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George W. Davidson

DAVIDSON, WEST, HESSLER, SCHOOLCRAFT, MCCOY, GARDENHYRE, BEAM, TOMPKINS, RAY, SCOTT, GILES, BRADFORD, PERVINES

Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/5/2001 at 07:57:35

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties 1890
GEORGE W. DAVIDSON
George W. Davidson, who is engaged in farming on Section 21, Bonaparte Township, has resided in Van Buren County for fifty-four consecutive years, and is therefore numbered among its earliest settlers. The public enterprises of the county, such as were calculated for the building up of the community, have received his support, and with the growth of the county he has been prominently identified, especially has he been instrumental in the development of its wild land. He is a native of Georgetown, Brown County, Ohio, born December 18, 1818, and is a son of John and Mary West Davidson, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Maryland. In childhood they removed with their respective families to Kentucky, settling near Augusta at an early day, when the country round about was wild and unimproved. Having married, they settled in Brown County. In the midst of the heavy timbered region, Mr. Davidson developed a farm. Twelve children were born of his union with Miss West, eleven of whom lived to mature years, and immigrated to Iowa. The eldest of the family is John W.; Eliza married Gibson Hessler, and both are now deceased; Nancy married Samuel Hessler, and died in this County; Benjamin F., when last heard of was in Texas; George W. is the next younger; Christopher C. died in the South during the Rebellion; Oliver E. went to Texas and in 1862 started for the North. Being forced into the service, he went to Ft. Hudson, and was captured by Gen. Banks. He was sent to the hospital at New Orleans, where he is supposed to have died; Thomas P. died in the South; Mary Ann became the wife of James Schoolcraft, and removed to Texas, but during the Rebellion they returned to this county, where both died; Matilda became the wife of Daniel McCoy, and died in this county; Susan became the wife of Jacob Gardenhyre, and is living in the South. One child died in infancy. In 1836, Mr. Davidson, the of this family, brought his wife and children to Van Buren County, but subsequently removed to Texas, where he died in 1873. In his early life he was a Whig, but on the dissolution of that party became a Democrat. A man of worth and intelligence, he became a prominent citizen, and his opinions bore weight wherever they were expressed. He was a member of the first Constitutional Convention from Van Buren County. His wife died in 1867.
Grandfather Joshua Davidson was seven years in the Revolutionary War; was in the artillery, the firing of which much impaired his hearing. His father came from Scotland, and settled in Pennsylvania, and his mother Ellen Beam, emigrated from Germany.
The subject of this sketch was educated in the county of his nativity, and in his boyhood days was a schoolmate of U.S. Grant when they attended the log schoolhouse together. At the age of sixteen years he accompanied the family on their removal to Vermilion County Illinois. During their journey they passed through Indianapolis then a mere hamlet containing but few houses. As before stated, the month of July, 1836, witnessed his arrival in Van Buren County then a part of the Territory of Wisconsin. He has borne his share in the hardships and trials of pioneer life, and aided in the arduous task of developing from the wild land a fertile farm.
Mr. Davidson has been twice married. In 1840, he led to the marriage altar Miss Hannah A. Tompkins, daughter of Sarles and Anna Tompkins, and a distant relative of Gov. Tompkins of New York, of which state she was a native. By their union were born seven children as follows: Sarles T., who enlisted in the Second Iowa Infantry, was wounded in the thigh at Corinth Miss., and served three years; Joanna, wife of John Ray of Lewis County Missouri; James who is living in Van Buren County; Mary E., wife of William Scott, of Colorado; Maria wife of Samuel Giles of Lewis County Missouri; Sarah J., wife of James Tompkins, of California; and Elma, wife of Pierce Bradford, who makes his home in Van Buren County. Mrs. Davidson died on June 30, 1886; and her loss was sincerely mourned, by her friends, and immediate family. She was reared in the faith of the Society of Friends. On April 9, 1889, Mr. Davidson was again married, the lady of his choice being Miss Nancy A. Pervines, daughter of James and Mary Ann Pervines, pioneer settlers of this county. She is a Presbyterian.
Few have longer been residents of Van Buren County, that he whose name heads this sketch, there are not many more widely known, and none are held in higher esteem. He has made farming his life occupation, and devoted himself to that pursuit in a quiet unassuming manner, at the same time faithfully discharging his duties of citizenship. Politically, he was a Whig, then a Republican until of later years, now being conservative.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.


 

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