Shelby County, Indiana
John Davis, a prominent farmer of Clay township, Howard county, was
born in Decatur county, this state, October 1, 1831, reared to honest
toil as a farmer, and educated at the public school. Of his ancestry we
may state first that his grandfather, Jesse Davis, was a faithful soldier in our
Revolutionary war and afterward drew a pension for his service. On both sides in the ancestral line have the families been loyal citizens. Jesse Davis
died in Kentucky at the advanced age of one hundred and six years. John Davis' parents were Jesse and Rachel (Moore) Davis, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Kentucky. Her father, John Moore, a native
of Pennsylvania, moved to Kentucky during the early settlement of that state and later to Indiana, was a farmer and died while residing in Shelby county, this state. Jesse Davis moved to Missouri in 1858, was also a farmer and stock-raiser, and died there. His wife died in Shelby county, Indiana. Both were members of the "Separate" Baptist church, and pious people.
John Davis, the eldest child, was twelve years old when his mother died. The other children were: James A., now living in Missouri; Elizabeth, who died young; Hetty, yet single; Matthew, residing in Illinois; Benjamin, who died at Helena, Arkansas, while serving in the Civil war; and Thomas J., who died young. When fifteen years old John left home and began the struggle of life for himself in a world of competition and selfishness. First he was employed as a farm hand; then he learned the trade of framing buildings; in 1853 he married, leased land in Shelby county, Indiana, cleared and improved it and followed agricultural pursuits; later he bought the land and remained there till 1865, when he sold out and came to Howard county, purchasing unimproved land, which in turn he sold and bought another place in this county, with small improvements, which he advanced a degree further, and this again he exchanged for other land, also in this county. He is now settled on a farm on section 14, three miles northwest of Kokomo. Altogether, we can say that Mr. Davis has done a great amount of clearing land and made many improvements. It is to such men as he that the material development of this great west is due. Politically he is a Republican, taking an interest in all public affairs, filling a number of minor offices, participating in nominating conventions, etc.
He was united in marriage with Miss Martha Walker, who comes from
a highly honored pioneer family of Shelby county, this state, being the
daughter of George Walker, a native of Ohio who settled in Shelby county,
where at length he died; he was both a shoemaker and a farmer. His
children were; Eliza J., Joseph, Martha (wife of Mr. Davis), Prudence and David, — all of whom are deceased excepting Martha and Prudence. Mr.
and Mrs. Davis' children are Lavina J., who is now Mrs. B. E. Rickard; Owen M., engaged in farming; Flora E., now Mrs. E. Swisher; and Ernest C., a resident of Kokomo. Mrs. Davis is a pious and intelligent member of the "Predestinarian" Baptist church.
Biographical and genealogical history of Cass, Miami, Howard and Tipton counties, Indiana, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1898, page 518-520, F.A. Battey & Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1883
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming
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