HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY
Early Residents of Pasco County
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | ZThis page was last revised on Dec. 24, 2005.
JAMES BENSON IRWIN (1930-1991), an astronaut who walked on the
moon in 1971, lived in New Port Richey briefly. He arrived here with
his parents and younger brother in September 1941; they lived in a
house on the Boulevard. He attended Pierce Elementary School in the
sixth grade. After his moon landing he devoted his life to Christian
evangelism and stated that he had accepted Christ at a revival held
at First Baptist Church in New Port Richey when he was 11 years old.
He spoke at the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the church on
July 9, 1972, and visited the city again in 1979 and in the 1980s.
In 1972, the father of James Irwin wrote in a letter: "In September 1941 we purchased
a home on Main St. from Fred Howard who had been mayor of the city,
Mr. Howard and his wife were living in it. We bought it furnished.
They moved out and went to Tarpon Springs where he had accepted
a position as city manager. Main Street was then the only paved
street in the city. The boys attend the public schools. I could not find
work in New Port Richey, however, so I took a job as steam fitter
at the Orlando air base and had to commute weekends. After the boys
were out of school we moved to Orlando, where I had been advanced
to steam fitter foreman over the whole base. It was difficult
to sell the house, so we rented it for 3 months and finally had to sell it
at a loss." Mr. Irwin apparently meant the Boulevard, rather than Main Street.