My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  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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ROLLA DAVIS. Among the business men of Bellbrook, Greene County, no man bears a higher reputation for personal character and business integrity and tact than the gentleman whose name initiates this sketch. Two years since he bought out the establishment of M. D. Smith, and added notions and hardware to the grocery stock that had been carried; his business now amounts to 16,000 per year, and gives promise of still farther sales in time to come. Mr. Davis owns a fine farm of ninety acres, seventy of which are under the plow, furnished with a good house, adequate barns and other buildings, and well stocked. It is rented out, and his entire attention is devoted to his business interests in the village, and to the service of his fellow-men as a township official, and in church work.

The father of the gentleman of whom we write was a prominent man in this locality for a number of years, and the name of Jonathan Davis belongs to the history of this section. He was born in Delaware, but came to Ohio when a poor boy, first working out on a farm and in a sawmill. By hard work, strict integrity, and wise economy he accumulated an estate valued at $70,000. He married Roxann Silvers, who bore him four children, three of whom are now living. She having been removed from him by death, he became the husband of Sarah Ann Darst. Their union resulted in the birth of eight children, six of whom survive. He departed this life in 1875, and his widow in 1880. For thirty years he was an Elder in the Disciples Church. A further account of his history will be found in the sketch of Mrs. Daniel Wilson.

Jacob Davis, the oldest brother of our subject, died March 13, 1890, aged forty-eight years and ten months, leaving a widow. He was an Elder in the Christian Church. Jonathan, a brother two years older than our subject, gave his life to his country, being a member of the One Hundred and Eighty-third Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. He was wounded at Duck River, Tenn., and died in the hospital at Louisville, Ky., his body being brought home and interred in the cemetery near Bellbrook. He was an earnest Christian, and took an active part in devotional exercises in the camp.

The subject of this biographical sketch was born on the home farm in Greene County, May 4, 1845, and after receiving a good common-school education spent one year in study at the Christian University near Indianapolis, Ind. During his boyhood he acquired such a knowledge of farming as is obtained by any intelligent youth who is reared upon a farm, and laid the foundation for future success in agricultural work. He began life for himself at the age of twenty years, and for fourteen years was engaged in tilling the soil. He afterward took an agency for the salt of agricultural implements, and was occupied in this work some seven years. His next enterprise was the mercantile business, in which he is now engaged, and in which he is giving proof of the fact that his business abilities are such as to adapt him to a life of trade.

The attractive home of Mr. Davis is presided over by a lady of more than ordinary intelligence, of refinement and Christian character, who bore the maiden name of Catherine Haines. Her parents, Ezra and Susan (Dunwiddie) Haines, are numbered among the old settlers in this section, to which her father came poor, and in which he acquired a fortune and became prominent and influential. He died in 1884, but his widow is still living, having now reached the ripe age of fourscore years. Their family comprised ten children, all yet living but one. Mrs. Davis was born September 10, 1848, and although her studies were prosecuted in the common schools she obtained a very thorough knowledge of the English branches. Her marriage was celebrated March 13, 1867, and the happy union has been blessed by the birth of six children — Allan Henry, Susan, Jennie, Maud, James and Arthur H.

Mr. Davis has been Supervisor of Sugar Creek Township five terms, and is now serving his fourth year as Township Trustee. He has served on the School Board seven years, and has also been a member of the Common Council of Bellbrook. For twenty-six years he has been identified with the Church of Christ, and is one of its most ardent supporters, being an active worker in the Sunday-school, in which he has been a teacher for several years, and wielding a decided influence for the cause of Christianity. His wife holds membership in the Baptist Church. For some fifteen years past he has been much interested in political affairs, affiliating with the Republican party, and exerting a strong influence in the political arena. He has frequently served as delegate to county conventions, and has also sat in State and Congressional conventions.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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