A Sketch of the Life
Mrs. Mary Allison Davis
by Reubin Davis
Published: Times, May 8, 1884
From: Legacy of Kin; Harold Felty; p. 26-28
|Mary Davis was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, January
21, 1789. On the breaking out of the Seven Years' Indian War in
1790, her father Robert Allison, moved to Marietta, Ohio, at the mouth
of the Muskingum river, and had command of the fort at that place during
the tedious years of that bloody struggle. Little Mary was in in
the fort from about her third year to her tenth, and, of course, became
inured to all the hardships of frontier life, and accustomed to the
cruel scenes of our Indian war. These events of her early life
were literally burned in her memory, and all the incidents and details
of this long life in the midst of an unrelenting and savage foe, with no
protection save the imperfect walls of a pioneer fort and the strong
hands and brave hearts that were her companions, remained as fresh in
her mind as the events of the passing day. She remembered and could tell
all about the French soldiers that were for a time at the fort, and of
the bloody slaughter of immigrants at Fort Harmer and other points
farther down the river. She never got over the indignation she and
the whole garrison felt at the disgraceful surrender of the Army by Gen.
At the close of the war Mr. Allison moved with his family fourteen miles up the Muskingum river, and, in company with Col. Wm. Davis, Mr. Kinney, Wm. Mason and Dick Coburn, built what was known as Kinney's Garrison, which consisted of log houses built with their corners touching so as to form a square block. They cleared land adjoining this fort or block house, and all worked together, keeping one of their number constantly on the watch. Mr. Allison's house was the first one built in "Kinney's Garrison," and here in the wilderness among the mountains of the Muskingum, and surrounded by savage Indians and savage beasts, Mary Allison grew up to womanhood, and was wooed and won by a daring young frontiersman, Nehemiah Davis, she came from the far away state of Maine, but who like herself was inured to the wild life of the wilderness; they were married April 18, 1805.
Getting their small quantity of earthly goods together, the young couple left the Garrison and settled on Sugar creek, one and a half miles from Big Hockhocking river, in what is now Dover township, four miles north of Athens. About the time of their settlement on Sugar creek, a dozen or so of mirrors were brought to Athens and offered for sale, the first perhaps that had reached that locality. One of these was purchased by Mrs. Davis, and this old looking glass, still perfect as when it reflected her young face in the Ohio wilderness, was one of her most cherished possessions at the time of her death.
Sugar creek remained their home until five children had come to cheer them in the wilderness, when in 1817, they moved down the Ohio river to the mouth of Racoon creek in Gallia county, seven miles below Gallipolis, where they made for themselves a new home, Mr. Davis farming in the summer and hunting in the winter, and many are the bear, deer and wolves that yielded their lives at the voice of his unerring rifle. He never owned but one rifle, and that he left in good order at the time of his death, after a constant use of sixty-five years.
In 1839, with the pioneer's characteristic longing for the wilderness, they moved to the State of Illinois and settled on the west line of Hamilton county, ten miles from McLeansboro, but the two that more than twenty-five years before had settled on Sugar creek, were now fourteen, twelve children having been born unto them, and were all alive and rapidly becoming men and women. Mr. Davis 1854, at the ripe age of seventy-six years, but he lived to see all of his twelve children with families of their own,--left twelve families as did Jacob of Old when he was gathered to his fathers.
Mrs. Davis began practice as a female physician at the age of forty years and as such became very popular, the line of her practice extending for miles around her home, and during the fifty years of her practice, by her own record, she attended the birth of more than a thousand children, and never lost a patient in her life. When about fifty years of age whe made a profession of religion, and joined the Methodist Episcopal church, of which she remained a faithful member until she went quietly, and peacefully to the Higher Rest October 26, 1882, being ninety-three years, eight months and twenty-eight days old. She has a sister still living in Ohio, now 99 years old. Mrs. Davis left surviving her, nine of her twelve children. (Compilers note: For clarity, this long paragraph has been divided and her children's names capitalized.)
Her oldest son, Grasson DAVIS, lives in Gallia county, Ohio; he married Celissa NOLES, and they have five children--three sons, Franklin, Brooks and Quincy, and two daughters, Ann Amelia and Myra Florence. This son had eight grand-children; three of them living in India.
Matilda J. CASE, a daughter, had four sons, only one of whom is living. Thomas Case, of Pawnee, Nebraska. She had eleven grandchildren.
Sophronia BAUGH1, another daughter lives in McGregor, Iowa, and has three children, one son and two daughters--she had four grandchildren, one boy and three girls, living.
Minerva P. LIONBERGER, another daughter, lives at Moore's Prairie, Jefferson County, Illinois; she has nine children, of whom seven are dead; one son and one daughter living.
Amazona DEWITT, another daughter, late of McLeansboro, had twelve children, six girls and six boys, ten of whom are living; she had sixty grandchildren and thirty-three great grandchildren, five great grandchildren are dead.
Mary COLE, another daughter lives in Gallipolis, Ohio, has ten children, one son killed in the war; she has twenty-two grandchildren.
Robert A. DAVIS2, another son, died in the City of Mexico in 1847, he had three children, two dead.
Asenath DAVISSON3, another daughter, lives at Mt. Vernon, Illinois, has had twelve children, ten of them living; she has eighteen grandchildren, two being dead.
Reuben DAVIS4, Palo Alto5, Illinois, has had eleven children, three of them being dead, he has thirteen grandchildren.
Sophie E. BRAKE, Dahlgren, Illinois, another daughter, has seven children and six grandchildren.
Nehemia DAVIS, Jr.6, Macedonia, Illinois, another son, has had ten children, two dead; he has seven grandchildren, one dead.
Timothy DAVIS7, Palo Alto, Illinois, another son, has ten children and four grandchildren.
Therefore, at Mrs. Davis's death her direct descendants numbered: 12 children, 96 grandchildren, 192 great grandchildren, and 33 great great grandchildren, making a total of 3038.
Check out this great link which tells more of the Allison/Davis story! "They Saw America Born".
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