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Davis, Matthew Biography


Matthew Davis.

The prosperous and substantial citizens of Niles township have no more worthy representative than Matthew Davis, who occupies a good position among the keen, enterprising and business-like farmers who are so ably conducting the agricultural interests of this part of Delaware county. A son of the late Rev. Christian S. Davis, he was born July 18, 1852, on the parental homestead, and comes of patriotic stock, his grandfather, Matthew Davis, for whom he was named, having served in the Revolutionary war.

Christian S. Davis was born in Brown county, Ohio, on the farm which his father hewed from the dense wilderness, and received his elementary education in the typical log schoolhouse of his day. From childhood he showed a strong tendency to religious thought and feeling, and from an early age was a close student of the Bible. When but twelve years old he went to Kentucky, where he grew to manhood. Coming then to Indiana, he located first in Randolph county, but afterwards removed to Delaware county, and while here assisted to redeem a portion of the uncultivated soil and also labored to incline the hearts and minds of the people to religious things. He was a preacher in the German Baptist church, and in the performance of the duties devolving upon him in this capacity traveled extensively throughout Delaware and Jay counties. He lived a long and useful life, exemplifying in his daily walks the beauties of the gospel which he preached, and passed away at the age of eighty-four years, serene and happy in his faith of a better world beyond. He married Christina Metzer, who was born in Pennsylvania, and died at the age of seventy-six years in Indiana, leaving three children, namely: John G., of Tennessee; Matthew, the subject of this brief biographical sketch; and Charles, of Tennessee.

The son of a pioneer minister of the gospel, Matthew Davis attended the brief sessions of the district schools, in the meanwhile assisting his father during seed time and harvest. Developing a liking for the rural occupation to which he was reared, he became a farmer from choice and is now the owner of a fine farm of eighty acres, whose broad fields yield him rich harvests. He has a modernly built house, with a creditable set of farm buildings, and on his estate he has both gas and oil wells.

Mr. Davis married, in Delaware county, June 18, 1874, Lizzie Beal, who was born in this township, a daughter of John and Rebecca Beal. She was born December 12, 1853, and died September 10, 1876, at the early age of twenty-three years.

She bore him two children, one of whom died in infancy, the other being Mrs. Nettie G. Ledbetter, of Niles township.

Mr. Davis married second, November 22, 1877, Mary E. Beal, a sister of his first wife. She died December 5, 1884, aged twenty-seven years, leaving two children, namely:

Orville L., of Randolph county; and

Mrs. Lola S. Philabaum, who lives on her father’s farm.

Mr. Davis married third, December 3, 1885, Rose E. Fleming, who was born and bred in Niles township, born March 4, 1855, a daughter of William C. Fleming and granddaughter of Caleb Fleming, of Ohio.

Mr. Fleming was born in Ohio and during the Civil war served for nine months. He subsequently settled on a farm in Niles township, and for a number of years was actively employed in tilling the soil. He is now living retired in Hartford City, where he is esteemed and respected as a man of honor and integrity, and is a valued member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He married Sarah Worster, who was born in Fayette county, Illinois, a daughter of the late Amos M. Worster.

Mr. Worster had passed the age limit for soldiers at the time of the Civil war, but so anxious was he to serve his country that he put the number forty-five in his hat and testified that he was under forty-five, and at the same time a young son of his, a beardless youth, put the number eighteen in his boots and said that he was over eighteen, and both were mustered into service. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. William C. Fleming, namely:

Mrs. Rose Davis, wife of the subject of this sketch;

James A.;

Mrs. Sarah O. Caldwell;

Mary E., who died at the age of nineteen years;

Mrs. Sophronia King, of Pueblo, Colorado ;

Mrs. Rachel Cassiday, of Wabash, Indiana; and

Mrs. Mattie Tilton, of Danville, Illinois.

Mr. and Mrs. Davis have one child, Ivan C. Davis, living at home. He was educated in the common schools and is a progressive farmer. He wedded Miss Ethel Vincent, daughter of Minan Vincent. They were married November 16, 1907, and reside in Niles township. Both Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Davis are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and liberal supporters of the organization.

A 20th Century History of Delaware County Indiana, Vol. 2, Illustrated, by G. W. H. Kemper, M. D. ed.,Chicago, Ill 1908

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