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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  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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Captain Hiram Davis, whose title is indicative of his service as a soldier of the Civil war, is now a prosperous resident of Sand Creek township. His life, characterized by diligence and enterprise, has been crowned with success. For forty years he has been numbered among the farmers and stock-raisers of Union county, living in Sand Creek township. He had previously resided in Henry county for about fifteen years and has therefore been a witness of Iowa’s development and progress for almost six decades, his memory forming a connecting link between the pioneer past and the progressive present. He was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, February 11, 1837.

His father, John Davis, was a native of Pennsylvania, born October 15, 1797, and ere he left the state of his nativity he was married to Miss Elizabeth Keeffer, who was born in Pennsylvania, November 6, 1801. They took up their abode upon a farm in the Keystone state, where they lived until after the birth of two of their three children, when they removed westward to Ohio, establishing their home in Tuscarawas county, where in the midst of the green woods John Davis cleared and developed a farm, cut down the trees, burning up the brush and grubbing out the stumps in order that he might plow and plant his fields. For some years he continued to engage in general agricultural pursuits in Ohio and then came to Iowa in 1852. Here he purchased raw prairie land in Henry county, upon which he lived for a considerable period, when he joined his son, Captain Davis, in Union county.

Hiram Davis was a lad of thirteen years at the time he accompanied his parents to Iowa and upon the home farm in Henry county he attained his majority, while aiding in the arduous task of developing the property and converting the virgin soil into productive fields. The public schools afforded him a good English education, while under his father’s direction he learned many valuable lessons of life concerning the worth of unfaltering diligence, perseverance and business integrity. In 1861 he responded to the country’s call for aid, enlisting as a member of Company D, Fourth Iowa Cavalry. With that command he went to the front, joining the Western Army, participating in numerous skirmishes and also in the siege of Vicksburg until its surrender. He afterward took part in the battles of Jackson, Mississippi; Selma, Alabama; and Columbus, Georgia; and when on the expiration of his first term he veteranized at Vicksburg, he was granted a thirty days’ furlough, which he spent at home. He then rejoined the regiment at Memphis, Tennessee. During the early part of his service he was ill in the hospital to a considerable extent but later seemed to become more inured to the hardships and exposure of war and on many a hotly contested battlefield demonstrated his loyalty to the Union. At Atlanta, Georgia, he was mustered out and was honorably discharged at Davenport, Iowa, in August, 1865, having an excellent military record to his credit.

As one of the heroes of the Civil war. Captain Davis returned to his home in Henry county, where he engaged in farming for about three years, and thence came to Union county. On the 19th of September, 1867, he made preparations for having a home of his own by his marriage to Miss Mary F. Wright, who was born in Bartholomew county, Indiana, a daughter of Levi Wright, who was a native of Kentucky but was reared and married in Indiana. In 1856 he came to Iowa and cast in his lot with the pioneer residents of Union county, where his daughter, Mrs. Davis, spent her girlhood days. Following their marriage Captain Davis raised two crops in Henry county and then came to Union county, where he has since been actively engaged in farming and stock-raising, renting a good property in Sand Creek township, one mile south of Arispe. The farm is attractive in its appearance by reason of its well tilled fields and substantial buildings, while in the pastures are seen good grades of stock, and in the raising and feeding of stock he adds materially to his income.

As the years have passed by six children were added to the Davis house hold, namely: Celesta B., now the wife of G. H. Moon, a mechanic of Des Moines; Lizzie, the wife of G. R. Wilson, of Arispe; Ira J., who aids in carrying on the home farm; George L., who is now doing for himself; and W. R., who is connected with the operation of the home farm. They lost a daughter, Eva Belle, in infancy.

During the long years of their residence in this county Mr. and Mrs. Davis have gained a wide acquaintance and substantial qualities of heart and mind, combined with deference for the opinions and consideration for the rights of others, have secured to them high regard. Politically Mr. Davis is a republican, although he does not consider himself bound by party ties and frequently votes independently at local elections. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. For fifty-seven years Captain Davis has been a witness of the events which have shaped the history of Iowa and for forty years has lived in Union county, contributing through his influence and labors to its upbuilding and growth. He relates many interesting incidents of the early pioneer times and few have more intimate knowledge of the events that occurred in early days.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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