Champion fiddler Ira J. Mullins was born in 1902 in rural Clay County. Ira (pronounced I-ree) was a true individual with a unique repertoire and an outrageous personal style. His competitive spirit, exaggerated gift for storytelling, and natural ability to entertain an audience made him one of the most beloved musicians in the state. He ran a sawmill for his living and was known in Clay County to be one of the finest sawyers in the area. Ira passed away in 1987. Photograph by Steve Payne.