Biography - John Davis

JOHN P. DAVIS. Our subject is a native of Crawford County, Pa., where he was born March 10, 1825. Without doubt, his parents settled in that wild portion of what was then considered the West after having followed in the wake of Washington's expedition thither, when he went to inspect the French force preparatory to centralizing the power of the English forces. The writer well appreciates the conditions of life at that time and place. Crawford County is among the foothills of the Alleghany Ridge; the winters are long and severe and the summers too short for such crops as the farmers raise here in Southern Illinois. The houses were built very differently then from what they now are, and it was not unusual for the lads snatching the last forty winks of their morning nap to find themselves in the winter time covered with a downy blanket of snow, which had drifted through the cracks and openings of the attic roof. But these hardships proved to have developed a sturdy race of man, to whom ordinary difficulties are but small obstacles.
Our subject's father was by name David G. Davis, and his mother's maiden name was Rhoda Craven. The former died in Crawford County, Pa. The widow removed to Montgomery County, this State, where she passed away. Of a family of ten children, John P. was the eldest. He was reared upon the home farm in his native county and State, remaining there until twenty-one years of age. Thence he went to Wilmington, Del., and during his residence in that State made good his time in learning the plasterer's trade, to which he served a faithful apprenticeship. For several years he engaged in his trade in Wilmington and New Jersey, and then returned to his native place and was engaged in his trade for three years.
The West was beginning to offer most alluring inducements to the young men who had ambitions above the every-day routine, and of these our subject was one. He came to Litchfield, this State, where he followed his trade for three years and then purchased one hundred and twenty acres on section 10, of North Litchfield Township. He has endeavored to make this his paradise on earth and it has been his home ever since. His attention has been given chiefly to general farming. The buildings upon his place are very good, his house cozy and pleasant, and his barns and outhouses in good repair. He has added to his original purchase until his acres now number two hundred and sixty.
Mr. Davis' life has been enriched by the companionship of a good wife. Her maiden name was Ann Dolbow, and she is a native of Salem County, N. J., where she was born June 23, 1820, the daughter of Gabriel and Mary Dolbow. Our subject and his wife have reared six children to lives of usefulness and honor. The eldest child died in infancy. The remaining ones are: George D., Gideon S., Wesley C., Orlenna, Charles O. and William J. Orlenna is the wife of S. R. Blackwelder. Two sons and a daughter reside in Pratt County, Kan.
The original of this sketch has been a faithful custodian of several of the minor offices in the gift of the township. In politics, he is a Democrat, and likes to think of the principles of his party in the beauty and simplicity of its originator. Both our subject and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and have found great comfort in the social as well as religious associations there encountered.

Extracted 29 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, page 135.

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