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James Wilson Davidson Papers - MMS 1673

James Wilson Davidson enlisted August 22, 1861, in Company A, 49th regiment, O.V.I., which was mustered in at Camp Noble, at Tiffin, Ohio. He was elected 2nd Lieutenant of his company, and on July 9, 1862, was promoted to 1st Lieutenant for meritorious conduct. At the battle of Stone River, Tenn., December 31, 1862, he was severely wounded in the right leg, from which disability he was discharged on July 21, 1863.


  • James Wilson Davidson. Findlay Weekly Jeffersonian, Dec. 14, 1893

Findlay Daily Courier
Tuesday Dec. 12, 1893 (p.4)


J.W. Davidson Falls Dead In the Court Room.


While engaged in his duties in Court, he was struck down without a moment's warning.

James Wilson Davidson, Deputy Clerk of the Courts of Hancock county, fell over dead in his seat in the Circuit room at 10 minutes past 10 o'clock this morning. Death came in an instant, without any warning, from the bursting of a blood vessel in the brain, commonly known as acute apoplexy.

Mr. Davidson was at this desk in the Circuit Court room, where the trial of the case of Bright vs Bright was in progress before Judges Moore, Seney and Day. He had just a minute before sworn one of the witnesses, and was engaged in writing, when those near him heard a gasp, and saw him fall forward in his chair. Before he could fall, attorney O.A. Ballard jumped to his side and supported his body, but he never moved after that. Death had come in the twinkling of an eye, and without the drawing of another breath, the soul of Mr. Davidson had taken its flight from the earthly casket and gone to meet its maker in the great world above.

Court was at once adjourned until 1:30 p.m., and kindly hands bore the form of the stricken man to the constitution room of the Circuit Judges, where the body was laid on a couch. Dr. A. Hurd, who had been telephoned for, responded at once, but could do nothing beyond giving the cause of death. The undertakers were then summoned and took charge of the body, conveying it to the family home at 126 Howard street.

Mr. Davidson was about 59 years of age, and had been a resident of Findlay for over thirty years.

James W. Davidson enlisted August 22, 1861, in Company A, 49th regiment, O.V.I., which was mustered in at Camp Noble, at Tiffin, Ohio. He was elected 2nd Lieutenant of his company, and on July 9, 1862, was promoted to 1st Lieutenant for meritorious conduct. At the battle of Stone River, Tenn., December 31, 1862, he was severely wounded in the right leg, from which disability he was discharged on July 21, 1863.

After leaving the army he entered into business here for a time, and was later appointed railway mail clerk, but owing to his old arm wound was obliged to resign that position.

In 1887 he was appointed Deputy Clerk of the Courts under County Clerk Presley E. Hay, and had held that position ever since, having been re-appointed by Clerk Julien.

Wils. Davidson, as he was more generally known by his more familiar acquaintances, was a whole-souled, genial gentleman, well liked and respected by all who knew him. Generous, accommodating and kindly to all, everybody who knew him was his friend. He will be sadly missed around the court house and by a large circle of friends.

He leaves a wife and son and daughter, who have the sympathy of all in their sad affliction.

No time has as yet been decided upon for holding the funeral.

Findlay Weekly Jeffersonian
Thursday December 14, 1893


Without a moment's warning he was called from the court below to the court above.

James W. Davidson, Deputy County Clerk, and one of the best known officers in the Court House, died very suddenly in the Circuit Court room at 10:35 Tuesday forenoon.

He appeared to be as well and jolly as usual and was working at the right hand side of the Circuit Judge's bench and was busy making up his record and administering the oath to witnesses as they were called to testify before the court.

He administered the oath to a young lady witness who started for the witness stand. At that moment, Mr. Davidson raised up in his chair, threw up his arms and gasped for breath. He then sank back into his chair and the Judges, attorneys and others rushed across the room to him. He did not speak a word and to all appearances was dead. He was carried into the Judges' consultation room on a lounge and Dr. Hurd was hastily called by Court Constable Ewing. The Doctor made a hasty examination and then announced that death had been caused by apoplexy and that he had died suddenly and without pain.

Miss Cora Davidson, who works in the Clerks office had but a few moments before the fatal moment, consulted her father about some journal entries. He explained to her where to send the papers and how to put the record on the journal. She had just returned to her desk when she was called to her father's side. She was prostrated with grief and was at once taken to her home.

The news of the sudden death of Mr. Davidson spread very rapidly and in a few minutes the Court House was crowded with anxious friends, many of whom did not believe that Mr. Davidson was dead until they gazed upon his face cold in death.

Undertaker Clark was called and took charge of the body. The remains were at once conveyed to the home of the deceased on Howard street.

Arrangements for the funeral have not been made up to this time of going to press.

James Wilson Davidson was born in Pennsylvania about 57 years ago, and but little is known how he spent his life up to about 1852 when he located in this city. After spending several years in this city he went to Kansas and engaged in the sawmill and lumber business. This was just at the start of the great civil war when Kansas was in an uproar on the slavery question. Mr. Davidson's mill was destroyed by fire by the gang who favored slavery because he was outspoken against slavery. After a year or two of the roughest kind of frontier life, a portion of which time he was a member of John Brown's Raiders, he returned to this city and enlisted in the three month's service.

As soon as his time expired he enlisted in the 49th O.V.I. for three years or during the war. He went through the war and was a model soldier.

At the close of the war he returned to this city and went into business. He was an industrious man and was always in business either for himself or clerking for someone. At one time he was financially embarrased by having to pay a large amount of bail money. He was a postal clerk for several years and gave good satisfaction. He was City Clerk in 1873-4, and was six times elected Trustee of Findlay township, by the Republicans. He entered the County Clerk's office eight years ago as a deputy for Presley E. Hay and remained there up to the time of his death. During the boom he managed to get on his feet financially and at once embarked in the glass business being the heaviest stock-holder of the Model glass works. He was also the heaviest stock-holder at the Model glass works at Albany, Ind.

Mr. Davidson was an honest man and was highly esteemed by all who knew him. He knew every detail of the work in the Clerks office and was a kind and efficient official and was well liked by the Attorneys, Judges, and all others who had business in court.

His sudden death has caused a deep gloom over the entire court house.

Mr. Davidson left a wife, one daughter and two sons to mourn his death. The two sons are now at Albany, Ind. The bereaved family have the sympathy of the entire community.

Findlay Daily Courier
Thur. March 2, 1899


Brief sketch of her life --- A useful member of society.

News of the death of Mrs. Mary W. Davidson, relict of the late J.W. Davidson, was reported on Wednesday just as the Courier was going to press, thus necessitating a somewhat brief notice of the death.

Mrs. Davidson was a lady who had friends all over this city and county. She was an untiring worker in every good and honorable cause in which Findlay ladies become interested, and her kindly presence was often seen where suffering and sorrow lingered. Her acts of charity were numerous, and her name has been blessed by scores who have felt the substantial benefits resulting from her unselfish devotion to the cause which always seemed uppermost in her mind. Many there are who will revere her memory through the years to come, and her good works will live in the minds of those who are now little children.

Deceased first saw the light of day in Carroll county, Ohio, in 1838, and moved with her parents to Mansfield a few years later, where she attended school and eventually became a teacher. At the age of twenty she came with her parents to Findlay, where she resided to the day of her death.

In 1861 she was married to James W. Davidson, who left the nuptial alter for the carnage of war, being a member of the gallant 49th Ohio--- Gen. Bill Gibson's famous regiment--- and served with that fighting band until the close of the war. After the war when husband and wife were reunited, real life began, and the foundation for a good and useful future was laid, a foundation from, which rose a beautiful and useful career.

Three children survive, two sons and a daughter, Arthur, of Evansville, Ind., Homer, of Albany, Ind., and Mrs. Robert Pentzer, of Findlay.

The funeral will be held from the late residence, 126 Howard street; on Saturday afternoon. At two o'clock. Burial in Maple Grove.

MMS 1673 James Wilson Davidson Guide
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