Fields E. Davis

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 360-361, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Fields E. Davis, who has been for many years identified with the leading farmers of Schuyler county, is a native of the State of Tennessee, born in Greene county, in 1827, a son of Paul Davis; the paternal grandfather was Fields Davis. Paul Davis was reared in Tennessee, and there married Sarah Huff, a daughter of Elias Huff. In 1827, accompanied by his wife and child he emigrated to Illinois, and located in what is now Rushville township. He remained here a few months and went to Indiana, and lived near New Albany until 1837, and then returned to Schuyler county, and rented land on which he passed the last days of his life. Elias Huff removed from Tennessee to Illinois in 1827, and settled in Schuyler county; after a few years he removed to McDonough county, Illinois, where he died. Mrs. Sarah H. Davis died in Hancock county, Illinois. Fields E. Davis was an infant when his parents first penetrated the wilds of Schuyler county, and was a lad of ten when they returned to the State. He received his education in the pioneer schools, and has a vivid recollection of the puncheon floors, puncheon seats and puncheon desks, the finishings and furnishings being of almost the same pattern. He remained under the parental roof until he was seventeen years old, when he went to learn the cooper trade; this he followed until 1846, when he enlisted in the Mexican war. He soon fell ill, and was discharged on account of disability; he was in Texas at the time, but returned to his home, and resumed his former occupation. This he pursued until 1851, when he took a trip to the Territory of Minnesota, going via the river to St. Paul which was then a rather straggling village. He returned in the autumn of the same year, worked at his trade, and in the spring of 1855, started for California. This long and weary journey was made across the plains with ox teams, when there were no settlements between the Missouri river and the Pacific coast, excepting the military posts and the Mormons at Salt Lake. He started in March, and reached the golden State in the following August. He first engaged in mining, the all-absorbing occupation, and afterward followed farming. In 1857 he returned to the East, coming via the Isthmus of Panama. He worked at his trade for two years, and then purchased a farm consisting of 160 acres; this he has by industry and toil brought to a high state of cultivation, and he has made many valuable improvements; he has erected good, substantial buildings, all conveniently arranged for farming purposes. He is a thoroughly self-made man, and it is through his own efforts that he has arisen to a position of financial independence.
  Mr. Davis was united in marriage April 1, 1860, to Miss Lydia E. Smith, a native of Schuyler county, Illinois, and a daughter of Jonathan and Nancy Smith, whose history appears elsewhere in this work. Eight children have been born of this union: Charles J., Mary, Virginia E., William, Margaret, Samuel, Fanny and John. Mr. Davis is a consistent member of the Missionary Baptist church, and is highly respected by the citizens of his county.

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