WILLIAM B. DAVIS is a noted agriculturist and stock-raiser of Taylorville Township, and owns a good farm on
section 6. He was born in what is now South Fork Township, Christian County, on the 4th of March, 1836, and is
a son of Barnett and Sophronia (Vandeveer) Davis. The father was a native of Kentucky,
and the mother is a sister of Judge Vandeveer, who is well known in this and adjoining counties.
Barnett Davis was a carpenter by trade and was also engaged in farming in his native State. In middle life he removed
to Indiana, and from there to Sangamon
County, Ill., in 1829. He located on land which is now comprised within South Fork Township,, in this county.
He took up a Government claim and was one of the earliest settlers of the locality. His nearest trading point for
many years was Springfield or Alton, where he had to drive his stock in order to obtain a market for them. He erected
a log cabin, which was the home of his family for many years. He was born in 1802, and continued to live in this
county until his death, in 1857, when he was buried in the Hill Cemetery. His wife is still living at the advanced
age of eighty-two years.
Our subject is one of ten children, whose record is as follows: Nancy is the wife of James Brooks, a resident of
Taylorville, and Justice of the Peace; Aaron is engaged in farming in Taylorville Township; William B. is the third
of the family; John is a farmer of Nebraska: Horatio M. lives in
Edinburgh, Christian County; Mary J. became the wife of Francis Perry, who carries on a farm in Taylorville Township;
Monroe is deceased; Freeland is also deceased; Jerome lives in Taylorville Township; and one died in infancy.
William Davis was born and reared on the old homestead in South Fork Township, where his father settled in 1829.
When ten years of age he removed to Taylorville Township with his parents, and attended the subscription schools
of the neighborhood for two or three months during the winter time. A part of the time he was obliged to walk nearly
three miles to the nearest school, which was held in a log schoolhouse of the most primitive fashion. Since arriving
at years of maturity his education has been mainly acquired. When fifteen years of age he decided that he was old
enough to make his own livelihood, and as he was one of the elder children it seemed best that he should do so.
He commenced working on a farm by the month, receiving at first forty cents per day for the succeeding eight years
he was employed at farm work, and was so industrious and gave such good satisfaction to his employers, that he
worked for only three farmers during that time. He had saved his earnings carefully and commenced farming on his
own account on rented land. With wise foresight he continued as a renter until he found it would be to his benefit
to purchase the farm on section 6 where he now lives. This place comprises one hundred and ninety-two acres of
fertile land, on which the owner raises abundant crops.
In 1859, Mr. Davis married Miss Maria E. Potts. Four children have been born of their union. Flora E. resides with
her parents; George is deceased; Joel J. is married and is an enterprising young farmer of Buckhart Township; and
Julian E. has passed away.
Mr. Davis has always used his influence in the support of the Democratic party. Religiously, he holds membership
with the Universalist Church and takes an active part in church and benevolent work. His assistance can always
be relied upon in the furtherance of public enterprises, for he is progressive and broad-minded in all things.
He is a practical farmer and has met with great success in his commercial ventures. Socially, he holds membership
with Blue Lodge No. 647, Edinburgh, Christian County, and is also a member of Taylorville Chapter No. 102.