Biography of Doctor Ball Davis
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DOCTOR BALL DAVIS, who resides on a fine farm in Stony Creek Township is an honored pioneer of this locality, having been identified with its interests for nearly sixty years, He has, therefore witnessed the many changes which have transformed it from a wild and uncultivated region into fine farms and comfortable homes, with here and there a thriving town in which the various industrial and commercial interests are represented, He is a Civil war veteran and belongs to that class of enterprising energetic men to whom are due the progress and improvement of the Hoosier State, and his finely cultivated farm indicates in a measure the industrious and useful life he has led, Mr. Davis was born on a farm three miles west of Connorsville, in Fayette County, Indiana, November 13, 1840, and is a son of Thomas J. and Mariah (Ball) Davis, the former of Virginia and the latter of Ohio, Mr. Davis’s parents came to Fayette County as young people and were there married and in November, 1854, came to Madison County, here spending the remainder of their lives, Thomas J. Davis passed to his final reward November 5, 1855, while his widow survived him for many years, her demise occurring February 16, 1894. They were the parents of nine children, of whom seven are living at this time: William of Marion, Grant County, Indiana; James H., who lives at Anderson; D. B.; Sarah, the wife of Guthrie Morris; Elizabeth, single, and residing at Anderson; Rachel A., of Anderson, the widow of John F. Whitinger and John E., also a. resident of Anderson.
D. B. Davis accompanied his parents to Madison County in 1854, and as his father died during the next year, when he was a lad of but fifteen years, his early education was somewhat neglected, However, in later years, by study, observation and much reading, he has made up for his lack of early chances, and now has a better education than many who were granted much better opportunities. On settling on the new land, the family found it covered with a dense growth of timber, and it became the duty of the sons to clear, grub and prepare the land for planting, and at this hard, manual labor, Mr. Davis spent his youth and young manhood, He was so engaged at the time of the outbreak of the war between the northern and southern States, and with a number of other patriotic young men of his neighborhood he enlisted in September, 1861, in Company G. Forty-seventh Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the Army of the Mississippi. Although his service covered more than four years, during which he participated in some of the most bitterly-contested battles of the war, including the siege of Vicksburg, Mr. Davis was never taken prisoner, wounded or sick in the hospital, and when he received his honorable discharge, in November, 1865, he had a record for bravery, faithfulness and devotion to duty that was surpassed by no man of his command, The men of his company admired him for his bravery and his officers respected him for the reason that he could be absolutely depended upon to perform whatever duty devolved upon him. It has been these characteristics, in large measure, which have made him so successful in his subsequent career, His military career entitles him to membership in Major May Post No, 144, Grand Army of the Republic, with which he is now connected, and in which he and his comrades are wont to discuss and live over the incidents and experiences of the days when secession reared its gory head and the youth of the land were called upon to save their country’s honor.
On October 6, 1867, Mr. Davis was married to Miss Matilda E. Eads, who was born in Madison County, Indiana, September 12, 1848, and who died February 4, 1909, They became the parents of six children as follows Brittie M., who became the wife of Josiah Morrison; Arthur C., who married Harriet Werts; Joslin E., who is single, and is engaged as a bookkeeper in Dwiggins wire factory; Bessie, who is the wife of Wilson Newton and resides with her father; Roscoe C., who married Julia Unger; and Weaver B., who married Nancy Marice, The members of this family are connected with the Methodist Episcopal church, where they have been active in the work of the Epworth League and large contributors to its various movements, Mr. Davis always was a Republican until the campaign of 1912, at which time he transferred his allegiance to the new Progressive party, He has never been an office seeker, however, and only takes a good citizen’s interest in matters of a public nature.
Since returning from the army, Mr. Davis has been almost continuously engaged in agricultural pursuits, and his operations have been attended by the utmost measure of success, At one time he was the owner of 300 acres of land, but much of this has been distributed among his children, and he now has but 160 acres, He was also the builder of the Davis tile factory in Stony Creek Township, and continued to conduct that business from 1884 until 1904, when he disposed of his interests, At all times he has manifested a commendable desire to be of benefit to his Township and his fellow-citizens, and few men in the Township have a wider circle of friends or stand higher in general public esteem.