From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1515
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   For nineteen years Nathan M Davis has been a resident of Rice county, and his home is on section 6, Wilson township.  His loyalty as a citizen was manifest by service in the Civil war, and his fidelity to the best interests of the communities with which he has been connected has ever been one of his salient characteristics.  He was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, near Connelsville, on the 20th of January, 1845, and is a son of William Davis.  His paternal grandfather, Azariah Davis, was one of the veterans of the Revolutionary war, aiding in the establishment of the republic through the force of arms.  In the Keystone state William Davis was reared, and after arriving at years of maturity he wedded Margaret May, whose birth occurred in Fayette county, Pennsylvania.  Her father, Michael May, was born in the same state and was of German descent.  His death occurred in Fayette county.  Three children were born unto Mr and Mrs Davis, namely:  Nancy, who is now deceased; Nathan M; and William, a farmer, who resides near Axtell, Nebraska.  The father died in middle life and the mother afterward became the wife of William I Johnson, by whom she had one child, Henry, who is now living in Stark county, Illinois.  She was a member of the Congregational church and her death occurred in Peoria county, Illinois, when she was forty-five years of age.

   Nathan M Davis was reared upon a farm near Princeville, Peoria county, Illinois, and acquired a limited education in the public schools.  He began earning his own living by working as a farm hand, and was thus engaged until the country called for the aid of her loyal sons and he offered his services to the government, enlisting as a member of the Fifty-seventh Illinois Infantry, under command of Colonel H A Hurlbert, while Captain F A Beatty was in command of the company.  Later he was promoted to the colonelcy and the company was commanded by Captain Wells.  This was a Chicago regiment, which Mr Davis joined at Tiskawa.  He served from February, 1864, until the close of the war.  After remaining for a month in Chicago the regiment was sent south to Athens, Alabama, thence to Chickamauga and was at Rome, Georgia, for two or three months.  He participated in the battle at that place and in the engagement at Kenesaw Mountain and at Allatoona Pass.  He was captured and was held as a prisoner of war for some time and was paroled after three days.  He then went to Dalton, Georgia, and afterward returned to Kingston, near Rome, being stationed near General Sherman’s headquarters for a time.  Under command of that gallant officer he then went to Savannah, Georgia, and participated in the Carolina campaign, the siege of Richmond and the grand review at Washington, DC.  The war having ended, he was then honorably discharged at Louisville, Kentucky, and was mustered out at Chicago, returning to his home with a good military record.

   Mr Davis made his way to Bureau county, Illinois, and later to Stark county, that state.  He was there married in January, 1878, to Miss Addie E Holton, a native of Stark county and a daughter of Ephraim and Frances (Ayres) Holton, both of whom were natives of New Jersey.  Her parents are now deceased, the mother having died in Stark county, Illinois, while the father passed away in Phillips county, Kansas.  He was buried in Decatur county, Kansas.  He was a blacksmith and farmer, following the dual occupation in order to provide for the support of himself and family.  This worthy couple had three children, namely:  Mrs Josephine Edgar, who is living in Wilson township, Rice county; Mrs Addie Davis; and Nathan F, of Illinois.

   In the year 1878 Mr Davis removed to Polk county, Iowa, locating near Des Moines, and a year afterward went to Decatur county, Kansas, where he remained for four years upon a homestead farm.  In 1882 he arrived in Rice county and took up his abode upon his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres.  Here he has a good residence, a grove and an orchard of five acres, stable yards, feed lots and richly cultivated fields.  He follows farming and stock-raising and his place is valued at thirty-five hundred dollars.  He is energetic and diligent and gives his attention closely to the cultivation of his fields and the raising of stock.

   The home of Mr and Mrs Davis has been blessed with eight children, namely:  Martin E, James A, Frances M, Josephine A, Ross H, Delia Adeline, Edgar William and Lester.  The family is well known in the community and the members of the household attend the Congregational church, of which the family are members.  In politics he was for many years a Republican, but he is now identified with the People’s party.  He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic and like many old soldiers is a frank, genial gentleman, recognizing the obligations and duties of citizenship and never failing in their discharge.