James A. Davis, for years connected with insurance business as a representative of many important companies,
is well known in and about The Dalles, where he has been living for about twelve years. He is a native of Tennessee,
born in Jefferson county, in 1862, and is a son of Alexander and Martha (Scruggs) Davis. The names of the Davis
and Scruggs families are to be found in connection with the history of Tennessee from its very earliest date. Alexander
Davis served as a lieutenant in the Fourth Tennessee Regiment of the Confederate army during the Civil war and
was killed at the battle of Big Black during the memorable siege of Vicksburg.
James A. Davis was educated in the graded schools of Jefferson county, Tennessee, and although he had met with
an accident which deprived him of the use of a leg at an early age, he had the ambition to walk with the assistance
of crutches to and from school daily, the distance being three and one half miles each way, and he rarely missed
attendance. He later took a course at the Oak Hill Academy and, determining to study law, entered Emory & Henry
University for that purpose. Before he had finished his course in that institution, his mother was ordered to the
Pacific coast for the benefit of her health, and the family removed to Oregon.
On settling in this state, Mr. Davis took a graduate course at the State Normal School at Drain, and for the following
twenty four years he followed the profession of a teacher, most of the time being spent at Oakland. He established
the first school library in Douglas county. In 1907, to benefit the health of one of his children, he removed to
Antelope, and taught in that place until 1909, when he came to The Dalles. He was appointed deputy assessor of
Wasco county and was elected to the office of county assessor in 1913. While occupying the latter position he inaugurated
the system whereby assessment notices and tax receipts were made out at one time, and this system, under various
forms, is now in use generally throughout the state. On the 2d of November, 1920, he was elected on the republican
ticket as county assessor for a term of four years without opposition.
In 1917 Mr. Davis established a general insurance business in The Dalles and now represents several important companies,
over six in number. He is regarded as one of the most successful writers of insurance in this part of the state.
In his business and social relations, he combines all the southern courtesy with the "pep" of the west.
In 1893 Mr. Davis was married to Miss Ruth Bridges, whose father, Daniel Bridges, is a noted clergyman of Linn
county. Mr. and Mrs. Davis are the parents of three children: Harold L., Quentin D. and Richard Harding. Mr. Davis
is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has filled all the chairs and entered the grand
lodge. He is a past noble grand of five lodges. He is also a member and has filled all the chairs in the Woodmen
of the World. He was particularly active during the World war, the preparation for many drives being carried out
in his office at his own expense.
History of Oregon Illistrated
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922
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