An honorable military record, as well as a creditable career in private life, has made Mr. Davis well worthy of representation in the history of his adopted state. Born in Wyoming county, Pennsylvania, on the 11th of August, 1846, he is a son of Adolph Davis, who also was a native of the Keystone state. His people, however, were natives of New York and were of Welsh descent. Adolph Davis became an attorney of marked ability, and was well informed not only on matters of the law, but on all questions of general interest. He made his home upon a farm during the greater part of his life, and in early manhood he married Miss Sallie Ellis, a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter of Jesse Ellis. They had one child, the subject of this review. The father died in the prime of life and the mother afterward married a Mr. Baker, by whom she had eight children.
Thomas Davis was reared in the county of his nativity and in its public schools acquired his preliminary education, which was supplemented by study in the high school and academy at Montrose, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania. When only seventeen years of age he responded to the country's call for aid, and, joining the "blue," went to the front in March, 1864, as a member of Company H, One Hundred and Forty-first Regiment of Pennsylvania Infantry, under the command of Captain John L. Guile. His first active experience on the field was at the battle of the Wilderness, on the 5th, 6th and 7th of May, 1864. It was one of the most hotly-contested engagements of the war, and the losses on both sides were very heavy. Two days later he participated in the engagement of Spottsylvania Court House, where the Union loss was again terrible. He was there wounded by a grape shot, which pierced the elbow of his left arm and almost tore away the lower part of that member. On account of injuries he was sent to Harwood Hospital, Washington, D. C., and subsequently was transferred to the hospital in Little York, Pennsylvania. where he remained until honorably discharged from service, on the 23d of December, 1864. He returned to Wyoming county, Pennsylvania, and subsequently was a student of Montrose.
On the 1st of February, 1869, Mr. Davis was united in marriage to Miss Jennie O. Crawford, who was born in Wyoming county, Pennsylvania, and has proved to her husband a faithful companion and helpmeet on life's journey. She is a daughter of John Crawford, who had two brothers in the Civil war, Charles having laid down his life on the altar of his country, while Alpheus lost his right arm during the war. John Crawford married Miss Orinda Harvey, who was born in the Empire state, and they became the parents of eight children: Wesley, Schuyler, Mrs. Davis, Rosetta, Betsy, Allen, Esther and Lucia. The father died in Wyoming county, Pennsylvania, at the age of sixty-five years, and the mother passed away in the same county when she had reached the psalmist's age of three-score years and ten.
Thomas Davis and his family removed to Smith county, Kansas, in 1880, locating in Smith Center, where they lived ten years. In 1890 he went to Superior, Nebraska, where he remained until 1892, when he went with his family to Logan county, taking up a homestead at Russell Springs, where they remained until 1896. They then came to Willis and have since been esteemed residents of this place. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have four living children and one deceased, namely: Mary, the wife of Gilbert Torsen, of Kansas City, Kansas; Emma, the wife of I. D. Massman, of Smith Center, Kansas; Ida, the deceased wife of William Peck, of Smith Center; Charles, who is living in Wyoming; and John J., attending school.
Mr. Davis gives his political support to the Republican party, and socially he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Grand Army of the Republic. Both he and his wife attend the services of the Methodist church, of which she is a member, and in Willis they have a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Mr. Davis is a man of broad general intelligence, courteous and affable in manner, and wherever he is known he is honorably respected.
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