Biography of William H. Devey
North Central Ohio Biographies

William H. Davey, who is chairman of the board of directors of the Empire Steel Corporation, Mansfield, is a leading figure in the business life of North Central Ohio. He is a native of Wales, born at Briton Ferry, May 6, 1873, the son of John and Elizabeth (Bright) Davey.

John Davey was born at Devon, England, and his wife was a native of Wales. After their marriage in Wales, they spent a number of years in that country before coming to the United States in 1888. They settled at Pittsburgh, Pa., and later came to Canton, Ohio, where Mr. Davey followed his trade as a roller in the steel mills. He died at Massillon, Ohio, in 1914 and his wife died in 1928. They are buried at Mansfield. Mr. Davey was a Republican, a member of the Congregational Church and Masonic Lodge. There were 13 children born to Mr. and Mrs. Davey, of whom William H., the subject of this sketch, was the third in order of birth.

William H. Davey grew up in Wales and obtained his education in private schools. At the age of 13 years, however, he left school and entered the steel mills, where he began as a scrap boy. Later, he became a roller in the mills. Through hard work and persistent effort Mr. Davey advanced rapidly in his work and as early as 1908 established a business of his own, at that time being the founder of the Massillon Roller Mill Company, of which he served as vice president. He came to Mansfield in 1914 and in that year organized the Mansfield Sheet & Tin Plate Company. He was president of this company in 1928 when it was merged with the Empire Steel Corporation, and Mr. Davey became president of the new corporation. On June 18, 1930, he was elected chairman of the board of directors. He is also chairman of the board of directors of the Mansfield Savings & Trust Company.

In 1903 Mr. Davey married Miss Gwendolyn Jones, the daughter of David Moorwood and Sarah (Davis) Jones, natives of Wales. Mr. Jones was also interested in the steel business throughout his life. Mr. and Mrs. Davey are the parents of two daughters: Ethel, married Ralph Fathour, lives at Cleveland, Ohio, and they have a daughter, Norma; and Margaret, who lives at home.

Politically, Mr. Davey has always been a Republican. He is an active member of the Episcopal Church, and is affiliated with Mansfield Lodge, F. & A. M. No. 35, Mansfield Chapter, R. A. M. No. 28, Mansfield Council, R. & S. M. M. No. 94, DeMolay Commandery, K. T., Washington, Pa., Gorgas Consistory, 32nd degree, Pittsburgh, Al Koran Temple, Cleveland, and Mystic Club. He is an honorary member of the Rotary Club, and belongs to the West Brook Country Club, and Ashland Country Club. Mr. Davey also holds membership in the Union Club of Cleveland, Duquesne Club of Pittsburgh, and Ohio Society of New York. He was one of the founders of the Mansfield City Club, and also belongs to the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, No. 56.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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