Marshall County


James DAVIDSON. Quite a number of the leading and prominent citizens of Marshall county are of alien birth, and have transported to this land of fertility and plenty the thrifty habits of their native country. Among these there is none that is better known or more widely respected than the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this sketch. Since five years of age he has made his home in this county, and is now one of the extensive farmers and stock raisers, residing on section 22, La Prairie township.

In Roxburghshire, Scotland, Mr. DAVIDSON was born August 27, 1844, and five years later was brought to Illinois by his parents, James and Margaret (PRINGLE) DAVIDSON, the latter the aunt of Robert and Andrew PRINGLE. George DAVIDSON, a brother of his father, had previously come to Marshall county, locating in Steuben township, where he spent his remaining days. James DAVIDSON, Sr., with his family settled on land adjoining the present farm of our subject, where he made a permanent home and there died in 1880, at the age of eighty-two years. After surviving him for about two years, the mother also departed this life at the age of eighty years. The father had but twenty dollars when he landed at Chillicothe, Illinois, and having a wife and six children to support, he at once secured land and immediately began its cultivation. He prospered in his undertakings and well deserved the success which came to him.

Our subject remained with his father until the latter’s death, when in company with his brother Adam he continue d to operated the old farm, to which they added more land by subsequent purchase. Some twelve years ago, however, he bought his present farm, a fine tract of one hundred and sixty acres, and also has sixty acres more a half mile distant, all of which he operates. He gives some attention to the breeding of good roadsters of the Hambletonian breed, and has sold horses which were quite noted for their speed, one going a mile in 2:26. He is also engaged in the raising of cattle and hogs.

On the 3d of February, 1887, a marriage ceremony was performed which united the destinies of Mr. DAVIDSON and Miss Margaret E. HOWE, of Trego county, Kansas, but formerly of Chillicothe, Illinois, where she was reared. Mr. DAVIDSON has now acceptably served as township supervisor for three years, being now on his second term, and has done much toward making La Prairie township one of the best in Marshall county. He is chairman of the pauper committee, and so efficiently has he done his work that in his township there is not now a single pauper. He has also served as township collector, and school director for a number of years, and road commissioner for nine years. He has ever discharged his duties, both public and private, in a most able manner, and well deserves the confidence and trust reposed in him by the people.

Extracted April 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

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