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Biography of Charles Roscoe DAVIS, Pike County, Illinois

Nicollet and LeSueur Counties, Volume II (biographies), William Gresham, 1916


Charles Roscoe Davis, a well-known and enterprising young business man of Cleveland, LeSueur county, member of the progressive firm of Lloyd Brothers & C. R. Davis, dealers in general hardware, agricultural implements and automobiles at Cleveland, is a native of LeSueur county, having been born on a homestead farm in Kasota township, September 26, 1882, son of Henry C. and Melissa (Pettis) Davis, both members of pioneer families and prominent residents of that section, whose respective fathers had left Pike county, Illinois, in 1853, and had homesteaded land in LeSueur county, where they established their permanent homes.

Henry C. Davis was born in Pike county, Illinois, July 6, 1844, youngest son of Orange R. and Adelaide (Barlow) Davis, both natives of Canada, who migrated from the Dominion to New York state and thence to Illinois, where, in Pike county, Orange R. Davis operated a farm until 1853, in which year he came to Minnesota and entered a claim to a quarter of a section of land in Kasota township, LeSueur county. The next year he established his family on this homestead tract and there he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives, long having been accounted among the most prominent and influential residents in that section. They were the parents of ten children: Thomas, S. William, Orange R. Ebenezer R., Louisa B., Isaac B., Sarah Ann, Caroline, Harriet and Henry C., the latter of whom, father of the subject of this biographical sketch was about ten years of age when he came to Minnesota and here he spent the rest of his life, becoming one of the most substantial residents of Kasota township, as well as one of the best-known men in this part of the state. Henry C. Davis grew to manhood on the Kasota township homestead and in due time pre-empted a quarter section of land for himself in the same township and there established his home. In early days he served as deputy sheriff of LeSueur county and for many years was constable of Kasota township. During the time of the Indian outbreak he was a member of the Home Guards and participated actively in the bloody engagements with the Sioux. He was one of the detail of soldiers which brought the thirty-eight condemned redskins from New Ulm to Mankato and was a member of the detail which had charge of the execution of those bloodthirsty leaders of the uprising. For thirty years or more, Mr. Davis was a practical auctioneer, crying sales throughout this part of the country and became very well known hereabout. He prospered in his agricultural ventures and presently became the owner of about four hundred sixty acres of excellent land in LeSueur and Nicollet counties. He was a Republican and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He and his wife were members of the United Brethren church and ever took an active part in the good works of their neighborhood. They were the parents of nine children, all of whom are still living, save Ella, the third in order of birth, who died in 1913, the others being Chester H., Lily M., Annetta D., Stella M., Albert E., Cecil I., C. Roscoe and Harriet E.

Melissa (Pettis) Davis, mother of the above children, was born in Pike county, Illinois, February 7, 1842, daughter of Charles and Sarah (Hosford) Pettis, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Connecticut. As a young man, Charles Pettis emigrated from Vermont to Ohio, where he married and a few years later moved to Illinois, settling on a farm in Pike county, where he lived until 1853, in which year he came to Minnesota and entered a claim to a quarter of a section of land in Kasota township, LeSueur county. The next year he brought his family out here and established his home on the north side of Lake Emily, and there spent the remainder of his life, long having been regarded as among the leaders in the community life of that section. Charles Pettis started a pioneer store on his place, now known as Pettis Station, and operated the same for years in connection with his farming. He and his wife were the parents of nine children, Steven W., Catherine P., John L., Anna E., Olive G., Melissa J., Emily F., Charles C. and Henry F.

Charles R. Davis received his elementary education in the district school in his home neighborhood in Kasota township, supplementing the same by a course in Gustavus Adolphus College at St. Peter, from which excellent old institution he was graduated in 1901. Upon completing his schooling, Mr. Davis engaged in the grain business at St. Peter and was thus engaged for four years, at the end of which he went to Pettis Station, where for four years he was engaged in the grain business, having his headquarters in the general store of C. Roscoe Davis and C. A. Davis. In 1908 he formed a partnership with Thomas J. and William Lloyd in the general hardware and agricultural implement business in the village of Cleveland and has been thus engaged ever since, in the meantime having continued his operations in grain until 1915, when he disposed of that branch of the business, and is now devoting the whole of his attention to the growing interests of the mercantile establishment with which he is connected. In 1912, following in the footsteps of his father, who for years was one of the best-known auctioneers in this section of Minnesota, Mr. Davis entered the auctioneering business and has made quite a success of the same, carrying on this branch of his business independent of his commercial interests. He is an excellent and enterprising young business man and enjoys the full confidence of commercial circles throughout this section.

In 1912 Charles R. Davis was united in marriage to Stella Baker, daughter of R. B. Baker and wife, well-known residents of this community, and to this union twin sons have been born, Roscoe W. and Russell M., born on March 4, 1913, a mighty interesting pair of youngsters. Mr. and Mrs. Davis take a proper part in the social activities of Cleveland and are held in high esteem by their many friends thereabout. Mr. Davis is a Republican and gives a good citizen's attention to political affairs, though never having been included in the office-seeking class. He is a member of the Equitable Fraternal Union, in the affairs of which he takes a warm interest, and is likewise warmly interested in all movements designed to promote the general interests of the community in which he is so active a factor. (pages 333-335)
Contributed by Doug Peterson