Biography of Hon. Charles S. Davison
Chemung County, NY Biographies





Davison, Hon. Charles S., born in Caton, Steuben County, N. Y., August 6, 1849, was reared upon a farm, his parents having died when he was quite young. He was consequently compelled to work out on different farms, attending school during a portion of each winter. During the late Civil war he came to Elmira and engaged in selling newspapers. He endeavored to enlist as a soldier, but was refused on account of his youth, and was then employed by the government as messenger, going to Nashville, Tenn., where he was stationed in the quartermaster's department until transferred to Johnsville, Tenn., where he remained until September, 1864. After recovering from a fever he was sent back to Nashville, receiving his discharge and pay. He then returned to Elmira and resumed selling newspapers and attending the William street school where the jail now stands. After that he was a newsboy on the Erie Railroad and after a. time was engaged in learning the printer's trade, but not completing the latter he took a. course at A. J. Warner's Cominericial College, graduating therefrom. He followed book keeping until February, 1873, when he became wheel clerk at the Erie shops under William E. Rutter, now deceased. On the first of June in the same year he took charge of the books at the brewery of T. Brigga & Co., keeping them until the death of Mr. Briggs, which occurred in June, 1883. Since then he has been the manager of that business. At one time he was a member of the old Wisner band and was formerly a charter member and quartermaster sergeant of the old D Company, now the Thirtieth Separate Company. Mr. Davison is a past master workman of Elmira Lodge, No. 150, A. O. U. W., having served as district deputy grand master workman in 1886. He is a. member of the Masonic order as follows: Corning Consistory, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, northern jurisdiction; Ivy Lodge, No. 397, F. and A. M.; Elmira Chapter, No. 42, R. A. M.; Southern Tier Council, No. 16, R. and S. M.; and St. Omers Commandery, No. 19, K. T., of which he is a past commander. In January, 1890, he wasappointed by the Grand Commandrey of Knights Templar of Alabama their grand national representative. He is one of the charter member and a trustee of the Elks, Elmira Lodge, No. 62, and is a member of the Century Club, being one of its charter members; he is also a member of Damascus Temple, Mystic Shrine, Rochester, N. Y., and is likewise a member of several mutual aid societies and is one of the trustees of the Masonic Temple. He also an exempt fireman, having served as a volunteer fireman in the Elmira fire department. Politically he is a Democrat, and in March, 1883, he was first elected an alderman from the Sixth ward of Elmira by a majority of fifty four, and so well did he serve his constituents that, in March, 1885, they returned him by a majority of 519 and two years later sent him back again by a majority of 530. While he was serving as alderman, in March, 1888, he was elected mayor by a majority of 1,602, and in that office he continued until March, 1890, when he was again reelected mayor by a majority of 786, in one of the hotest political fights ever waged in Elmira, which will make him, when his present term as mayor is served, nine consecutive years in office. He is the only mayor that has ever been elected from the common council and the only one that was ever reelected for a second two years' term. He married, in Elmira, October 21, 1873, Miss Lucy G. Nichols and has a family of three boys and three girls.

From:
Our County and its people
A History of the Valley and County of Chemung
BY: Ausburn Towner
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1892


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