RUDOLPHUS C. DAVIS
††††††††††† A manís reputation is the property of the world.† The laws of nature have forbidden isolation.† Every human being submits to the controlling influence of others, or, as a master, wields a power for good or evil on the masses of mankind.† There can be no impropriety in justly scanning the acts of any man as they affect his public, social and business relations.† If he be honest and successful in his chosen field of endeavor, investigation will brighten his fame and point the path along which others may follow.† One whose record will bear the closest scrutiny and stand the test of public criticism is Rudolphus C. Davis, a prominent businessman and mine owner of Columbia, Tuolumne County.† He is a loyal citizen and true gentleman whom the community numbers among its valued residents.† His identification with California dates from 1853.
††††††††††† Mr. Davis was born in Dayton, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, December 16, 1845, and is of English descent.† His grandfather, John J. Davis, was the owner of large plantations in Texas and became one of the men of wealth and influence in that state.† John S. Davis, the father of our subject, was born in Ohio in 1809, his father having located there in pioneer days.† As he neared manís estate he determined to devote his energies to the practice of medicine and for fifty years was actively interested in the profession in different parts of the country.† When the subject of this review was but two years of age he lost his mother by death, being the youngest of her four children.† Dr. Davis was married again, his second union being with Mary Ann Speed, of Louisville, Kentucky.† With his wife and children he crossed the plains to California.† They started from Illinois along the southern route, but remained for a year in Texas with an uncle of Mr. Davis, who was buying a large herd of stock to bring to this state.† The uncle had crossed the plains before and was the captain of the train which Mr. Davis and his family joined and which consisted of sixty families, three hundred young men who were single, with one thousand head of cattle and a large number of horses.† It was one of the best equipped outfits that made the journey to the Pacific coast ere the advent of railroads, the trip being planned and the outfits superintended by a man of broad experience.† At El Paso a man who was en route to California with a herd of cattle had his stock stolen by the Mexicans, and in order to get even he took possession of all the cattle he could find along the way!† At El Paso he was arrested and put in jail by the Mexicans.† A request was sent to the train with which the Davis family traveled to rescue the man.† In order to do this they had to cross the river and make an attack on the jail; but a drunken member of the member of the party disclosed their plans so that the Mexicans were prepared for them and a severe battle ensued in which twelve of the Americans were killed and several wounded.† They were obliged to retreat and the man remained in jail there for eighteen months, while the Davis train was forced to travel night and day in order to get away from the enraged Mexicans.† It was a very trying experience, which they might have avoided had they not attempted to rescue the imprisoned American.† The Indians also occasioned considerable trouble by stampeding the stock, although they were bribed by gifts of meat, sugar and coffee, the emigrants believing that it was a cheaper and better way to give them those groceries than to fight them and perhaps lose many lives.
††††††††††† Upon arriving in California Dr. Davis and his family located on a farm on the Tuolumne River, near French Bar, the uncle of our subject there owning a large amount of land, a ferry-boat and a tavern.† In November, 1855, they arrived at Columbia, reaching their destination just after the execution of a man by the name of Bartlett, who had been hung for murder.† Dr. Davis practiced his profession for three years at Columbia and returned to the east, and again came to California in 1896, and died in Ukiah, Mendocino County, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years.† One of his sons, T. R. Davis, was shot by the Indians in Arizona, where he was freighting.† The red men killed him and his teamsters and robbed the wagons.† One daughter of the family, Mary, is deceased, while the other daughter, Charlotte, became the wife of Judge McGary and resides in Ukiah, Mendocino County, California.
††††††††††† In 1880 was celebrated the marriage of R. C. Davis and Miss Florence M. Trask, who was born in Columbia, and is a daughter of P. M. Trask, one of the highly respected pioneers of Tuolumne County.† The pleasant home of Mr. and Mrs. Davis has been blessed with three children:† George M., who is now acting as his fatherís bookkeeper; Harry and Josephine Florence, who are in school.† Theirs is a delightful home, celebrated for its warm hospitality, and the members of its household enjoy the esteem of all who know them.† Socially Mr. Davis is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he has been a representative for the past twenty-seven years.† His political support is given untiringly to the Republican Party, and though he has never been an office-seeker and has refused to become a candidate for different official positions, he has done effective service in the interest of education as a useful and active member of the school board.† He has always taken a deep and active interest in the growth and development of his section of the state.† He is a public-spirited, progressive citizen and his labors have been an important factor in the substantial progress and improvement of California.† He now lives in the enjoyment of peace and plenty, held in the highest esteem by all as one of Californiaís best and bravest pioneers.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010† Gerald Iaquinta.