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Office of the Director - BEP Directors
O. H. Irish

O. H. Irish
(1830 – 1883)  
Chief, Bureau of Engraving and Printing
1878 – 1883


Orsamus H. Irish was a native of New York. He attended school in Erie, Pennsylvania.  In 1857, Irish moved to Nebraska where he later became the editor and owner of a newspaper in Nebraska City.  He was later made an Indian Agent at the Omaha Reservation in 1861, and in 1864 he was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northwest with offices at Salt Lake City, Utah.  In 1866, Irish returned to Nebraska, where he served as internal revenue collector for Nebraska and again took up the newspaper business.  Irish was very active in politics, the Masons, and various other causes; he also practiced law and was involved in the railroad business.  In 1869, he was appointed United States Consul at Dresden, Germany.  Returning to Nebraska in 1873, he entered into a nursery business, but in 1875 the nursery was wiped out by grasshoppers.  Irish then moved to Washington, DC, to practice law.  He was appointed Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 1877.  The next year, Irish became Chief of the BEP and served in that position until his sudden death at age 53.