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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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William Young Davis

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 384 - 385

William Young Davis is one of the oldest settlers of Sheboygan County, and is well known by many of her representative citizens. He is the only survivor of a family of fourteen children born unto Moses and Betsy (Deveraux) Davis. The former was a native of Milton, Chittenden County, Vt., where he lived and died, and where our subject was born, December 18, 1821. The father was twice married, his first wife being Miss Betsy Taylor.

While a resident of his native State, our subject followed the occupation of farming on his father's homestead until he was twenty-two years of age. At that time he set out for the West, and went to work on a farm with his brother in Jersey County, Ill., where he remained for about a year and a-half. When he made the journey Westward, he proceeded from Burlington, Vt., to Whitehall, by boat on Lake Champlain, from there went by canal to Buffalo, and then around the Lakes to Chicago, which was only a small village, with little promise of being the future great metropolis. On leaving Illinois to come to Wisconsin, he journeyed by team, and as the roads were very bad, it took him from March 20 until the 7th of April. He arrived in Sheboygan Falls in the spring of 1846 with less than $5 to begin the battle of life. The country was a wilderness, filled with Indians and wild game, and the town comprised twelve houses, while Plymouth had only one dwelling on its site. Mr. Davis hired out for the summer to Sylvester Wade, a farmer. In the winter he went to his Eastern home in the Green Mountain State, and on his return, in 1847, brought his mother and sister. He then purchased the land on which he now lives, a piece of eighty acres, entirely "unimproved and without a stick of timber cut on the place. He built a log house, where he lived for a year, while he made a small clearing and gathered a crop.

In 1848, Mr. Davis made another visit to Vermont, this time for a wife, and was married on the 30th of September to Miss Aurelia M. Allen, daughter of Alfred Bascom and Varioletta B. (Cushman) Allen, who were the parents of six sons and five daughters, but only four of the number are now living. Adeline is the widow of Cyrus Chamberlain, who was a farmer of Derby, Conn.; Adelia H. resides in Massachusetts; and Alphonzo B. carries on a farm in Vermont. Both Mr. and Mrs. Allen were natives of Bernardston, Mass., and were members of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Allen was a blacksmith by trade, but in later years was a farmer. He was an oldline Whig and always supported that party. He departed this life July 24, 1872, and his wife died two years later. Mrs. Davis was bora April 2, 1822, on her father's farm, where she lived until her marriage, when the young couple started for the West to begin life together.

In politics, our subject is a Republican, and has ever been a stanch supporter of the party. He voted for "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too." He believes in a practical, common-sense education, having himself been educated in the district schools, and believes that a man needs no college education to be prepared for the every-day duties of life. He has never desired or accepted official positions. In religion, he is liberal-minded, and believes in supporting those measures that will benefit and uplift mankind. For eighteen years his wife has been a faithful member of the Baptist Church of Sheboygan Falls.

To Mr. and Mrs. Davis have been born two sons. Arthur Y., born June 30, 1849, wedded Marcia J. George, a native of Sheboygan County, born June 2, 1853, and is a farmer living just west of his father's home, on the place formerly owned by N. C. Farnsworth. They have two children, Willie A. and Jessie M. Judd A., bora July 5, 1860, and who lives on the old farm, carries on the greater part of the work of the homestead. He married Mrs. Dorothy (Hunter) Merritt, born in Sheboygan Falls, in March, 1857, and educated in the Falls High School.

The homestead farm is finely improved with good buildings, and numbers one hundred and twenty-seven acres within its boundaries. We are pleased to add this full sketch of this worthy couple to those of the prominent citizens and pioneers of Sheboygan County.

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