John Ingram, soldier and farmer, was born in Green County, Kentucky, on March 10, 1808. He left Arkansas Territory in the fall of 1821 with Thomas J. Williams, Jesse Burnam, and James Gillaspie and reached the Brazos River on December 29, 1821. Due to the severity of the weather they camped there until spring. Then they pressed on to a spot on the Colorado River some twenty-five miles below the site of present La Grange. There Ingram helped Williams plant a crop of corn before returning in June to his guardian in Arkansas. When his guardian refused to allow him to return to Texas the next year, he ran away from home with William Rabb and James Gilleland and made his home with Rabb's family in the colony of Stephen F. Austin. From that time until the Texas Revolution Ingram was employed in farming and in almost constant battles with the Karankawa, Waco, Tonkawa, and Tawakoni Indians who menaced the colony. In a letter to Austin written on August 16, 1826, Ingram said that he had "been one of the first settlers in this Colony, and ha[d] never been backward in doing a soldier's duty." In 1830 he was involved in smuggling tobacco to the Rio Grande.
On January 4, 1827, Ingram signed a petition with many others of Austin's colony condemning the instigators of the Córdova rebellion as "traitors" and "infamous characters" and in 1832 declined the inducement of his friend Aylett C. Buckner to join in the attack on the Mexican fort at Velasco. In September 1835, however, he enlisted with Col. John H. Moore's command and in October 1835 fought against Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos's cavalry at the battle of Gonzales. In early December, as a member of Capt. Michael R. Goheen's company, he served with great distinction at the siege of Bexar. Ingram reenlisted on March 15, 1836, and served until April 1 in the company led by Philip Haddox Coe. On March 21, 1836, he and three other men volunteered to guard the Atascosito Crossing of the Colorado River to prevent the Mexican army from crossing below Sam Houston's army. Ingram led this party through the night and returned the next day to report to Houston. On April 1 he joined Capt. William W. Hill's Company H of Col. Edward Burleson's First Regiment, Texas Volunteers; he remained with this unit until May 29 or 30, when the company disbanded. Although Houston instructed a Maj. John Ingram, in an order dated April 5, 1836, to recruit volunteers for the army, at the battle of San Jacinto Ingram served as a private in Company H.
After San Jacinto, Ingram may have been the John Ingram who served from June 1 to June 21, 1836, in the cavalry company commanded by James R. Cooke. On July 1 he enlisted as a sergeant of Capt. Benjamin F. Reaville's (or Raville's) company. He may have been the John Ingram who served from May 6 to August 20 as a second lieutenant with a company of rangers commanded by William C. Swearingen.
On January 7, 1838, Ingram married Elizabeth Price, a native of South Carolina who was born in 1818. The couple, who eventually had seven children, settled on the Colorado River some nine miles above La Grange at Ingram's Prairie. In 1839 Ingram was granted an additional 300 acres in Fayette County by the Republic of Texas. In 1840 he reported owning 411 acres and seven cattle in that county. According to one account he was involved in the Mexican War. In 1847 he was elected captain of the local militia company and commissioned by Gov. J. Pinckney Henderson. By 1850 his Fayette County real estate was valued at $3,500. At some point Ingram and his family moved to Rutersville, where their home was often the site of Methodist services. In 1869 the family moved to Blanco County. There Mrs. Ingram died on September 22, 1888, and was buried in the Walnut Cemetery near Round Mountain. Ingram died in March 1896 while on a visit to Fort Concho and is buried in Fairmount Cemetery, San Angelo. Ingram's younger brother Elijah also immigrated to Texas as a surveyor and was killed in the Battle Creek Fight in October 1838. John Ingram's reminiscence of his early days in Texas and his role in the Texas Revolution was published in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly in January 1903.
Another John Ingram arrived in Texas in 1834 and was granted a league and a labor of land in 1838 by the Board of Land Commissioners for Jasper County. This Ingram served as a first lieutenant with Capt. Martin B. Lewis's company (Jasper Volunteers) from November 16 to December 13, 1835, and was present with this company at the siege of Bexar. He may have been the J. Ingram listed as a member of Capt. William R. Carey's artillery company, which was at Bexar in February 1836 under the command of Col. James C. Neill. On July 16, 1836, as a resident of the District of Jasper, Ingram enlisted as a captain for three months with the First Regiment, First Brigade of Volunteers, commanded by Col. Edwin Morehouse; on September 9 he was furloughed for the remaining thirty-six days of his enlistment.