Biography - George S. Davis

GEORGE S. DAVIS. It gives us pleasure to represent in this volume the native-born sons of this county who are now helping in various ways to carry forward its interests. Among these figures the subject of this brief life record, who is a successful farmer residing in Pickaway Township, Shelby County. He was born in Ridge Township March 8, 1853, and is the son of James Davis, who was one of a family of pioneer settlers of Illinois. His father was a native of Nicholas County, Ky., of which his father, Joshua Davis a native of Maryland, was an early pioneer. He resided in the wilds of Nicholas County until 1833, and then with his wife and five children emigrated to the still more recently settled state of Illinois. The journey to their new home was made by the way of the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Naples, and thence to Morgan County, where the grandfather of our subject rented land for a time. He subsequently removed to this county, which at that time was sparsely settled, and deer, wolves and wild turkeys were found in abundance. There were no railways, and the farmers used to take their grain to St. Louis as the principal market, going thither with ox-teams, and also driving their hogs and cattle there to sell. Grandfather Davis cleared a good farm from the tract of unimproved land which he bought after he came to the county, and in the comfortable home that he built up thereon his eyes closed in death January 4, 1868, at the ripe age of eighty years. The maiden name of his wife was Leah Still. She died in 1857 at the age of fifty years. Both were faithful Christian members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and carefully reared their children in the same faith.

The father of our subject was young when his parents brought him to Illinois, and here he grew to manhood and married, taking as his wife Margaret Leach. She was born in Ohio, a daughter of Amos and Susan (Moyer) Leach. She reared eight children, six of whom are living. After marriage the parents of our subject resided in Ridge Township a few years, and then his father bought a tract of wild land in Pickaway Township, to which he removed his family. He labored hard to improve a farm, which under his management became one of the most desirable in the vicinity, and there in the midst of his usefulness he was taken from his family and friends by the hand of death. He left behind him a good record of a life well spent.

In the district school our subject received a practical education, and on his father's farm was well drilled in agricultural pursuits. He remained an inmate of the parental home until he was twenty-four years old, giving his father needed assistance in tilling the soil, and he then married and began farming for himself on rented land in Okaw Township. Four years later he bought the farm on which he now resides in Pickaway Township. He has its eighty acres of rich prairie land under admirable cultivation, and has provided it with neat and substantial buildings, all of the improvements indicating that he is a thrifty, careful manager, and has a clear understanding of the best methods of conducting his work.

In the making of a home Mr. Davis has had the cheerful assistance of a helpful wife, to whom he was married May 13, 1877. Mrs. Davis bore the maiden name of Emma Day. She is a native of this county, and a daughter of England and Mary (Foot) Day. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have four children, whom they have named Dora, Fred, Millie and Earl. Our subject and his wife are sociable, hospitable people, who have many friends in the community, and in them the Methodist Episcopal Church has two active working members. Mr. Davis is a decided Republican in his political views.

Extracted 10 Apr 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 517-518.

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