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Biography of Edward D. Davis
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A substantial proportion of the citizenship of Mount Pleasant Township has come from Wales, being a representative of a Welsh emigration either in the first or second generation. Edward D. Davis, born near Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire, North Wales, lived for many years on section 19, Mount Pleasant Township, and was regarded as one of its substantial and worthy citizens, continuing his residence there up to the time of his death. His birth occurred in January, 1831, and he obtained a common school education in his native land, there remaining until he reached the age of seventeen, when in 1848 he crossed the Atlantic with his parents, William and Alice Davis. The father died, however, while en route to the middle west, where the family home was established. On reaching Racine County the mother purchased two hundred and twenty acres of land and continued to reside upon her farm until her death. Her husband’s remains were interred in the state of New York and she was laid to rest in Mound cemetery of this County.
Edward D. Davis attended the district schools and also pursued a course in a business college. With the removal of the family to ‘Wisconsin he became active in the work of the farm and resided thereon until called to his final rest with the exception of about three years, from the fall of 1856 to the spring of 1860. About one year of that time he lived in Racine and the remainder in Milwaukee, where he was engaged in the grocery business. He then returned to the farm. He was diligent and his industry and perseverance were manifest in the excellent appearance of his place, which he converted into a valuable tract of land, rich and productive.
In 1854 Mr. Davis was united in marriage to Miss Ann Owens, who was born in 1831 in Machynlleth, Montgomeryshire, North Wales, a daughter of Thomas and Jane Owens, and they became the parents of three children: John P., who died in Kenosha, May 11, 1904, at the age of forty-eight years, leaving a widow, and his remains were interred in Mound cemetery at Racine : Alice J., who was born in Racine; and Annie E., born in Mount Pleasant Township. The two sisters attended the district schools and they now occupy the home farm. The mother died August 21, 1910.
In politics he was first a republican, but became identified with the progressive movement at its inception, and continued to be a loyal progressive up to the time of his death. He served as town treasurer for one term and for nineteen years filled the office of assessor. For forty years he served as a member of the school board and did everything in his power to further the cause of education in his locality. In 1848 he united with the Welsh Congregational church at Racine and for many years served as a deacon, treasurer and trustee of that church, but when the Park Avenue Congregational church was organized he became one of its members and served as senior deacon until his death. His life, upright and honorable, gained for him the respect and goodwill of his fellowmen. He owed his business success entirely to his own efforts and his upright life was the source of the high regard entertained for him. He passed away on June 20, 1912, and his family mourned the loss of a loving and considerate father and his neighbors the loss of a faithful friend.
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