Biography of Samuel Davis
Howard County, IN Biographies





SAMUEL DAVIS, of the firm of S. Davis & Sons, was born August 2, 1813, in Miami County, Ohio. At the age of thirteen, being left an orphan, he began the battle of life for himself. He worked at whatever his hands found to do until 1829, when he secured a clerkship in a general store, working six months at $6 per month, after which he worked on the farm for a year, when he learned the blacksmith trade. He worked at this eighteen months at $6.50 per month, saving from his labors $102.50. With this money, he walked eighty miles, and made an entry of eighty acres of wild land in Miami County, Ohio, having but 18 cents left on his return. Soon after, he commenced clerking in a dry goods store. Shortly after he traded his land, which was valued at $200, and gave bond for a deed when he became of age. He then clerked in Richmond one year, and in the spring of 1834 became a partner in a dry goods house, owning a one third interest. He made numerous changes until 1839, when he began the study of law. In January, 1840, he was married to Miss Sarah McConnell, of Hamilton, Ohio, daughter of Jesse McConnell. Six children have blessed this union, the four oldest dying young (one daughter and three sons). Two sons - Henry C. and Walter H. are still living. Mr. Davis taught school six months at $16 per month, and kept hotel in Milton, Ohio, for eighteen months. In 1844, he began the mercantile business again, continuing for a number of years. In 1857-58, he built and took a one third interest in a distillery, which he sold the same year, clearing $5,000 during this year's business. He was always enterprising and bought anything that came into market that he could handle, and in 1860 he was worth about $20,000. He removed to Tippecanoe City, Ohio, where he was elected Probate Judge of Miami County in 1860. The same year he located at Troy, where he took his seat in 1861. He was reelected in 1863, and served six years. During his official life, he had a half interest in the largest dry goods house of Troy, a half interest in a boot and shoe store and a two thirds interest in a warehouse. He was worth $75,000 when he came to Kokomo in 1872, and started a dry goods store. He has been an active merchant ever since, but the last few years he has depended upon his sons, Henry M. and Walter C., to conduct the business. Mr. Davis is one of the largest real estate owners in Kokomo, and is a stockholder in the Howard National Bank, of which he is one of the Directors. He was admitted to the bar in 1843, in Adams County, Ind., but he never practiced law. He is a Master Mason, and has occupied all the chairs in the I. O. O. F. Mrs. Davis is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Davis is a liberal supporter of all benevolent and business enterprises, and the firm of S. Davis & Sons is one of the leading business firms of Kokomo, and is represented by a capital of about $100,000.

From:
Counties of Howard and Tipton, Indiana
Historical and Biographical
Charles Blanchard, Editor
F. A. Bettey & Co.
Chicago 1883.


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