DAVIS, JAMES E. - The family of which James E. Davis is a member, has been well known in Sangamon County, Ill., for eighty years. Mr. Davis is a native of the county, born November 17, 1840, son of Richard and Elizabeth (Neal) Davis, natives of Kentucky, the former born in April, 1800, and the latter born in Nelson County, about 1803. They were married and had one child in Kentucky and emigrated to Sangamon County, Ill., arriving before the deep snow of 1830-31. They had three children born in Sangamon County. Richard Davis was a shoemaker by trade and served in the Black Hawk War. The children born to him and his wife were: George L. died unmarried in 1856; Diana married Philip Loeb; John H., and James E.
The education of James E. Davis was acquired in the public schools of Springfield and he has lived in the city most of his life. Upon leaving school he began work at brick-making, and enlisted, August 2, 1862, in Springfield, in Company F., Twelfth Volunteer Infantry, serving under General Wallace. He served to the end of the war in this company and made a record of which he is justly proud. He was mustered out at Richmond, Va., August 11, 1865, having participated in many of the important engagements of the war, among them: Battle of the Wilderness, Weldon Railroad, North Ann, Cold Harbor and Pebble Farm. He is a member of Stephenson Post No. 30, G. A. R., and also belongs to the M. W. A.Upon his return after the close of the war, Mr. Davis was employed in the blacksmith shops of the Wabash Railroad Company for about eight years, then became a member of the Springfield Fire Department about 1900 and has lived retired ever since. He has always been an enterprising citizen of Springfield and has been deeply interested in its progress and welfare. Having been born and reared in the city, he has a large number of friends. He is highly esteemed for his kindly, genial disposition and his many sterling qualities. He owns a very comfortable home at 907 North Third Street, Springfield, and there he and his wife delight in meeting and entertaining their friends. Mr. Davis is a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and in politics is a Democrat.
The marriage of Mr. Davis took place at Springfield, August 8, 1868, when he was united with Rose McGrane, daughter of Lawrence and Catherine (Bradley) McGrane, born in County West Meath, Ireland, November 31, 1852. Her parents embarked on board a ship which was wrecked, and they were seven months at sea, before landinnding in New York. They came to Morristown, N. J. The wife died there about 1895. Mrs. Davis was the youngest of eight children and all are deceased. There were all members of the Catholic Church. Two children have blessed this union, Christian, born July 30, 1880, and William J., November 22, 1874. Mrs. Davis is a woman of culture and high character and is loved by all who have the pleasure of her acquaintance.