Ira Erastus Davenport was one half of the Davenport Brothers. His brother William Henry being the other brother. In the mid 1800s they presented a Spirit Cabinet effect to great acclaim during the rise of Spiritualism. They performed it in the States and in Europe and South America.
William Henry died in Australia and his brother essentially gave up the act at that point. He returned to Mayville NY, not far from the Spiritualism capital of Lily Dale.
In later life he befriended Houdini and shared with him his technique that was used to produce the various spirit phenomenon. The brothers never claimed to have supernatural powers, nor did they claim they were fakes. They left that up to the audience to decide.
He died in 1911. Ira is bored in the Mayville Cemetery, in Mayville NY. plot 0132 B2