30 September 2012

Adios to our friend, Wade Ingrham

Wade Ingrham

Wade Ingrham returned home

 I first met Wade back in 2006 when I had heard about his underhammer rifles. I looked him up and he informed me that he was retired and had locked up his shop. I encouraged him to get back in his shop and do what he loved to do - make more of his wonderful rifles. And so he did.

Recently, however, I received the following information from one of our readers, Barry Cook, who was kind enough to share this saddening news about our friend, Wade Ingrham. 

Mr. Renner,  I regret to inform you that Wade passed away on Saturday Sept 15, 2012.  I grew up with the Ingrhams and was (and still am) close friends with his sons. Wade and Irmalee were like my second parents to me as I was growing up in Midland, Texas. 

Anyway I had seen the post about Wade on The Underhammer Society blog a few years back and thought that this community would like to know about Wade's passing if not already.  I am blessed to have 2 of his underhammers (rifle & pistol) and have been in his shop many times over the past 50 years.

Wade was a true craftsman, fun to be with, lover of animals, tinkerer, Christian and a good friend.  I learned a lot about firearms from Wade and I'm thankful that I was able to see and visit him in July of this year.

Thank you, Barry, for sharing your experiences with us.

Here's a bit of Wade's story take from his obituary in the Midland Reporter Telegram:

Wade Ingrham, of Midland, was born on April 19, 1922, and left this earth on Saturday, September 15, 2012. He grew up in Peoria, Illinois, where he graduated from high school. 

Wade had a talent for machinery and he graduated from an extensive training school for professional machinists. He moved to California and acquired work as a machinist in 1941. At the outbreak of hostilities between the United States and Imperial Japan, Wade returned to Peoria and enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. Wade served during the war at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas. 

While in Del Rio, Wade met the love of his life, Irmalee Newton and they were married December 14, 1943. After being honorably discharged from the Army Air Corps, Wade moved to Midland, where he found work repairing office equipment. In 1947, Wade started his own office equipment business and retired from that industry in 1987. His many clients and customers remember him for his attention to detail and getting the right equipment for the job of his client, then maintaining it efficiently and cost effectively. 

Wade and his wife, Irmalee had been living in retirement since that time. Wade continued to enjoy his talent for fabricating implements and devices for his family and friends. His exceptional abilities extended to wood and metal working of many types. Wade is known across the nation for his unique and functional designs. 

Wade was extremely fond of the many dogs and cats he kept as companions for the family. Many of them were rescue animals. Also, Wade was a born-again Christian of the Baptist denomination and lived a life that was a testimony of his faith. 

You may recall my posts about Wade and his underhammer rifles. He was seriously addicted to underhammers of all sorts including underhammer flintlocks. Seen below is Wade firing his underhammer flintlock pistol, which worked flawlessly and according to Wade, had as fast an ignition as any cap-fired rifle.

Wade was a consummate experimenter and was also fond of underhammer harmonica rifles. The link below will take you to my earlier post where you can see Wade firing five aimed shots in less than 25 seconds from his harmonica rifle.


The last time I talked with Wade we were brainstorming a three-shot 20-gauge harmonica shotgun. Now that would have been really interesting, but I guess we won't be seeing that one.

I am honored to have known Wade and to have been able to brainstorm with him over underhammer designs and to philosophize with him about this grand and beautiful journey - Life. Our sincere condolences to his family. He will surely be missed.

Here is another link to another earlier post on Wade's work. Take a look and I think you will agree that the man was a great talent.


Via con Dios, mi amigo.

1 comment:

Steve McDonald said...

Truly sad news. Wade was as kind and helpful a person as I've ever met in the shooting community. He guided me through the process of building my "Ingrham" underhammer a few years back and he was pleased one of his rigs was making a debut in New England. He shared many techniques and tips to insure my success. I could tell how much pride he had in his work. We remained friends and kept in touch by email a few times a year. My sincere condolences to his family. He'll be missed for sure.

Steve McDonald
Pembroke, MA

Please Support our Sponsors

This site is provided to you free of charge by our sponsors. If you find value in our efforts, please take a moment to visit their sites listed below and consider their products and services before buying somewhere else.

If you are interested in advertising your muzzleloading services or products on The Underhammer Society blog site, please call 775-453-9355 for more information.

Thank you for your interest and support.

The Underhammer Society

The Gun Works

Rice Barrel Company

Black Widow Bullets

Faeton - The Thinking Man's Rifle

Faeton - The Thinking Man's Rifle
Click the image for more information about RJ Renner rifles

Thanks for visiting!

Copyright 2007 - 2016 by R.J.Renner .

About Me

Roger Renner

Hi. I've been a student, admirer, and designer/builder of underhammer guns for over 30 years. In that span I've built over 200 semi-custom underhammers exploring the possibilities from the ordinary to the exotic. In 1996 I founded Pacific Rifle Company to explore the market's interest in a high-quality underhammer rifle. Thankfully, that interest was, and still is, there. I sold PRC in 2006 but continue to craft high-end underhammers as I am truly afflicted with underhammeritis - which can be contagious!