W. A. Davie
One of the well known citizens of Crawford county is W. A. Davie, farmer, business man and member of the state legislature. He has passed the greater part of his life in this county and few men are better informed as to the resources and possibilities of this part of the state or have a larger acquaintance among its people.
He was born near Pontiac, in Livingston county, Illinois, October 13, 1855, a son of John Turner and Hannah (Hoskins) Davie. The father was born in Devonshire, England, December 23, 1823. He was one of five children, the eldest of whom inherited the family estate. Two brothers went to Australia and have never since been heard from.
John T. Davie served in the British army and later learned the brick-mason's trade. Desiring to improve his condition, he emigrated to America and made his home for a short time in Quebec, Canada. Subsequently he removed to Michigan and lived there for several years, then moving to Pontiac, Illinois, where he remained until 1856, when he came west and took up his home in Orange township, Clinton county, Iowa. In 1861 he removed to Monona (now Crawford) county and engaged for fifteen years in farming in Boyer township, but in 1876 crossed the line into Harrison county. He passed away December 3, 1883. He was highly successful as a farmer, especially in the raising of grain. In political belief he affiliated with the democratic party and was prominent in its councils, serving as township clerk, trustee, assessor and in other offices. Religiously he was identified with. the Church of England and fraternally was a valued member of the Masonic order.
His wife was born in New Jersey and was of Irish and Dutch descent. Her parents died when she was quite young and she was reared by an aunt in New York. There were eight children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Davie: Isabel, now the wife of John W. Coon, of Paradise township; W. A., of this review; Emma, now Mrs. Amos Hunt, of Canada; Estella, who died March 26, 1876; Ida, the wife of Livy Hunt, also of Harrison township; Nettie, who is deceased; Frank, who died January 15, 1906; and Minnie, who married T. J. Rule, of Paradise township. Mrs. Davie was twice married, her first husband being John Rogers, by whom she had one child, Ellen, who became the wife of Frank Roberts, of Dunlap, Iowa, and is now deceased.
W. A. Davie received his early education in the district schools of Boyer township and continued at home until he grew to maturity. In 1876 he began farming on his own account, in which he has been highly successful, making a specialty of stock-raising. He is the owner of two hundred and eighty acres in Crawford and Shelby counties, which under his management are yielding substantial annual returns. For two years past he has been manager of the Farmers Cooperative Lumber Company of Dunlap. He was one of the organizers of this company in 1900 and was its first president and still continues in that office. The company started with a capital of twenty-five hundred dollars and now is capitalized at nearly twenty-five thousand dollars, being one of the highly prosperous concerns of the county. Mr. Davie was also one of the organizers of the Kiron Insurance Company, formerly a Swedish concern, which has since been taken over by the Farmers Mutual Fire & Tornado Insurance Association of Kiron, Crawford county, Iowa, and he has served as director of the same for five terms.
On October 29, 1876, Mr. Davie was united in marriage to Miss Mary Elizabeth Fullerton, a native of Ohio, and five children have blessed this union: Edith, who is the wife of John Hunt, of Harrison county; Maude, now Mrs. Orner Musgrove, also of Harrison county; Ray, who is engaged in farming, his place adjoining that of his father; Harry, who assists his father on the home farm; and Maybelle, now the wife of Fred Cook, of Union township.
The mother of these children was called away April 29, 1904, and Mr. Davie was subsequently married to Mrs. Florence (Painter) Griffith, a lady of many excellent qualifications of mind and heart.
In political affairs Mr. Davie is a supporter of the democratic party and has taken an active part in its campaigns. He served in the twenty-second, twentythird. thirty-first and thirty-second Iowa general assemblies and also was elected to fill a vacancy in the twenty-ninth general assembly, discharging his duties most effectively. In 1885 he was elected a member of the county board of supervisors and has also served in all of the township offices, being now a member of the board of trustees. Fraternally he is connected with Lodge No. 244, A. F. & A. M., Chapter No. 89, R. A. M., and Lodge No. 385, O. E. S., all of Dunlap; also being connected with Golden Lodge, No. 178, I. O. O. F., and Golden Crown Lodge of the Rebekahs. While not affiliated with any religious denomination, he attends all churches and is a liberal contributor to religious causes. Of a genial and kindly temperament, he has many friends and acquaintances and is entirely worthy of the sincere regard in which he is held by all who know him.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.