Biography - WILLIAM B. DAVISON
An energetic, capable business man of Utica is the gentleman of whom this sketch is penned. Public-spirited and deeply interested in whatever affects the general welfare, he is an ideal citizen, prompt in the performance of his duties as such and setting an example worthy of emulation.
The father of our subject, Thomas Davison, was a native of England, where he was reared to manhood. Soon after his marriage to Margaret Blyth he came to the United States and took up his abode in Bradford county, Pennsylvania. In 1857 he removed to LaSalle, Illinois, where for thirty years he was numbered among its representative citizens. In 1887 he went to Chicago to live, but death soon claimed him. His widow is still a resident of that city.
The birth of William B. Davison occurred August 30, 1853, in Canton, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, but nearly all of his life has been passed in this county. In the excellent public schools of LaSalle he acquired a good education, and soon after arriving at his majority he turned his attention to the same line of business which has occupied his time until the present day. Having mastered the details of brick-manufacturing, he carried on a plant- of his own for several years in LaSalle. In 1882 he sold out and coming to Utica entered the employ of the Utica Fire Brick Company, with which concern he is yet connected. Gradually he worked his way upward in the business until he was made superintendent of the company's works, large responsibilities resting upon his shoulders. In 1893 the factory was destroyed by fire, but was rebuilt in a better style than formerly and reopened in June, 1899, and with increased accommodations and facilities a finer grade of brick is turned out than ever before. The works were established by A. T. Griffin, in 1882, and for years this has been regarded as one of the important local industries, employment being afforded to a number of men.
On the 2d of February, 1881, Mr. Davison married Miss Ella F. Griffin, the eldest daughter of A. T. Griffin and wife, Mary H., whose parents were Edward and Eva Holland. The children blessing the union of our subject and wife are Blanche, Mary, Blythe and William T. Mrs. Davison died September 3, 1899.
The cause of education is one near to the heart of Mr. Davison, as it should be to every patriotic American. He has served as the president of the Utica school board for two terms and at present occupies this responsible position. Politically he is an ardent Republican, and fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and of the Mystic Workers. He has served one term as the mayor of Utica and two terms as an alderman.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 389-390.