The Samuel David Family
The David Family moved to Milford in the early spring, 1912. At that time the family consisted of Samuel Garnet David (better known as S.G. David), his wife, the former Lillian Gladys Kissinger, and their one-year-old-daughter, Geraldine.
S.G. David was raised in Onarga Township, the son of Charles David and the former Alvira Harper, and was the great-grandson of Arbram and Experience Lehigh, who came to Iroquois County in 1834 from West Virginia. Charles David was born in Canada and was a Methodist Circuit rider Preacher, riding horse back to preach at several churches in Iroquois County, including Milford, in the late 1860s and 1870s until he as forced to retire due to ill health. He later became a successful farmer in Onarga township. S.G. and Lillian G. David were the fourth generation to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
Lillian G. David was born and raised in Bradford, Illinois. She was involved in music at an early age, playing both the piano and pipe organ for the Methodist Church in Bradford. She attended Hedding College and later the University of Illinois where she majored in music. She and S.G. met at the University and were married on Christmas Eve in 1907 at her home in Bradford. The S.G. Davids made their home in Onarga, Illinois until moving to Milford in 1912. After moving to Milford, Lillian was quite active in the Milford Methodist Church. She also gave piano lessons in her home for many years.
Geraldine David grew up in Milford, graduated from the University of Illinois - taught in the Milford Grade School for one year, and later attended New York University, where she received her Masters Degree in Merchandising. she work in some of the larger Department Stores in New York, until she married Donald F. Dean from Crawfordsville, Indiana, in June of 1935. The Deans now live in Indianapolis, Indiana and have four children - Nancy, David, Peter and Sarah.
S.G. David attended the Grand Prairie Seminary in Onarga and later graduated from the University of Illinois with degrees in Agriculture and Engineering. After graduation he was employed as farm manager for the Onarga Canning Co.
In 1912, S.G. David and three partners (Bud Egley, Harry Brassier and Louis Risser)(Risser was the uncle of the late Louie Risser who owned and operated the Milford Canning Company for may years in the 1920s, 30s and 40s) came to Milford to start, build and operate the Milford Canning Company. S.G. David was the general manager and engineer of the operating, designing and building the plant. In about 1919 the partners sold the Canning Company to Graftan Johnson from Greenwood, Indiana, who also owned several canning plants in Indiana. S.G. David continued to manage the plant until about 1921 when he resigned to look after a rice plantation in Arkansas with which he had become involved.
In about 1922 S.G. disposed of the rice plantation and entered the food business. S.G. and Lillian David purchased several stores in Central Illinois and Indiana that had been started by the Watseka Wholesale Grocery and Frank PAtterson. LAter the Davids started some new stores in different towns in central Illinois until they owned and operated ten food stores. In 1929, the Davids were forced to enter the wholesale grocery business to supply their retail stores since their previous suppliers were out of business. The Davids used several buildings in Milford, plus one in Chatsworth, one in Gilman and one in Watseka to warehouse their wholesale operation.
In 1946 the Davids built a new warehouse at the north end of North West Avenue in Milford. A new rail road siding was put in so that they could handle 300 rail cars a year. At that time they expanded their wholesale operation to other stores besides their own. with a fleet of trucks they serviced stores within a 100 mile radius of Milford in both Illinois and Indiana. They discontinued their outside wholesale grocery operation in 1961.
(from the Milford and Vicinity Sesquicentennial Souvenir Book 1830-1980 page 127 transcribed by Carrol Mick)