Pike County Illinois GenWeb

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Biography of Isaac Davis

Memorial Record of Southwestern Minnesota, 1897, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois


Isaac Davis, one of the highly respected pioneer citizens of Lesueur county, Minnesota, is a Canadian by birth and comes of ancestry which is traced back to the Welsh and French. He was ushered into life near Montreal, Canada, March 20, 1835.

Orange Davis, his father, was born in Canada, the son of a Welsh father and American mother, and passed his youth and early manhood on a farm in that dominion. He was united in marriage there to Miss Adalaide Barlow, who like himself was a native of Canada, her parents being William Barlow and wife, the latter a French woman. In 1838 Orange Davis and family left their home in the British province of Canada and sought a new location in the United States, making the journey by the lake, canal and river to Pike county, Illinois, that being before there was a railroad within the borders of that great state which has now a perfect network of railway lines. He settled near Pittsfield, where he improved a farm and where he resided until 1853, at that time coming up into Minnesota and locating on one hundred and fifty-seven acres of land near Lake Emily, where he developed a fine farm. The last two years of his life were spent in St. Peter, where he died at the age of seventy-five years. His good wife lived to be eighty. They were members of the United Brethren Church, stood high in the several communities in which they lived and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of all who knew them. His whole life was devoted to agricultural pursuits, and in politics he harmonized with the Republican party. They were the parents of eleven children, namely: Thomas, deceased; S. W., of St. Peter, Minnesota; Orange R., deceased; Isaac, deceased; Ebenezer, of Kasota, Minnesota; Louisa, wife of Alexander Pettis, of Kasota township, Lesueur county, Minnesota; Isaac, the second in the family to be given this name and the subject of this review; Sarah, wife of S. H. Pettis; Carline Hartew, of North Dakota; Harriet, deceased; and H. C., of this township.

Having thus briefly referred to his ancestry, we turn now for an outline of the life of Isaac Davis. He was reared on his father's farm in Pike county, Illinois, and received his education by attending the public schools, by home study and by actual business experience. He was nineteen at the time they moved to Minnesota, and he remained a member of the home circle until his marriage, which important event in his life was consummated in December, 1855, the lady of his choice and whom he wedded being Miss Catharine Pettis. She was born near Warren, Trumbull county, Ohio, a daughter of New England parents and a representative of a family long resident in this county and prominent and influential. Her father Charles Pettis, was a son of Col. Stephen Pettis, of the war of 1812; was born in Vermont, became a pioneer of eastern Ohio, and from there moved to Pike county, Illinois. Her mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Horsford, was a native of Connecticut, and a member of a prominent early family of that state. Charles and Sarah Pettis were parents of nine children, viz.: Stephen, Catharine, John, Eliza, Olive, Malissa, Emily, Charles and Henry. The father of this family was by occupation a farmer and carpenter and in his political views was a Republican. He died at the age of forty-eight years. The mother lived to be seventy-four, a member of the Advent Church, and a deeply religious woman.

After his marriage young Davis and his bride began housekeeping in a little log cabin on a forty-acre tract of land, were industrious and frugal, and as a result of their early years of toil are now in possession of a competency and are surrounded with all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. Today he is the owner of three hundred acres of land, one of the finest farms in the community; has a commodious and attractive residence, beautiful for situation and surroundings; large barn, sixty- five by fifty-four feet in dimensions, built on rock foundation; modern windmill for pumping water for house and stock,-in short, a model farm.

Mr. and Mrs. Davis had twelve children, of whom nine are living, namely: William, Winslow, Charles, Clarence, Edith Glover, George, Cordelia, John and Harry. Edith Glover and Cordelia are engaged in teaching. The three deceased were Orville, who died at the age of twenty-eight; Earnest, at six months; and Stephen at four months.

Mr. Davis is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and affiliates with the lodge at St. Peter. Mrs. Davis, like her mother, is a devoted Christian woman and holds to the creed of the Advent Church. (pages 414-415)
Contributed by Doug Peterson