My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  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.

* * * *

JUDGE ABEL CARTWRIGHT DAVIS has for many years been prominently identified with the official and business interests of Murphysboro, and in fact his name is inseparably connected with the history of Jackson County, for he is numbered among its earliest settlers, and during the years of his residence here he has been a leader in the work of progress and development. Born in Murphysboro Township, March 8, 1827, he is the son of the Rev. Philip Davis, a native of Ohio County, Ky. His grandfather, Gideon Davis, was born in Maryland, and became one of the pioneer planters of Kentucky, where he spent his remaining years.

Philip Davis was educated in Louisville and afterward located in Jackson, Mo. At that time Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri were comprised within one conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He there married Margaret Logan, a native of Ohio and a daughter of John Logan, who was born in Ireland, and who came to this county in an early day. She is a sister of Dr. John Logan, of Murphysboro, and an aunt of John A. Logan, our subject being a cousin of that famous General, who was one of the best known and best loved men of this country.

In 1823 Mr. Davis located in Brownsville, where he engaged in teaching and also served as pastor of the Methodist Church. A few years later he bought a farm near what is now Murphysboro, and when the court house was burned at Brownsville he was appointed one of the judges to restore the records of the county, which task proved an arduous one. In the Masonic fraternity he was very prominent. To farming he devoted his energies until his death, which occurred in 1842, at the age of forty-six. His wife survived him until April, 1893, and passed away at the advanced age of ninety years. In their family were eight children, three of whom are now living. One brother, Philip, who is now a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, served in the Thirty-first Illinois Infantry during the late war.

Judge Davis was reared amid the wild scenes of the frontier. When quite young he attended the subscription school which was taught by Dr. Lynch, who was hired by the father of Mr. Davis and by Dr. Logan. The father died when our subject was thirteen years of age, and two years later he began to earn his own livelihood as a farm hand. He attended school at intervals until he had attained his majority, after which he engaged in teaching for three years. More or less since attaining to man’s estate he has been called upon to fill public offices. Between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one he served as Constable, and after about five years spent as a teacher and farmer he was appointed Deputy Sheriff by William Cox for a term of four years. In 1856 he was elected Sheriff, and held that office for four years. We find him among the boys in blue in 1862, serving as a member of Company A, Thirty-first Illinois Infantry. He participated in the siege of Vicksburg, the battles of Champion Hill, Black River Bridge, Port Gibson, Jackson, Atlanta and Kenesaw Mountain. After the battle of Atlanta he was honorably discharged on account of disability. He proved a valiant and faithful soldier, and was ever found at his post of duty.

After his return home, Mr. Davis was elected Associate Judge of the county for a term of two years. On his retirement from office he resumed the care of his farm, but soon afterward was elected Justice of the Peace, taking up his residence in Murphysboro. He continued to fill that office until April, 1893, when he resigned on account of partial deafness. He has done much work as administrator of estates, and in the discharge of his official duties has ever won high commendation.

The Judge was married in Murphysboro Township to Leah, daughter of David Burkey, of Pennsylvania. She was born in this county. They became the parents of ten children, five of whom reached mature years: Laura, wife of Thomas Etherton, of Sand Ridge; Charles, who was killed by a threshing-machine in East St. Louis; Mrs. Hattie Blackwood, now deceased; Mrs. Mollie Lipe, of Williamson County; Jennie, wife of Dan McLaughlin, of Murphysboro; and Joseph H., who is clerking in Murphysboro.

On the 4th of March, 1884, Mr. Davis married Mrs. Cordelia (Case) Sanders, who was born in Spafford, Onondaga County, N. Y., as was her father, Samuel Case. Her grandfather, Aaron Case, was a native of Schenectady, N. Y. The former followed farming in the Empire State and in Rock County, Wis., but his last days were spent in the east. He married Chloe J., daughter of Timothy Olmsted, both natives of New York. Mrs. Davis was one of six children, five of whom reached mature years, while two are yet living. She was reared in Wisconsin, and in 1852 became the wife of J. W. Sanders, a native of Tennessee, and removed to Marion, Ill., but soon afterward settled in Carbondale. He served as First Lieutenant of the Eighty-first Illinois Infantry during the late war, was afterward Sheriff of Jackson County for four years, and served as Deputy Sheriff under Judge Davis and M. B. Cox. He died September 12, 1876. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Sanders were born three children: Leroy, of Murphysboro; Frances C, wife of A. H. Roberts, of Murphysboro; and John, who died in his seventh year.

Judge Davis served as foreman of the United States Grand Jury in Springfield, Ill., in 1889. He is a charter member of Amity Lodge No. 132, I. O. O. F., has filled all its of offices, and belongs to the encampment. In politics he is a Democrat, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, in which he is serving as Trustee. He has been honored with frequent elections to public office, and the trust reposed in him has never been betrayed. He is faithful and true in all things, and no man is more worthy the high regard in which he is held than A. C. Davis, the prominent pioneer.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Jackson County, Illinois family biographies here: Jackson County, Illinois Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.