THEODORE PEARSON DAVIS, former Judge of the Appellate court of Indiana, and one of the leading lawyers of the State, who died April 25, 1907, had a well-deserved reputation for technical knowledge, impartial decisions and a high sense of professional ethics and personal honor. Judge Davis bore a Welsh name, and certain it is that Wales was the home of the family before the emigration to America, but just when that emigration took place is not known. The first of the family of whom there is definite record was
(I)John Davis, a farmer, who prior to the war of the Revolution made his home in North Carolina, but after the close of that war he moved his family to the extreme northwest part of South Carolina. John Davis married Jane Davis, and they became the parents of eight children, as follows: Adam married Ella Black; George married Sarah Meckelny; Paul married Margaret Alexander, and they are mentioned in full farther on; Robert married Mary Black; John married Esther Liddle; Milly married Owen McCorkle; Elizabeth married Samuel Black; Violet married William Brown
(II) Paul Davis, son of John, was born in Mecklenburg county, N. C., Aug. 6, 1769. He went from his native county to northwest South Carolina, but the name of the county is not known. It is not certain, either, whether this removal was before or after his marriage (about 1791) with Margaret Alexander, daughter of David and Margaret (Morrison) Alexander, of old Scotch Covenantor stock, nor again is it certain whether she lived in North or in South Carolina. There is a strong probability, however, that the marriage occurred in Charlotte, N. C., but it is understood that all the children of this marriage were born in South Carolina. In the latter part of 1812, or early in 1813, Paul Davis moved to Harrison, Ohio, but at the end of one year came to Indiana Territory, and located near Connersville, and there he and his family were living in 1814. When the family left the South, all the children except James and George came, also. These two had enlisted in the regular army, and were stationed at Charleston. After they had served one year their father returned to South Carolina, and succeeded in getting them released on account of their youth. Late in 1814 Paul Davis purchased a farm three miles west of Connersville, and on it he made his home during most of the remaining years of his life. He was a man most orderly in his habits, exercising great care not only with regard to his personal appearance, but with regard to his farm and everything connected with it. His stock was kept in perfect condition — his tools and implements cleaned and sharpened, ready for use at a minute’s notice. He was possessed of good common sense and was well informed, but was of a very impetuous nature and tenacious of his opinions. His wife Margaret was a woman of decided character, but of even temper, domestic in her tastes, and her death in October, 1839, removed one of the best known pioneer women of the State. To Paul and Margaret Davis were born children as follows: (1) George, born May 9, 1792, married Violet McCorkle, in Carolina, had ten children — Madison, Marion, George, Violet, Marshall, Almina, Volney, Addison, Margaret and Harry — and died in Madison county, Ind., in 1873. (2) James, born May 14, 1794, married Rilla Hackleman, in Rushville, Ind., and died in Vermilion county, Ind. (3) Wilburn, born Jan. 30, 1797, is mentioned in lull further on. (4) Robert, born May 17, 1799, married Lena Handley, in Kentucky, and died in Parke county, Ind., prior to 1830, leaving a widow and three children, who moved to California. (5) John, born Dec. 30, 1801, married Elizabeth DeHaven, in Kentucky, and died. in Fayette county, leaving a daughter, Nancy, now of Logansport, Ind. (6) Dulcina, born Dec. 24, 1804, married, in 1826, Moses Caldwell, in Fayette county, Ind., had four children — Margaret (deceased), Thomas J., J. W. and Ezilpha and died Jan. 14, 1896. (7) Paul, Jr., born Oct. 31, 1806, married Jane Gordon, in Ohio, and died in Madison county, Ind., leaving five children, John (deceased), Nancy, Isaac, Oliver (deceased) and Albert C., the last named being formerly recorder of Madison county. (8) Thomas Jefferson, born March 31, 1810, married Maria Ball, in Fayette county, Ind., and had nine children, all yet living, William, J. N., Eliza, James H., Doctor B., Sarah J., Elizabeth M., Rachel and John; he died in 1856. (9) Jasper N., born Sept. 25, 1812, married Miranda White, in Fayette county, Ind., and had three children, Helen M., and Mary Elizabeth and Horace C., deceased; he died March 22, 1895, and his widow July 8, 1902.

After Mrs. Margaret (Alexander) Davis died Dulcina kept the home for her father for some time. Mr. Davis eventually deeded eighty acres of his farm to Jasper N. (the part including the brick house), who was crippled, and ten acres to Dulcina, keeping seventy for himself. In 1842 he married again, and settled in a log house on the farm, later moving to Henry county, Ind., there remaining until he and his wife by reason of their advanced years, could no longer wait on each other. She went to her relatives, and he to his son’s at the old Fayette county home, and there he died in 1858. In politics he was originally a Democrat, but in 1828 became a Whig, and a great personal friend of Oliver H. Smith. All of Paul Davis’s sons became Whigs except Wilburn and James, Wilburn and all his descendants being invariably Democrats. In his younger days Mr. Davis was a Presbyterian, and a strict observer of the ordinance of family prayer, but before he left South Carolina he had abandoned the church because of the disgraceful conduct of some of the members in high authority. He was always temperate in his habits, and after he reached the age of fifty years never used either whiskey or tobacco.

( III) Wilburn Davis, son of Paul, was born in South Carolina, Jan. 30, 1797, was brought up on a farm, and became thoroughly familiar with all the duties connected with successful agriculture. On March 1, 1821, at the home of Alexander Dale, near Harrisburg, Fayette county, he married Nancy Dale, daughter of George and Hannah Dale, and one of the most enduring and sprightly of women, noted as the fleetest of foot of all her associates. After her eldest son was grown she could easily outdistance him in a footrace. She died of malarial poisoning in 1855. To Wilburn and Nancy (Dale) Davis were born the following children: William Alexander, born Jan. 8, 1822, married Sarah Ann Kimble, and died in Sheridan, Hamilton county, in 1895, the father of a large family; Newton Jasper was born Nov. 23, 1823; Dulcina, born Jan. 1, 1826, married Phineas Gardner Pearson, and died in 1875, near Sheridan; Cordelia, born in 1827, married Coswell Boxley, and died in 1858, at Boxley, Ind.; Albert Cole married Elizabeth Overlease, and died in 1864, on his farm in Adams township; Hannibal died on his Adams township farm Nov. 12, 1855; Wilburn, Jr., died in infancy; and Henrietta died in Adams township Nov. 19, 1855. At the time of his marriage Wilburn Davis owned a farm in Shelby county, Ind., on the banks of the Blue River, and there he and his young bride went. They had nothing except a few simple necessary articles, and that first year they planted and cultivated six acres with hoes. This is now said to be one of the finest farms in the State, but Mr. Davis sold it in 1822, and returned to Fayette county. In March, 1825, they moved to Hamilton county, Ind., and there settled on a farm he owned near Noblesville. In April, 1830, they moved to Noblesville, where he engaged in the hotel business in the building previously erected by George Shirts, and where the Hollenbach barber shop now stands. He became quite popular as landlord of the best hostelry in many miles, but in 1835 he moved to a section of land he owned in Adams township, near Sheridan. This was then all wild prairie land, but he made of it a fine farm. He was the first brick maker in Hamilton county. A man of strong positive character, he was bound to make an impress upon the community in which he dwelt, and he was always active and alert in public affairs. He was a captain in the Indiana militia, and he served Hamilton county as agent, an office similar to auditor. The deed to the public square on which the court house is located was executed to Wilburn Davis, as county agent. He died at Noblesville Aug. 31, 1837, from the effects of exposure in assisting some pioneers to move across the country near Lafayette in 1833.

(IV) Newton Jasper Davis, son of Wilburn, born Nov. 23, 1823, was second in the large family of children, and upon him devolved the care of the household at the death of the father. At that time he was but fourteen years of age, but farmers’ sons in pioneer days early learned to shoulder responsibility and to face bravely whatever duties came their way. In the spring of 1838 the family returned to the vicinity of Noblesville, where the lad put out a crop of corn. The next year he worked for six dollars a month. In 1840 he moved the family back to Adams township, and he spent four years in clearing and cultivating the old farm. At the end of that time he returned to Noblesville and worked on what is now the County Poor Farm at eight dollars a month, paying his board in wet weather. That fall (1844) he rented a farm two miles northeast of Noblesville, on the White River, and to it brought his family. While he worked the farm, and from it procured most of the living, ready money was scarce, and it was necessary for him to get other work to do in order to meet such expenses as required actual money payment. In August, 1846, he joined a surveying corps at Peru, and helped survey the Indianapolis & Peru Railroad to Indianapolis, now known as the Lake Erie & Western Railroad. He also assisted in the survey for the Indianapolis & Terre Haute Railroad to Terre Haute. In 1847 he rented the Carey Harrison farm, and operated it until 1851, when he moved to Westfield and there, in partnership with John Davis, started a tannery, and in connection a large harness and saddle shop. This venture proved successful, but the work was not congenial, so Mr. Davis, in 1855, purchased a farm in Section 29, Adams township, where he afterward resided. The first home on this farm was a hewed log house, with puncheon floors covered with boards, and a loose loft, while the fire place was built of mud, mortar and sticks. This was in the midst of the woods, and all the surrounding country was a wilderness. Mr. Davis set resolutely to work, cleared the primeval forests and literally carved out his farm of 100 acres. In order to get the few groceries needed prior to his marriage, he walked to Lafayette, where he chopped wood at 37 1/2 cents per cord, and carried his wages home on his shoulders in the form of groceries and dry goods. He was a man of excellent mind, and was a close reader of books and newspapers, keeping in touch with all the events of the day. Especially was he a student of Holy Writ, and he was liberal in his religious views, being. an ardent admirer of Theodore Parker.

On July 10, 1853, at Boxley, Ind., Newton J. Davis was united in marriage with Louisa Pearson, born in Ohio, in 1827, daughter of Heman and Jocabed (Teller) Pearson. She lived in Ohio for many years, and there worked as a tailoress. She was a noble and excellent woman, proud and ambitious, and one of the neatest of housekeepers and best of homemakers. She died Oct. 25, 1862, the mother of children as follows: Theodore Pearson; Harriet Luella, born May 22, 1856, married in February, 1877, Milton Hiott, and lives in Sheridan, Ind.; Wilburn B., born Feb. 23, 1858, lives near Seattle, Wash.; Austin, born April 3 (or 4 ?), 1860, died when about three weeks old; Jasper P., born Oct. 6, 1862, married in July, 1884, Margaret Pallum, and lives at the old home farm near Sheridan. On Sept. 10, 1863, Newton J. Davis married, for his second wife, Mary J. McMindes, and of the five children of this marriage three died in infancy. The survivors are: Viola E., born in November, 1871, is a school teacher, and lives with her mother and brother in Urbana, Ill.; and Charles G., born in March, 1875, a graduate of the State University, and later a student in a university in Germany, is one of the instructors in the University of Illinois at Champaign, Ill. Newton J. Davis died on his farm near Sheridan June 9, 1904. He was an able and honest man and good citizen, and he had the confidence and respect of all who knew him. His life had been the busy one of the pioneer looking to the advancement and development of the country, and he reared his family to useful and honorable manhood and womanhood, worthy bearers of an honored name.

(V) Theodore Pearson Davis, eldest son and child of Newton J., was born Jan. 5, 1855, at Westfield, Ind., and his life up to the age of seventeen years was passed on the farm, attending the district schools and assisting his father. In 1872 he went to Lebanon, Ohio, and there for four months attended the National Normal School, preparing himself to teach the home school. This he did for one year, and then went to Noblesville, where for a short time he attended Normal School. In September, 1873, he became a teacher in the graded schools there, but the profession of teaching was to the ambitious youth only a means to an end. He had long before determined that his life work was to be the practice of law, and he began his legal studies in the office of Moss & Trissel, continuing there under the able guidance of those successful old school practitioners until 1875, when their partnership was dissolved. However, he continued with Mr. Moss, in the latter’s new partnership as a member of the firm of Moss & Kane, until October, 1876, when that firm dissolved, and he became a partner of Thomas J. Kane, under the firm name of Kane & Davis. Mr. Davis had been admitted to the Bar at the age of nineteen. From the beginning the new firm enjoyed a good practice, and they found it a rapidly growing one for sixteen years. In 1892 Mr. Davis was elected judge of the Indiana Appellate court, and he held the office for a term of four years, discharging his duties with dignity and impartiality. After his retirement from the Bench he was actively engaged in practice at Noblesville and Indianapolis, maintaining his residence in the latter city from June 1, 1901. After January 1, 1897, he was associated with Judge Frank E. Gavin and the latter’s son, James L Gavin, under the firm name of Gavin & Davis. They had offices in the Lemcke Block, Indianapolis.

Judge Davis never swerved from the political faith of his fathers, but was a Democrat of pronounced convictions. From the time he started out in the world for himself he was active in work for his party, and from the time he attained his majority he was almost constantly in some office of public trust. At twenty-one he was chairman of the Democratic County Central Committee, and alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention; at twenty-four he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention; and at thirty-five a candidate for Circuit Judge, and notwithstanding an adverse majority of 1,500 was defeated by only 181; he was elected Appellate Judge in 1892; for several years until 1898 was a member of the State Central Committee; and for three years was a school trustee. In every position he was faithful to his trust.

As a Mason the Judge attained the thirty-second degree; in the I. 0. 0. F. he passed all the chairs including that of noble grand, and represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge of the State. He also belonged to the I. 0. R.M. and K. of P. He was a member of the University Club, the Commercial Club, and the Indiana Democratic Club (in the latter of which he was a director). In 1902 he was elected president of the Indiana Bar Association, an office he capably administered for one and one-half years. There were several thousand people who formerly lived in Hamilton county and who later lived in Indianapolis, and they formed an organization, holding annual reunions, and of this association the Judge was president, as he also was of the association of the many descendants of Paul and Margaret (Alexander) Davis, now residing in the counties of Marion, Hamilton, Madison, Hancock, Grant and Fayette.

In spite of the manifold duties of his professional and political connections, Judge Davis did not overlook the material advancement of the commercial interests of his section, but was found in the front in furthering such enterprises as would substantially aid in the progress and well-being of the community. He organized the Noblesville Gas and Improvement Company, the Noblesville Water and Light Company, and many other corporations. Although not a member of any religious denomination, he attended the Presbyterian Church.

On March 1, 1877, Judge Davis was united in marriage in Piqua, Ohio, with Anna F. Gray, who was born Dec. 5, 1852, daughter of Jacob Chrisman and Catharine (Houser) Gray, and three children blessed this union: Helen, born July 23, 1879; Gray, born Jan. 11, 1885; and Paul, born Jan. 10, 1887.

Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, a prominent soldier and officer from the State of Indiana in the War of the Rebellion, was also a member of that branch of the Davis family that moved from the Carolinas, and is said to be a grandson of George Davis, son of John Davis, and brother of Paul.

ALEXANDER. The Alexanders of North and South Carolina have played an active part in some of the formative chapters of American history, and in each generation members have, distinguished themselves in patriotic and honorable service for country or State. Six of the signers of the famous Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, May 20, 1775, were Alexanders, and when the original of that historic instrument was destroyed by fire in 1800, it was John McKnitt Alexander, secretary of the original convention, who transcribed it anew from memory. It is stated that David Alexander, father of Margaret, wife of Paul Davis, was one of the signers, but his name does not appear as such in the history of Mecklenburg county. The Alexanders came to America from Ireland, and were of Scotch Covenanter ancestry there. David and Margaret (Morrison) Alexander, parents of Margaret, wife of Paul Davis, were the parents of nine children: David, who married Jane Woods; James, who married Martha Moore; Jane, who married John Moore; Ann, who married a Gocher; Catharine, who married Samuel Brown; Ellen, who married Archibald Reid; Elizabeth, who married Robert Woods; Ruth who married Joseph Archer; and Margaret, born Jan. 31, 1767, wife of (II) Paul Davis.

The first Southern woman to enter the medical profession was Annie L. Alexander, of Mecklenburg Co., N. C., who graduated in Philadelphia in 1884, and has since been a successful practitioner. Nathaniel Alexander, a native of Mecklenburg county, was a graduate of Princeton in 1776. He entered the Revolutionary army; served in the State Legislature in 1797; State Senate, 1801-2; and while holding a seat in Congress in 1801-2, was chosen by the Legislature Governor of the State, serving two years. He died at Charlotte Nov. 8, 1808, leaving no children. His wife was Margaret Polk, daughter of Col. Thomas Polk.

Tilghman Alexander Howard, who was a prominent lawyer at Rockville; Parke Co., Ind., senior member of the firm of Howard & Wright (the latter afterward Governor of Indiana), and also at one time a partner of Governor Whitcomb, was Democratic candidate for Governor in 1840. He was a descendant of the Alexander family, and a relative of Margaret, wife of Paul Davis.

DALE: Mrs. Nancy (Dale) Davis, wife of (III) Wilburn Davis, was born in December, 1802, daughter of George and Hannah Dale, natives, respectively, of Virginia and Maryland, who were married in the Old Dominion in 1775. The Dales were originally from Scotland. In the first half of the Eighteenth century three Dale brothers emigrated from England, and upon reaching this country they separated, one going to New England, one to Virginia, and one to the South., George Dale was a son of the one who located along the Potomac river in Virginia. George lived in Westmoreland county, that State, until 1786, when he moved to near Craig’s Station or Versailles, Woodford Co., Ky., and there exchanged feathers in a feather bed for land at the rate of one pound of feathers for an acre of land. In 1817 or 1818 he moved to Connersville, Fayette Co., Ind., and in 1821 to Noblesville, where he died in 1833. He was a soldier in the War of the Revolution, and was present with Washington at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. His wife, whose maiden name was Hannah Dale, was no known relation. They became the parents of the following children: Elizabeth, born Jan. 1, 1777; Catesby, Oct. 3, 1778; Frankey, Oct. 3, 1780; George, March 9, 1782; Hannah, born Sept. 14, 1783; Alexander, Feb. 3, 1786; Letty, March 15, 1788; Polly, April 21, 1790; Joseph, April 3, 1792; John, June 7, 1794; Sylvan, Jan. 27, 1796; Samuel, Jan. 6, 1798; Rebecca, Nov. 8, 1800; and Nancy, Dec. 7, 1802.

Mrs. Louisa (Pearson) Davis, wife of Newton Jasper Davis and mother of Judge Theodore P. Davis, came of New England stock, of English, Scotch and Irish descent. Her grandfather, Jonas Pearson, was born in Massachusetts in 1779. His father was an Englishman, and his mother a Scotchwoman. In 1800, at Lowell, Mass., Jonas Pearson married Rhoda Underwood, who was born in Massachusetts, daughter of Asa Underwood, an Irishman, and his wife, who was of Scotch parentage. Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Pearson came West, settling in Brown county, Ohio. He was the first dairyman who ever made cheese in the State of Ohio. The Pearsons and the Grants (the family of which Gen. U. S. Grant was a distinguished member) were long residents of the same neighborhood in Ohio. To Jonas and Rhoda Pearson were born children as follows: Louisa; Heman, mentioned below; Prudence; Sophia; Suel; Sarah; Charles, who is living in Ohio, and whose son, David V., was for many years an attorney at Georgetown, Brown Co., Ohio, while another son, Samuel, was a lawyer in Kansas; Joseph; Maria; Orilla; and Jonas Heman Pearson, son of Jonas, was born in Brown county, Ohio, in 1803, and there in 1824 married Jocabed Teller, whose mother, Lottie (Gardner) Teller, was a daughter of Benjamin Gardner, of New York. Mrs. Pearson died in Hamilton county, Ind., Jan. 28, 1837, the mother of two children: Phineas Gardner, born in 1825; and Louisa, born in 1827, who married Newton Jasper Davis. After the death of the mother of these children, Heman Pearson was twice married, and had children by his second marriage. He died on his farm near Sheridan in 1880.

Benjamin Gardner, great-great-grandfather of Judge Theodore P. Davis, in maternal lines, was a native of New York, and was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. His daughter Lottie married a Teller, in Brown county, Ohio, and her daughter Jocabed married Heman Pearson. Mills Gardner, a lawyer of Washington, Ohio, was a member of the same family. The Gardners were strong people with some peculiar characteristics, punctual and exacting in their engagements. There were several ministers. of the Gospel in the family. The Gray family to which Mrs. Anna F. (Gray) Davis, widow of Judge Theodore P. Davis, belongs, is thought to have been native of Ireland. It was planted in this country by Daniel Gray, who, emigrating from either England or Ireland, settled in New Jersey. Amos Gray, son of Daniel, moved to Ohio about 1809. In 1811 he married Sophia Chrisman, and he died at Piqua, Ohio, in 1875, aged eighty-eight years. Jacob Chrisman, grandfather of Sophia, was born May 5, 1720, and died Jan. 22, 1785. His son, Jacob Chrisman, Jr., was born in Pennsylvania, perhaps in Berks county, Nov. 2, 1745, and had no educational advantages. In his youth he was a farmer and house carpenter. In early life he married Mary B. Summers, and. shortly after they left Pennsylvania for Guilford county, N. C., where they lived until 1794-5, when they moved to Bowman. In the meantime he had become a member of the Reformed Church, and on moving to Bowman, he entered the ministry. On May 1, 1798, on the call of six congregations in Bowman and in adjoining places, he was regularly ordained to the Gospel ministry by the Synod of the German Reformed Church of North America, during its regular meeting at Lancaster, Pa. In 1802 he made a tour on horseback to Ohio, and after traveling seven hundred miles, arrived on Feb. 1st in that part of Warren county, Ohio, then generally known as the Clear Creek settlement. At the end of five months, during which time he preached in private houses, he returned to Carolina, but at the end of one year again went to Ohio. Jacob Chrisman Gray, son of Amos and Sophia (Chrisman) Gray, was born Aug. 6, 1812, and he became a carpenter and contractor. He was a zealous member of the Baptist Church at Piqua, Ohio, and there died in February, 1881. On Dec. 25, 1838, he married Catharine Houser, who was born March 30, 1821, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Haney) Houser, the former born in Northumberland, Va., Nov. 17, 1796, a grandson of Henry Houser (who emigrated to this country from Germany, and died Feb. 25, 1795, and a son of Martin Houser (who was born in 1762). Jacob Houser and his. wife lived many years at Dayton, Ohio. Mrs. Catharine (Houser) Gray died at Piqua, Ohio, in May, 1897. Of the children born to Jacob Chrisman and Catharine (Houser) Gray, John H. makes his home in Cincinnati, Ohio; William H. lives in Chicago; Anna F. married Theodore P. Davis, of Noblesville and Indianapolis, Ind.; Sarah Margaret is the wife of Major R. D. Cramer, of Memphis, Mo.; Martha Alice is the wife of Dallas D. Sigler, of Piqua, Ohio.

ROBERT D. BACON was born in Indianapolis in 1836, and has been a resident of this city all his life, his absences being of the most temporary character. Mr. Bacon belongs to one of the well-known pioneer families of Indianapolis, his parents, Elisha W. and Eliza Jane (Conn) Bacon, having located here at a very early day. A sketch of their career and that of other members of the Bacon family appears elsewhere.

As a boy Robert D. Bacon attended the early schools of Indianapolis, and his preceptor for some time was Dr. Patrick Henry Jameson, and also the Rev. Dr. Holliday. For some time he attended the public schools. Mr. Bacon learned the trade of a silversmith, and followed that work until 1858 though he had also become expert as a house painter. For many years he has been connected with the Merchants’ Detective Police Association of the city, and has been president of that body.

Mrs. Bacon was formerly Miss Elizabeth Kirk, a daughter of Rev. Nathaniel Kirk, a preacher of the Methodist Church in the pioneer days. Mr. and Mrs. Bacon have five children: William T.; Kirk D.; Charles Wesley; Mrs. Etta B. Carlin; and Mrs. Emma L. George. Mr. Bacon is a well-known citizen, and his high character and varied accomplishments are alike known and recognized in Indianapolis.