James J. Davis, one of Johnson County’s old pioneers, was born in Wythe County, Va., July 25, 1824. He was the son of Reuben and Mary (Brown) Davis. His father was the son of Jacob Davis, who emigrated to America from Germany. Reuben Davis was born December 18, 1797, in Wythe County, Va. He died in Pleasant Township, this county, December 23, 1857. The mother of our subject was also a native of Wythe County, Va., born October 22, 1797. She was married to Reuben Davis, April 11, 1822. She died in Pleasant Township, this county, August 21, 1857. Our subject was the only son in a family of four children. His three sisters were: Louisa J., born April 30, 1823, and died in September, 1846; Susan B., born November 7, 1825, and died September 14, 1856, and Matilda A., born July 27, 1830. She is now the wife of Rev. Benjamin Groves, of Indianapolis. When the subject of this sketch was but four years old, his parents emigrated from Wythe County, Va., to Johnson County, Ind., and settled in Pleasant Township, where his parents spent the remainder of their lives. The youth of our subject was spent helping to clear and cultivate his father’s farm. The whole time he spent in school did not amount to eighteen months. He remained at home with his parents until he reached manhood. He was married on Christmas Day, 1845, to Almyra Hughes. She was born in Fayette County, this state, March 6, 1828, and was the daughter of Rev. Jesse and Nancy (Melton) Hughes, the former being born in 1798. He was a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was twice married, his first wife being Nancy Melton, and his second wife, Elizabeth Hawkins. He died in White River Township, July 30, 1873. The mother of Mrs. Davis died in White River Township, June 9, 1851. Ever since their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Davis have resided in Pleasant Township, with the exception of about two years. The life occupation of Mr. Davis has been farming. He and his wife own 186 acres of land, about three-fourths of which is under cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have had four children: Reuben, born September 3, 1848, deceased; Louisa M., February 9, 1852, deceased; John T., January 23, 1855, and Jesse H., March 20, 1858. Mr. and Mrs. Davis are members of the United Brethren Church. In politics, he is a staunch republican. Mr. Davis served as a Union soldier from February, 1865, to the close of the war. He was enrolled in Company E, One Hundred and Forty-eighth Indiana Infantry. He was honorably discharged at Indianapolis, September 14, 1865. When Mrs. Davis was in her fourth year her parents came from Fayette County to Johnson County, and settled in White River Township. By leading lives of industry, Mr. and Mrs. Davis are in good circumstances, and have also given forty acres of land to each of their children.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 785.