Biography of Augustus A. Davis
Marion County, IA Biographies





Augustus Allan Davis has been an important factor in the public life of the community, holding various offices, the duties of which he has discharged with promptness and fidelity, making a most creditable record. Moreover, he is widely known as a successful farmer and stock raiser, owning three hundred and sixty acres of valuable land on sections 7, 8 and 18, Liberty township. His life has been characterized by intelligently directed industry and thrift and thus he has gained a gratifying measure of success.

Mr. Davis was born in Brown county, Illinois, August 25, 1846, a son of J. B. and Nancy (Bridges) Davis, the former a native of West Virginia and the latter of North Carolina. They were married, however, in Illinois and in the year 1843 the father came to Marion county, Iowa, settling on a farm in Liberty township, which he later entered from the government when the land was placed upon the market and a land office was opened. It was a tract of wild prairie when it came into his possession, not a furrow having been turned nor an improvement made upon it. He did not immediately take up his abode there but returned to Illinois and remained until 1846, when he again came to this county. In the meantime, however, he had made preparation for establishing his home here by building a little log cabin with clapboard roof and doors. When he returned to the farm in 1846 he immediately occupied that pioneer home and at once began the arduous task of breaking the sod and converting the hitherto wild and unproductive land into rich and fertile fields. He carried on general farming with good success until 1882, when he removed to South Dakota, in which state both he and his wife passed away, the former dying in 1899 and the latter in 1900. In their family were eight children, four of whom are living, while the whereabouts of one of the number is unknown.

Augustus A. Davis was but an infant when brought by his parents to Iowa and in the little cabin home his youthful days were passed. As his age and strength increased he assisted more and more largely in the work of the fields and he remained under the parental roof until he had attained his majority and was married. The lady of his choice was Miss Laura M. Spurling, who was born in Indiana, a daughter of N. E. and Emeline (Higgins) Spurling, the former a native of New Jersey and the latter of New York. They removed westward to Ohio and afterward to Indiana and subsequently came to Iowa, establishing their home in this county, where they remained until called to their final rest.

Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Davis began their domestic life on the farm where they now reside. He had previously taught school for several years, his first school being held in one of the oldtime log buildings of pioneer days. He and his wife began housekeeping in a log cabin, which is still standing upon the farm, but only a few years passed ere he was able to secure a more modern and commodious dwelling. Success has attended his efforts as time has passed and, making careful investment of his earnings, he is today the owner of three hundred and sixty acres of valuable land on sections 7, 8 and 18, Liberty township. His fields have been carefully cultivated according to modern methods and thus it has been possible for him to garner annually large and profitable harvests. He has also made a specialty of stock raising and thus has added materially to his income. Mr. Davis has several mementos of pioneer life, including the broadaxe with which Jeremiah Gullion helped to hew the logs that were used in the building of the first courthouse of this county. In addition to his farming interests Mr. Davis is a director of the Bussey Savings Bank.

To Mr. and Mrs. Davis have been born twelve children: J. W., at home; G. J., Arthur R. and Rose Lee, all now deceased; Ethan, who is a railroad engineer; Ollie S., the wife of Fred Neifert, of this county; Anna, deceased; Nora E., the wife of William Norris; Cora B., who is now teaching school in Bussey; Jeanette, deceased; May, who is teaching in Hamilton, Iowa; and Horace B., who completes the family and is at home.

The parents attend the Baptist church, and Mr. Davis is a member of Gavel Lodge, No. 228, A. F. & A. M., of Attica, Iowa, in which he has filled all of the chairs. Advancing in the York Rite, he is now a member of the Royal Arch Chapter at Knoxville and in his life he exemplifies the beneficent spirit of the craft. In politics he is a democrat and he has been called upon to fill various township offices, making a creditable record by his prompt and faithful discharge of duty. For six years he served as county supervisor, exercising his official prerogatives in support of many measures for the public good. He has likewise served on the school board for a number of years and has done effective work in behalf of the cause of public education. His influence is always on the side of advancement and improvement. He has lived practically his entire life, covering sixty eight years, in this county and there is no phase of its history with which he is not familiar and no point of its progress in which he has not been interested. He has given his aid to many measures for the public good and at all times has been classed with the public spirited citizens of Liberty township.

From:
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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