EDWARD H. DAVIS, a retired farmer living on a farm which adjoins the city limits of Bunker Hill, is numbered among the honored pioneers of the county, few having longer resided in this locality. He has not only been an eyewitness of the growth and progress of the county but has also taken an active part in its upbuilding, especially has he been prominently connected with its agricultural interests. He has seen its once wild lands transformed into beautiful farms, its cabin homes replaced by substantial and beautiful residences, towns and villages spring up and has witnessed the introduction of many manufactures and industries, also the advent of the railroad, the telegraph and telephone. But we will speak more of his pioneer experiences in the recital of his life work.
Mr. Davis was born in Concord, N.H., February 25, 1821, and belongs to one of the prominent families of the Granite State. His grandparents, natives of England, emigrated to America prior to the Revolutionary War, and when the Colonies resolved to throw off the yoke of British tyranny the grandfather, David Davis, enlisted as a musician and became a notable patriot. The father of our subject, Robert Davis, was a jeweler of Concord, in which city he spent his entire life, dying at the age of seventy-one years. He was a prominent politician and as such gained a State reputation. He served as Postmaster of Concord and was also Quartermaster General for the State Militia. His political views were those of the Democracy.
Our subject is the eldest son and second child born unto Mr. and Mrs. Robert Davis. He acquired an excellent education in the schools of Concord and Pembroke, N.H., and under his father's direction learned the jeweler's trade, which he followed for three years in Savannah, Ga., before coming to Illinois. The year 1839, witnessed his arrival in Macoupin County, since which time he has been numbered among the leading and influential citizens of the community. Farming has been his life work and at his present home he has resided since 1852 engaged in general farming and stock-raising, whereby he has acquired a handsome competence. Although he has led a busy life he has yet found time to devote to public interests and upon the Democratic ticket, being a stanch supporter of the Democracy, he has been elected to various public offices. He was the first Clerk elected after the organization of his township, for the period of five years was Deputy Assessor of the county and for a term of eight years served as Deputy Sheriff. Every enterprise calculated to benefit the community receives his hearty support and co-operation and no man has done more for the upbuilding of the community in which he makes his home.
It was after his arrival in this county that Mr. Davis, on the 5th of October, 1840, was united in marriage with Miss Jane Cavender. For more than a half a century they have traveled life's journey together, sharing with each other the joys and sorrows, the adversity and prosperity which checkers the lives of all. Their union has been blessed with ten children and only one has been called away - Eliza J. who died in childhood. Henry, the eldest, wedded Minnie Fansteil and resides in St. Paul, Minn.; Charles who wedded Catherine Fullerton of Minnesota, is now an engineer of Minneapolis; Frank led to the marriage altar Miss Margaret Colman and they are living in Nevada, Mo., where he is employed as an engineer; Calista is the wife of Harry Winder, a farmer of Anoka, Minn.; Albert operates the home farm; Walter is a resident of Nevada, Mo.; Rebecca is the wife of Henry Sneeringer, a resident farmer of Bunker Hill Township; Lucy is the wife of Charles Oliver, a painter of Bunker Hill; and Fred, who wedded Julia Alexander, makes his home in Bunker Hill.
Mrs. Davis, the mother of this family, was born in Hillsboro County, N.H., May 22, 1823, and is a daughter of Charles Cavender, who was born and reared in New Hampshire and early in the spring of 1838, left that State in company with his daughter and emigrated Westward to Illinois, settling on an unbroken farm of one hundred and sixty acres of land just west of Bunker Hill, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying at the age of eighty-three years. He was a prominent Democrat, a member of the Christian Church, and one of the leading citizens of the community. Mrs. Davis was only a child, when with her father she came to this county. She has now resided in the vicinity of Bunker Hill longer than any other lady resident of this locality. Both Mr. and Mrs. Davis are members of the Congregational Church. They are numbered among Macoupin County's best citizens and are held in universal esteem.