Biography - GEORGE L. DAVISON
In 1869 George L. Davison cast his lot with the people of LaSalle county, and has never seen occasion to regret that he did so; for he is, first of all, patriotic and keenly alive to whatever he believes will be of benefit to the community.
Benjamin Davison, the paternal grandfather of George L., was a native of Pennsylvania. His son, Benjamin, Jr., was born in Washington county, of that state, in 1793, and moved with his father's family to Trumbull county, Ohio, in 1802, when but nine years of age, when that portion of Ohio was almost an unbroken wilderness. In 1834 he removed to Allen county, same state, and began the improvement of a farm near Lima, being one of the pioneers in this part of the state. In December of that year he married Sidney Howard Nelson, who was born November 5, 1795, at Geneva, state of New York, and was the first child born of white parentage in that place. The Indians had not yet left that part of the state. Her parents were Edward and Elizabeth (Armstrong) Howard.
But one child was born to Benjamin and Sidney Davison, George L., who is the subject of this sketch. He was born on his father's farm near Lima, Allen county, Ohio, October 20, 1836, and during his youth attended the schools in his neighborhood, completing his education in 1855 at the Presbyterian academy in Lima. His father died in 1854, and after leaving school he and his mother continued to reside upon and operate the farm left by his father until 1869, when they sold the farm and removed to LaSalle county, Illinois, locating in the town of Manlius.
On the nth day of August, 1862, Mr. Davison enlisted in Company B, Ninety-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which was at that time being recruited at Lima, Ohio, and was appointed third sergeant at the organization of the company. On the last day of August the regiment was ordered to Covington, Kentucky, and was there during the Kirby Smith raid, and subsequently marched with the Army of the Cumberland, of which it became a part, from Louisville by way of Perryville, Crab Orchard and Somerset to Nashville, Tennessee. On February 26, 1863, while his regiment was encamped at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Sergeant Davison was promoted to be orderly sergeant of his company, and served in that capacity until April 10, 1863, when he was promoted as second lieutenant of his company, and on June 9, 1863, was advanced to the rank of first lieutenant. On July 16, 1863, he took command of his company, and served in that capacity until January 1, 1864. During this time he participated in the advance on Chattanooga and the battle of Chickamauga, September 19 and 20, 1863; Lookout Mountain, November 24, 1863; and Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863. In January, 1864, he obtained a twenty-days' leave of absence and visited his family in Ohio. Immediately upon his return to duty he was, by special order No. 17, headquarters Second Brigade, First Division, Fourth Army Corps, detailed for duty on the staff of Colonel J. H. Moore of the One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, then commanding the brigade. On March 31, 1864, he was, by special order No. 54, headquarters First Division, Fourth Army Corps, detailed as ambulance officer of the division. He organized and was in charge of the ambulance train of the division until July 2, 1864, when his resignation was tendered and accepted, based on a surgeon's certificate of disability. The following indorsement appears on the tender of his resignation:
Headquarters Second Brigade, First Division, Twenty-third Army Corps. Respectfully forwarded for the action of the Major General commanding the Department of Ohio. I am sorry to lose the services of so valuable an officer; but disease has rendered him unfit for further service, and his life is in danger from it. (Signed) P. T.SWAINE, Colonel Ninety-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Commanding.
Mr. Davison's army record is of the best, and his children have just cause to be proud of his gallant and creditable service in the defense of the Union.
In 1869 Mr. Davison came to LaSalle county and located upon a farm in Manlius township, four miles north of Seneca, where he was energetically engaged in farming for several years. In 1887 he settled in Seneca, and for the past twelve years has been thoroughly identified with the town. For a period he was employed at the carpenter's trade, and more recently he has been busily occupied by public duties. While living on his homestead he officiated as the township collector; and he has been the assessor for six years. Seven years ago he received an appointment as a notary public, and in 1897 he was elected the police magistrate. In these offices he is still serving, ably discharging his duties and giving entire satisfaction to the citizens.. He is loyal to the platform and nominees of the Republican party. Fraternally he is a member of Manlius Lodge, No. 491, I. O. O. F., and was the first commander of Joseph Woodruff Post, G. A. R., No. 281, of Marseilles.
On the 21st of September, 1858, Mr. Davison married Miss Margaret Boyd, daughter of James and Mary Boyd of Lima, Ohio. Two sons and two daughters of Our subject and wife are yet living, namely, Ida A., Louis M., Sidney L. and M. Howard, who have received an excellent education. Ida is at home with her father and the three sons are residents of Oglesby, this state. April 4, 1891, Mrs. Davison passed away, leaving her family and a large circle of friends to mourn her loss. She had lived a consistent Christian life, being at the time of her death a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Seneca. His daughters, Effie L. and Anna M., both died in 1897, the former on the 24th day of April, aged thirty-one years, and the latter on the 2d day of June, aged twenty-five years. Both were conscientious and consistent Christians.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 44-46.