Davison Filson


DAVISON FILSON, an honored and worthy citizen of Steubenville, was born in Franklin county, Penn., June 5, 1829. He was the son of Josiah and Sarah (Stinger) Filson; both were also born in Franklin county, Penn. His father was the son of Robert and Elizabeth (Snyder) Filson, who also were natives of the same county in Pennsylvania. His paternal grandfather's name was also Robert Filson, who was a native of Chester county, Penn., and who was a brother of John Filson, who was very prominent in the early history of Kentucky. He was a surveyor by profession, and made the first map of the state of Kentucky, which he dedicated to George Washington. Robert Filson, the great grandfather of our subject, was the son of Davison Filson, who was the son of John Filson, all of whom resided in Chester county, Penn. The Filson family originally came from Ireland. The subject of this sketch was reared to the age of sixteen in his native county. At that age he accompanied his parents to Monongahela city, Penn., and a year later, to Freedom, Beaver county, Penn. Shortly after, however, our subject returned to Monongahela city, where he began to learn the carpenter's trade. In 1848 he came to Steubenville, but in 1850, he returned to Monongahela city, and at that place, and Port Perry, Penn., he worked at his trade until 1851. In that year he returned to Steubenville, where he has resided ever since, with the exception of three months in 1867, during which he resided in Kansas City, Mo., three months in 1881, during which he resided in Reno, Nev. and three months in 1882, during which he resided in San Francisco, Cal. While in Nevada and California he gave his attention to mining. FOr a short time after locating in Steubenville in 1851, he worked at the carpenter's trade. In 1852 he engaged at the painter's trade and followed it until 1863. In that year he turned his attention to photography, and with the exception of the short periods of time spent in the west, he has given it his entire attention ever since, being now one of the leading photographers of this section of country. Since 1883 his son, Charles P. Filson, has been his partner, and the gallery has been conducted under the firm name of Filson & Son. Mr. Filson was married, March 25, 1852, to Martha Ann Filson, who was born in Steubenville June 20, 1831, being the daughter of Samuel and Anna (Starr) Filson, the former of whom came to Steubenville in about 1806. Mr. and Mrs. Filson are the parents of four children, as follows: Anna, Sarah, Mary S. and Charles P. He and wife are members of the Presbyterian church. In politics the former is a republican. He has served as a member of the city council one term and as a member of the school board for years. Mr. Filson is a true gentleman in every sense, and a citizen who is respected and esteemed by all. Mary S., the third child, is now the wife of E. B. Caswell, of Portsmouth, Ohio. Charles R. Filson married Estella Priest.

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