Bio-Pen Pictures

            This gentleman is enjoying the quiet evening of a well-spent, active life in his handsome mansion situated at the corner of Third and William Streets, San Jose.  He was born at Smithfield, Jefferson County, Ohio, in 1823.  His parents were James and Elizabeth (Staman) Davis, both natives of Pennsylvania, where they were married in 1802.  They removed to Ohio, settling on a farm of 640 acres, which Mr. Davis purchased, where the family resided until 1846, when they sold out and removed to Mount Pleasant, Ohio.  Here his mother died in 1852, and in 1856 his father died, at New Philadelphia, Ohio.  They had nine children, of whom Mr. I. M. Davis was the youngest.  Until sixteen years of age he lived at home, attending school and working on the farm.  He then left home, and taught school most of the time until 1846.  He then began mercantile life as a partner in a general merchandise business at Middletown, Guernsey County, Ohio.  In two years he sold out and returned to Smithfield, where he remained until 1856, carrying on a store.  In that year he transferred his business to Pomeroy, Meigs County, Ohio, where he was engaged in business until 1870, at which date he sold out and removed to the Pacific Coast.  He remained for two years at Virginia City, Nevada, doing business for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, and also dealing in mining stocks.  In 1872 he removed to San Jose, and has since quietly settled down, his sons engaging in the stock and farming business.

            Mr. Davis was married in 1847 to Miss Susanna K. Sharon, of Smithfield, Ohio, sister of the late Hon. William Sharon, ex-Senator of California.  She is a daughter of old residents of that place, her grandparents going there from Philadelphia in 1796.  Her grandmother died in 1852, at the very advanced age of 115 years!  Mr. and Mrs. Davis have six children living, two having died in infancy:  Clara J., wife of Charles L. McCoy, of Oakland; Ida M., wife of Judge J. M. Allen, of San Francisco; Lilly, wife of J. C. Kirkpatrick, of Fresno County; William S., who owns a cattle ranch in Monterey County; Rosa B., wife of George W. Hildreth, of Fresno County; and Charles H., ranching in Fresno County.

            Mr. Davis is a Republican, having constantly supported that party since 1860, and believes in the fullest protection of American industries.

            Living, as Mr. Davis did, upon the border-land between the North and South during the Rebellion, he saw much active service.  He joined the National Guard in 1863, belonging to Company A of the 140th Regiment, and for four months, in 1864, was almost constantly under fire in the Kanawha Valley, West Virginia.  In September of that year he was mustered out of active service, receiving a document, which he still possesses, conveying the thanks of President Lincoln for honorable service in the cause of his country.  His service, however, was really ended only with the close of the war, as they were constantly menaced with an attack from the rebel leaders, and went constantly under arms.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 362-363
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight