Nebeker was born on June 23, 1839, in Vermillion County, Illinois. He was the son of John Nebeker and Lurena Fitzgerald. The family was converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1845–46 by Heber C. Kimball. He traveled to the Salt Lake Valley in the Abraham O. Smoot–George B. Wallace Company in 1847. His father was a captain of ten under Wallace and Smoot.
In 1861, five years after the rescue, he moved to southern Utah, where his father had been called to build up that area. Ira remained for two years. He then moved to Harmony, and then Parowan. In 1865, Nebeker also served in the “Indian wars” as a member of Capt. Robert T. Burton’s company and performed extensive service in that command.
In 1869, he was one of the original settlers called to settle the Bear Lake Valley, where he helped found Laketown. Called as the bishop of the Laketown Ward in 1869, he served more than thirty-five years in that capacity until November 1904, when he was “released on account of ill health.”
Nebeker and his wife Delia Lane were the parents of twelve children.
Nebeker died April 19, 1905, one month short of his sixty- fifth birthday. The cause of Nebeker’s death was reported as Bright’s Disease, a form of kidney failure.