Jackson County

Biography - David L. Davis

DAVID L. DAVIS is storekeeper for the Mobile & Ohio Railroad at Murphysboro, and is a man of prominence in this community, highly respected by all who know him. A native of Wales, he was born August 23, 1832, and is the second in a family of twelve children whose parents were William L. and Phoebe (Lewis) Davis. The father was a native of Wales, but the mother was born in Scotland. He became foreman of the yards of extensive iron works in that country, where he made his home until 1844, when he emigrated to America. Locating in Carbondale, Pa., he was there employed in the mines until 1860, when he removed to Monroe County, Iowa, and turned his attention to farming. Both parents there spent their remaining days. Only two of their children are now living.

D. L. Davis was a lad of eleven summers when he bade adieu to his native land and with his parents sailed from Liverpool on the "Embassador" to New York. For several years he attended school in Carbondale, Pa., and then engaged in mining. He was afterwards engaged in contracting and mining in Scranton, Pa. He was married in Providence, that state, in 1857, the lady of his choice being Miss Ann David, a native of Rumney, Wales, who came with her parents to the New World, the family locating in Pottsville, Pa. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Davis were born the following children: Phoebe, now Mrs. Mills, of Murphysboro; John, deceased; Mrs. Celia Sullivan; Mrs. Addie Gillooly; Sadie; William, who is employed in the railroad shops; Albert and Etta.

The year 1863 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Davis in Illinois, when, accompanied by his family, he located in Rock Island, where he engaged in mining on contract. Subsequently he removed to Oskaloosa, Iowa, and was there connected with a large company which extensively engaged in mining. In 1866, he came to Murphysboro, and for a short time followed the same pursuit. He then became ticket agent for the Mt. Carbon Railroad Company, a year later was placed in charge of the store at Mt. Carbon, and subsequently was given charge of the general supplies of the company.

Forming a partnership with A. C. Brydan, our subject afterwards engaged in the commission grocery business in Carbondale for a year, and when the connection was dissolved he returned to Murphysboro, where he carried on the grocery trade for some years in connection with James Alexander. His health failing, he left the store and spent some time in traveling, hoping to be benefited thereby. In 1887, he entered the employ of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad as a ditcher, but the same year he was made timekeeper in the car shops, and in 1888 was appointed storekeeper, a position which was given him in recognition of his ability and trustworthiness. It is needless to say that his duties are ever faithfully performed and that he has the entire confidence of the company.

Mr. Davis is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows' societies and in politics belongs to the Labor party. For four years he served as Alderman from the First Ward, and for three years he was the efficient City Clerk. He had formerly been ordained an Elder of the Congregational Church, but for a long time has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is untiring in his labors in behalf of the church, and other benevolent and charitable interests find in him a true friend.

Extracted 28 Aug 2019 by Norma Hass from 1894 Biographical Review of Jackson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 591-592.

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