Source: The Illustrated History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, New York; New York, F. W. Beers & Co., 1878; Chapter: Town of Palatine

Place names mentioned: Canajoharie, New Jersey, Troy, Rochester, New York City, Toledo (Ohio), Palatine Bridge

Mr. Davis is a native of Canajoharie, where he was born Oct. 25th, 1824. His father was John P. Davis, a native of New Jersey, but who moved to Canajoharie early in life and carried on the business of carpenter and builder, on an extensive scale, for a long time. William, the subject of this sketch, also learned the same trade, with his father, which he pursued until the age of nineteen. In the spring of the year 1844, he went to Troy and became a clerk in the grocery and wine store of H. & W. J. Averell, where he remained one year. In the spring of 1845 he moved to Rochester and became clerk for Brackett, Averell & Co., of that city, a branch of the Troy firm. At the end of five years' clerkship, he was admitted as a junior partner. At the death of Horatio Averell, in August, 1854, the house in Rochester was closed, and Messrs. Brackett & Davis, in connection with J. O. Howard, commenced the same business in New York, under the firm name of James Brackett & Co.

In the year 1858, Stillman A. Clark and Josiah B. Wright were admitted as partners in the house, and the business was continued by this firm until January, 1868, when Messrs. Davis, Clark and Howard purchased the interest of Brackett and Wright, and continued business under the firm name of Davis, Clark & Co., until January, 1872, when Davis and Clark purchased the interest of Howard and admitted to the concern John P. Davis, brother of W. H. Davis, and Henry O. Clark, nephew of S. A. Clark, who are at this date doing a successful business under the latter firm name.

On January 5th, 1853, Mr. Davis was married to Anna Catherine Geortner, daughter of George Geortner, of Canajoharie, who died in the year 1869. Two daughters, Olive Stafford, and Edith Alliene, remain as the fruit of this marriage. The eldest daughter, Olive, was married to Charles H. Whitaker, of Toledo, Ohio, in 1873. Although the place of business of Mr. Davis is in New York, he retains his residence at Palatine Bridge, where he, sometime since, erected a handsome dwelling, which, with the grounds connected, has been named "Rose Terrace."

Mr. Davis has, for a long time, been a director of the Canajoharie Bank, and for the past twelve years vice-president of that institution. A few years since the political party to which Mr. Davis belongs complimented him by nominating him for member of Assembly during his absence from home, but, although strongly urged to accept by his friends, he was forced to decline on account of his business engagements. At the Centennial celebration at Canajoharie, July 4th, 1876, Mr. Davis was selected by the committee as the presiding officer of the day, the duties of which position he discharged with dignity. In private life Mr. Davis is a social, genial gentleman of the old school, strictly honorable in his dealing with all, liberal in charitable and benevolent enterprises, and possesses conversational powers of a high order.

Submitted by Barbara L. Gese. Barb's direct-line surnames from Montgomery County are: CASE, GREEN, HERRICK, JEFFERS, KRING, NEHER/NEAHR, PETTINGELL, SERVISS/SERVOSS, SOUTHWICK, and SPRAGUE. Barb is not related to the Spraker family.

Thank you for this, other Palatine, and many behind-the-scenes contributions to Barbara L. Gese.

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