Reed Davis


Reed Davis. Many of the citizens of Western Oklahoma have been in at the beginning of civilized things and institutions in that region. In the years to come they will be regarded as pioneers, the founders of towns and communities, and the men who laid in durable fashion the foundation of a prosperity which their descendants and later comers will enjoy. Among the men whose achievements in this direction will deserve future recognition at Grandfield is Mr. Reed Davis, who was with that town when it first began to take shape and form some eight years ago at the time of the opening of the Big Pasture country, and who has been actively identified with it both as a business man and citizen. Mr. Davis is now proprietor of the Davis Lumber Yard of Grandfield.
He was born in White County, Indiana, February 22, 1856, a son of Joseph Warren and Nancy (Jaynes) Davis. Both sides of the family were identified with America prior to the Revolution, the Davises having come from Ireland and settled in Southern Virginia, while the Jaynes family supplied one or more soldiers to the war of the Revolution. Joseph Warren Davis, who was born in the southern part of Virginia in 1827, and died at Douglas, Butler County, Kansas, in July, 1879, made a distinguished record as a soldier and officer of the Union during the Civil war. When he was four years of age his parents removed to Ohio and about 1842 became early settlers in Western Indiana. He lived in that state until 1877, then went out to Douglas, Kansas, operated as a farmer and stock raiser, but lived in Kansas only about two years until his death. He saw four years of service on the Federal side during the war. He went in to the army as second lieutenant in the Sixteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He again enlisted and became captain of Company K in the Sixty-third Indiana Infantry. When this time expired he organized a company and became acting colonel of the One Hundred and Sixteenth Indiana Infantry. He saw much active and arduous service both in the eastern and western fields of the war. He participated in the first and second battles of Bull Run, being slightly wounded in the first engagement, was at Spottsylvania Court House and the bloody Battle of the Wilderness, and in the western campaigns participated in the Battle of Lookout Mountain and at the Battle of Nashville in the latter months of 1864. In the course of his service he was again wounded and lost an eye. His wife, Nancy Jaynes, was born in the same place as her husband, and they grew up as playmates. She was born in 1829 and died at Douglas, Kansas, in 1905. Reed Davis was one of ten children, a brief record of them being as follows: Mary, who lives in the State of Washington, is the widow of Van Pierce, who was a traveling salesman; Hannah and Mark, both deceased: Harriet, wife of George Stocks, a farmer at Clinton, Oklahoma; Reed; Cynthia, who married William Pitts, now a retired farmer at Lafayette, Indiana; Josie, wife of John Erickson, a stockman at Latham, Kansas; Phil Sheridan, deceased; John, who is a graduate of the Industrial College of Kansas and the Kansas State Normal School, has held a chair in the faculty of some college for the past twenty-seven years, and for five years has been professor of physics and chemistry in the Central Normal School at Edmond, Oklahoma; and Arthur, who is agent for the Santa Fe Railroad Company at McPherson, Kansas.
Reed Davis was educated in the public schools of White County, Indiana, and completed his high school training at Douglas, Kansas, and for several summers attended the Normal School at Eldorado, Kansas. In the early part of his career he had charge of several country schools in Butler County, Kansas. The years from 1881 to 1887 were spent in farming and stock raising in Butler County, and during the next twenty years or more he was in the contracting and building business, and also had a lumber yard in Butler County four years. In 1906 he removed to Chattanooga, Oklahoma, established a lumber yard there, and in 1907 established a second yard at Grandfield, which he still owns, having sold his business interests at Chattanooga. Mr. Davis has a farm of 160 acres situated 3½ miles north of Grandfield, another quarter section 3½ miles north and one mile east of Grandfield, and is one of the most solid and substantial men in that section of the state.
Since coming to Oklahoma he has also done his share as a citizen. He served as mayor of Chattanooga two years while a resident there, and for the past two years has been the mayor of Grandfield. For a number of years he was a member of boards of education in Kansas. In politics he is a democrat, is an elder in the Presbyterian Church, is past master of Grandfield Lodge No. 378, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America at Grandfield.
In 1878 Mr. Davis married Mary Lightfoot of Butler County, Kansas, and she died in Douglas in that county in 1880 without children. In 1882 at Douglas Mr. Davis married Emeline True, who died there in 1905. Surviving her and honoring her memory are five children: Ralph A., born March 6, 1886, attended high school at Douglas, Kansas, and is now on one of his father’s farms; Doris, born May 17, 1890, is the wife of A. D. Thompson, who is manager of the Southern Iron Manufacturing Company at Dallas, Texas; Elsie, born April 3, 1892, is a stenographer at Dallas and makes her home with her sister Doris; Ruby Ree, born July 4, 1897, was married December 27, 1914, to Robert E. Lee Huff, now manager of the lumber yard at Grandfield; and John Bunyan, born April 3, 1905, is a student in the Grandfield schools.