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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN DAVIS, a prosperous and practical farmer of Ware, was born at Three Rivers in the town of Palmer, Mass., on November 9, 1837, son of Benjamin, Jr., and Cordelia (Buffington) Davis, the former of whom was a native of Ware.

The Davis family are of Welsh ancestry. The earliest progenitor in this country of whom anything definite is known was Benjamin Davis, the great-great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He died at South Gore in the town of Oxford, Mass., in 1787, seventy-four years of age. His son. Crafts Davis, who was born in Oxford, in 1744, lived to the advanced age of ninety-three years. Benjamin Davis, the grandfather of Benjamin Franklin Davis, was born in Oxford on September 20, 1774. He was reared to a farm life and continued in it with advantage to himself, first in Oxford and later in Ware, whither he removed about the year 1800. He died in Ware on September 19, 1860, aged eighty-six years. His wife, Theodosia Davis, to whom he was married on October 3, 1796, reared nine children, all of whom married, except one daughter. Two are now living, namely: Dr. Willard Gould Davis, born March 1, 1815, residing in Dunnsville, N.Y.; and Sarah, the widow of Fisk Brooks, living at Stafford, Conn., and now eighty-seven years of age. Her son, P. H. M. Brooks, is a high-rank mechanic in the Springfield Armory. Mrs. Theodosia Davis died January 29, 1861, at the age of eighty-four years and six months. Benjamin Davis, Jr., born in Ware, July 16, 1811, spent his early years on his father’s farm; but when he started for himself he engaged in manufacturing, which he followed with success, first at Three Rivers and later at Thorndike, both in the town of Palmer, Mass. Then, in 1846, he came to Ware. He was married May 4, 1836, to Cordelia Buffington, a daughter of Royal Buffington, of Connecticut. Nine children were born of their union, and four sons and four daughters are now living.

Benjamin F. Davis received his education in the Ware High School and at Williston Seminary. He taught school for one winter; but after that he engaged in farming, which he has since followed with good success. He keeps a dairy of twenty-five or thirty choice cows, and has sold the milk in Ware during the past thirteen years. The products of his farm and dairy combined have in a single year brought him in about four thousand dollars, a good percentage of which is profit. In addition to his home farm he has three others, and in all owns about seven hundred acres of land. His success must be largely due to his apparently unfailing energy and industry. His day’s work usually begins between three and four o’clock in the morning, and continues till late in the evening. He still enjoys excellent health.

On July 26, 1856, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Jane Phillips, of Chicopee Falls, Mass. She was a daughter of Walter Phillips, who came to Ware about fifty years ago. She lived to the age of forty-four years, dying March 4, 1882. Ten children were born of her union with Mr. Davis, of whom nine are now living, namely: Jennie Fremont, the wife of Frank E. Morris, of Monson, Mass.; Emma C., who married L. Walter Newton, of Allegheny, Pa., and has five children; Mary E., residing at home; Benjamin F., Jr., a teamster and farmer, who is married and has one son; Anna Belle, the wife of Frank L. Boothe, of California, who has two sons; Cora Maria, who lives at home; Helen Augusta, living at home; Charles Henry, who is in the Sophomore class at Williams College; and Mabel Phillips, a young lady attending the high school. George W. Davis died on January 18, 1884, when but fourteen years of age. The daughters are graduates of Ware High School, and Miss Cora M. Davis spent one year in Wellesley College. Mr. Davis was again married on November 24, 1894, to Miss Susan M. Goyette, of Ware.

In politics Mr. Davis is a Republican. He has served his town as Selectman, Assessor, and in other offices; and in 1875 he was elected Representative to the State legislature for the Ware district.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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