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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Davis

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1199-1200 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

Reuben Davis was a resident of Acton and South Acton, Massachusetts. He served in the revolutionary war, from Acton. He was a private of Captain John Hayward's company of minute-men, Colonel Abijah Pierce's regiment, which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775; service eleven days; also Captain Israel Heald's company, Colonel Eleazer Brook's regiment; service six days; also Colonel John Buttrick's company of volunteers, Colonel John Reed's regiment; enlisted September 28, 1777; discharged November 7, 1777. The company was detached from Colonel Brook's regiment to re-enforce army of General Gates, and reported to have served at taking of Burgoyne. (Massachusetts in the Revolution, p. 534.) [Perhaps Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War.] It is supposed he was a brother of Captain Isaac Davis, of Acton, who fell at the bridge in Lexington, April 19, 1775, the same volley from the British wounding the captain's brother Ezekiel. Captain Davis' wife, Hannah Leighton, afterward deposed that her husband was thirty years old at the time of his death. In Captain Davis' company were Ezekiel Davis, David Davis, Elijah Davis, John Davis and Reuben Davis, the same Reuben who joined Captain John Hayward's company. Reuben Davis was a younger brother of the captain. He married Betsey Tuttle, of Acton, Massachusetts, a relative of Francis Tuttle, justice of the peace.

(II) Jonathan, son of Reuben and Betsey (Tuttle) Davis, was born in the town of South Acton, near Concord, August 31, 1785, and resided there until after his marriage. He then removed to Vermont, and later to the town of Granville, Washington county, New York, which was his residence for forty years, until his death in April, 1869. He married Elizabeth Presson, born August 12, 1793, in Massachusetts, died March 6, 1846. They were both members of the Presbyterian church. Children:

  1. Esther;
  2. Louisa, born April 8, 1818;
  3. Oscar F., see forward;
  4. Hon. Emerson Egbert, of Washington county;
  5. Henry W.;
  6. George.

(III) Oscar F., son of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Presson) Davis, was born in Brattleboro, Vermont, October 16, 1820. Soon after his birth his parents removed to Granville, New York, where he was educated in the public schools and the academy. He decided upon the legal profession, and began the study of law in the office of John H. Boyd, of Whitehall, completing his legal studies with Judge James Gibson, of Salem. He was admitted to the New York bar at the spring term, 1850, and the same year began the practice of his profession at Whitehall, which was ever after his home and place of business. He practiced law in the Washington county courts and in those of adjoining counties, for over half a century, and being the oldest member of the profession in the county was known as the "Nestor of the Washington County Bar." He was learned in the law, and skillful in its practice and application. He transacted a large amount of legal business, and had a most desirable clientele, whose interests he faithfully served. He had other business interests of importance; was for ten years interested in the lumber business, and also actively engaged in farming and fruit culture for many years. He maintained a vineyard in the eastern part of the village from which he supplied the city market. This farm land and vineyard was a great pleasure to him, and a source of recreation. He visited the farm at five o'clock nearly every morning, and this early morning exercise no doubt contributed to the splendid health of his later years. He was a lifelong Democrat, unswerving in his devotion to party principles and organization. For many years he was village trustee, and for six terms served as president. He was also a member of the board of education, which was his greatest public service. The Whitehall free school system was established in 1866. The members of the school board were chosen for three years. Mr. Davis was elected for that period at the second election, held October 15, 1869, and served continuously on the board for nearly twenty-five years. His devotion to the cause of education was so well known by his townsmen that for most of that period he was chosen as president of the board. He was a thorough gentleman, refined and honorable, and although compelled to be much in the public eye, he was very domestic in his tastes, and much preferred the quiet of his home.

He married, November 22, 1854, Charlotte Towne, daughter of Rufus and Ann (Bryan) Rowe. Ann Bryan was born December 17, 1798, died October 1, 1900, having passed the century mark. Children:

  1. Presson, born August 15, 1855, died June 13, 1860;
  2. Rufus Rowe, September 7, 1857;
  3. Henry W., June 7, 1860, died August 14, 1868;
  4. Charlotte Towne, born August 14, 1862, married, November 19, 1890, Otis A. Dennis; children: Louise D., Eunice E., Ann B.;
  5. Oscar, August 14, 1865, died October 1, 1865;
  6. Pauline Bryan, April 11, 1867, married, October 23, 1895, Walter Nathaniel Weeks, born April 8, 1858, in Calcutta, India, son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Lord) Weeks.

Mrs. Charlotte T. Davis survives her husband, and resides in Whitehall, New York.

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