Horatio F. Davidson, president of the Davidson Fruit Company with headquarters at Hood River, has been since
his arrival here in 1890 a prominent and influential factor in the growth and commercial development of Hood River
county, the company of which he is president operating no less than four hundred acres of fruit land.
Mr. Davidson was born in Knox county, Ohio, July 20, 1868, a son of Charles and Eliza A. (Rice) Davidson, who were
members of old pioneer families in the Buckeye state, their ancestors having been residents in this country for
several generations. His grandfather made the journey to Ohio from his birthplace at Hagerstown, Maryland, on foot,
more than one hundred years ago. The father, Charles Davidson, was a carriage manufacturer in Knox county, Ohio,
until the financial panic of 1873 when he was stripped of his fortune.
A little later, Horatio F, Davidson, then a small boy attending school, began working after hours and on Saturday
in order to help the family. He also worked his way through the Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana, Then,
realizing the opportunities that young men were offered in the great West, he journeyed to the Pacific coast and
in 1890 located at Hood River, Oregon, where he took up the business of shipping fruit. He also purchased a piece
of land, cleared it and planted an orchard of apples and pears, He soon organized the Davidson Fruit Company, of
which he is president. This company is the largest individual concern of its kind in the Hood River valley, owning
and operating some four hundred acres planted to apples and pears. It has erected on the railroad tracks at Hood
River a brick cold storage plant, with a capacity of one hundred thousand boxes, The company also maintains an
office at New York, where Mr, Davidson spends much of his time. Aside from his orchard interests, he has done much
for Hood River. He had erected the block in which the offices of the company are located, it being the first concrete
structure put up in the city or section. He built and operated the first cannery in the county, which was a boon
to the strawberry growers, and when it was destroyed by fire its destruction marked a decline in strawberry growing,
from which it is now only beginning to recover.
The most conspicuous beneficial work undertaken by Mr. Davidson was his active part in the organization of the
first substantial irrigation scheme in the county. As secretary of this project, he worked untiringly with the
result that a large acreage of otherwise useless land was reclaimed and many farmers were benefited correspondingly.
The company, now known as the Farmers Irrigating Company, owes its birth and growth to two men, Frank Davenport
and Horatio F. Davidson. The latter also built and operated the first unit of the electric light plant of Hood
River that furnishes light and water, and put in the hydrants for the town, He is the owner of the Oregon Hotel
and has in many other ways helped in the growth of the city. Although an active citizen, he has never accepted
public office except as a member of the city council, in which capacity his efforts were directed for the benefit
of the city. He is a member of the Masonic order, being a Knight Templar and a member of Al Kader Temple of the
Mystic Shrine, He is also an Elk.
In 1893, at Canton, Illinois, Mr. Davidson was united in marriage to Mary A. Brewin, of that city, whose ancestors
were among the early settlers of that part of Illinois. They are the parents of one daughter, Helen, a graduate
of the Portland Academy and of the Drexel Institute of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Miss Davidson was married in
May, 1920, to John C. Cooper and is now residing in Boise, Idaho.AMIEL
History of Oregon Illistrated
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922
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