Biography of David D. Davis

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David D. Davis was born in Hartford, Washington Co., N. Y., Feb. 24, 1814. His father, William Davis, was a carpenter and joiner by occupation, and reared a family of eight children. But little is known of Davidís early life. He received a common-school education, and at the age of twenty came to Michigan, in company with his brother-inlaw, Col. Joseph Fisk, of whom he learned his trade, that of carpenter and joiner. The year 1834 he spent at Marengo, Calhoun Co., and came to Allegan in June, 1835. May 18, 1836, he was married to Miss Hannah J. Robinson; they immediately returned to Allegan. Mr. Davis and his wife were among the pioneers of the village, and contributed much to the development of its wealth and that of the county. Being very energetic and extremely industrious, and withal saving and judicious in his investments, they were highly successful in the accumulation of property. They first lived in a log house built where the wing of the Allegan House now stands. Their second home was on the corner of Monroe and Walnut Streets, and while living there they built the beautiful residence on the corner of Cutler and Walnut, where Mr. Davis died Dec. 17, 1871. He was a man of much strength of character and deterniination, and emphatically a self-made man. His life was comparatively uneventful, and marked by few changes save such as occur in the lives of most successful business men.

After his settlement in Allegan he followed his trade for many years, and his savings were judiciously invested in real estate. He never engaged in any speculative enterprise, but steadily pursued the path he had marked out. He took a deep interest in all matters pertaining to Allegan. He held several positions of trust and responsibility, notably among the number that of county treasurer. For years he was a member of the board of trustees of the Baptist Church, and took a deep interest in its welfare and prosperity.

Mrs. Davis was a woman of more than ordinary ability and discernment, and a worthy counterpart of her husband in all that pertained to energy, industry, and thrift. She was possessed of deep religious convictions, and was converted when twelve years of age; she united with the Baptist Church, and continued an earnest Christian and zealous Baptist until her death. She was one of the thirteen who constituted the first membership of the Baptist Church of Allegan. By her labors, counsel, and pecuniary assistance she did as much as or perhaps more than any other of its members in bringing it from its beginning to its present standard; nor was her work confined to her own church. With the means at her command she aided weak churches, and her contributions to charities were numerous. She was fearless in advocacy of what she deemed right, and outspoken in opposition to what she thought wrong. In her death, which occurred Sept. 30, 1877, the Baptist Church lost its strongest supporter and one of its most constant workers, temperance an earnest advocate, and the poor a friend. In the disposition of her estate Mrs. Davis left eight thousand dollars to the Kalamazoo Theological Seminary; five thousand dollars to the Nashville (Tenn.) Institute for Colored Students; five hundred dollars to the Baptist State Mission; and, with the exception of the abovementioned legacies and six thousand dollars, she bequeathed the balance of her estate, which was valued at about sixty thousand dollars, to the First Baptist Church of Allegan.


From:
History of Allegan and Berry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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