IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Francis T. Davis

Francis T. Davis has been a resident of Clayton county for nearly half a century, has here exerted his energies effectively along normal lines of industrial and business enterprise and for nearly a quarter of a century he and his wife have maintained their home on their splendid farm of four hundred and eighty acres, in Section 5, Sperry township. Their first domicile on this now finely improved estate was a log house of the true pioneer type, and their present commodious and modern residence is an ideal home in which they are enjoying peace and prosperity as the shadows of their lives begin to lengthen from the golden west.

Mr. Davis claims the old Empire state as the place of his nativity, was about twenty years of age at the time when he accompanied his parents to Minnesota, from which state he soon afterward went forth as a Union soldier in the Civil war, after the close of which he came to Clayton county, Iowa, where he has maintained his home during the long intervening years that have crowned his labors with large and well-merited success. Mr. Davis was born in the city of Utica, New York, on the 7th of July, 1840, and in the schools of his native state he gained his early educational training. He is a son of Josiah and Emily (Wadsworth) Davis, the former a native of New Jersey and the latter of Connecticut, and in 1861 he accompanied his parents on their immigration to Minnesota, where they became pioneer settlers on a farm near Winona, and where his honored father and mother passed the remainder of their lives. Of their six children only two are now living.

Soon after the family home had been established in Minnesota the Civil war was precipitated, and Francis T. Davis forth with manifested his youthful patriotism by enlisting in Company I, Eleventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, in which he was made corporal of his company. Corporal Davis proved a loyal and valiant soldier and his active service as such covered a period of one year, at the expiration of which he was mustered out and accorded an honorable discharge. In later years he has vitalized the memories and association of his military career by maintaining affiliation with the Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. Davis was mustered out in the city of St. Paul and thereafter he was employed in a flour mill in Minnesota until 1868, when he came to Clayton county and assumed a position as a skilled miller in the only flour and grist mill that was then operated at Elkader, the county seat. There he continued his services in this capacity for a period of fourteen years, at the expiration of which he and his wife purchased and removed to their present farm, which has been their home during the years that have since elapsed.

Mr. Davis has always given unqualified allegiance to the Republican party, has been loyal and public-spirited as a citizen, but has had no ambition for public office, though he served a number of years as a member of the school board of his district. His wife holds membership in the Baptist church, and prior to her marriage Mrs. Davis had been a successful and popular teacher in the schools of Clayton county, the fine farm on which she now lives having been the old homestead of her parents.

Francis T. Davis and wife, H. Eliza Cummings
Francis T. Davis and wife

On Oct. 23d, 1871, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Davis to Miss H. Eliza Cummings, who was born in Vermillion county, Illinois, and who is a daughter of Frederick G. and Sophia (Douglas) Cummings, both natives of the state of Maine and representatives of sterling families that were founded in New England in the colonial period of our national history. The parents of Mrs. Davis became pioneer settlers in Vermillion county, Illinois, where they established their home about the year 1838 and where they remained four years. For the ensuing four years they continued their pioneer experience in the state of Wisconsin, and they then came to Clayton county, Iowa, and settled on the pioneer farm which has been developed into the splendid modern homestead now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Davis. Here the parents passed the residue of their lives, and of their seven children four are now living.

Mr. and Mrs. Davis became the parents of three children, of whom the youngest, Edwin W., died at the age of six years; Frederick now has the active management of the old homestead farm, is married and has two children; Jennie is the wife of Thomas A. Kitterman, of this county, and they have three children.
pg 85-87

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 85-87
-OCR scanned by Sharyl Ferrall


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