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Below is a family biography included in The History of Miller County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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P. J. Davidson, merchant, and a man identified with the improvement of Aurora Springs, is the fifth in a family of nine children born to William F. and Lavina R. (McPeake) Davidson, natives of North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively. The father immigrated to Illinois m 1847, came to Morgan County, now Miller County, Mo., in 1851, and here followed agricultural pursuits for many years In connection with this industry he also taught school for thirty years’ and died at Rocky Mount, Miller County, in 1882. He was for a long time justice of the peace, and was a popular and well-known auctioneer. P. J. Davidson was born May 5, 1841, and was reared to farm life until the breaking out of the late war, when he enlisted in Capt. Green’s company at Jefferson City in 1861. He served three years, participated in the various campaigns of Western Missouri and Arkansas, and was mustered out of the service in the fall of 1863. In the spring of the following year he entered the employ of Mason & Waddle, and was engaged in transferring freight from Leavenworth to Salt Lake. He was married in Leavenworth to Miss Mary J. Hulm, and entered business as hotel and saloon-keeper He remained there for about three years, and then removed to High Point Moniteau County, Mo., where he lost his wife. He started the Farmers Hotel and Saloon, which he conducted for over six years, after which he removed to Jefferson City and started a saloon. He bought a farm in the vicinity, improved it, made up a temporary home, and married his second wife, Miss Elvira R. Hughes, of Cole County. In 1882 Mr. Davidson came to Aurora Springs, starting a saloon near the depot, but soon after built a fine dwelling, also a store, and began the business of a general merchant. He occupied the first house built at the depot (one mile from Aurora Springs), called West Aurora Springs. During this time he has become the owner of 500 acres of land, with about 150 under a fine state of cultivation. This land is underlaid with coal, iron and lead. He has built seven fine houses, which he rents, and has in contemplation several more. He has been extensively engaged in contracting for the railroad company—wood and ties. Mr. Davidson became the father of one daughter by his first wife, and to his second union five children were born: Luella, wife of Rev R. R. Brent; Evert Jerome, Estella G., Gen. Grant, Clement H. and Irene V. Mr. Davidson is a stanch Republican in his political views, and cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. lodge.

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This family biography is one of 120 biographies included in The History of Miller County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Miller County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Miller County, Missouri family biographies here: Miller County, Missouri Biographies

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