24, 1876 to James F. Ingraham and Mary Jane Moore. His parents were both born in Canada and settled in Peabody. The elder James Ingraham was a successful morocco (leather) manufacturer in West Peabody.
In 1895, Jim Ingraham entered his first bicycle race in Malden, the Linscott 25-mile road race, and came in 2nd place out of 250 riders. In 1897, Ingraham rode in 32 races, and placed in the top 4 in every race that year. He competed in the International Cycling Championship in Montreal, Canada in 1899.
In 1901, Ingraham rode in the Pan-American Cycling Exhibition in Buffalo, New York. He broke the amateur record for the 5-mile race and came in third overall for amateur riders.
He continued to compete and ran two local race tracks. He managed the Revere Track at Revere Beach as well as the Charles River Track in Boston. He ultimately retired from cycling due to a heart condition.
After his racing career, James F. Ingraham had an impressive business and political career. He owned Eagan Leather Company, was a trustee for the JB Thomas Hospital and the Danvers State Hospital, director for the Warren National Bank and President for the Essex County Board of Trade. In addition, he was a member of the Governor’s Executive Council under Governors Calvin Coolidge and Channing Cox. He was also appointed as the Chief Appraiser for the Port of Boston.
He married Carrie Eaton Upton in 1896 and together, they had five children: James, Shirley, Elizabeth, Richard and Robert. They lived at 2 Forest Street. Ingraham died on September 8, 1954 and was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery.
“Ingraham to the Fore”, The Boston Herald, August 6, 1901.
“Revere – Opening”, The Boston Herald, May 18, 1902.
“Ingraham to Take Up Duties”, The Boston Herald, January 5, 1929.
“Peabody’s Progress is a Work of Nations”, The Boston Herald, March 1, 1941.
“Ingraham Rites to be Private”, The Boston American, September 10, 1954.
John Wells, The Peabody Story, 1972, page 359-360.
Boston Wheelmen Sponsor Nation’s First 100-Mile Bicycle Race (massmoments.org)
Ancestry.com, Accessed September 7, 2021