Biography of Abel Davis

Abel Davis, an able lawyer of Pittsfield and a Civil War veteran, was born in New Portland, January 16, 1842, son of Henry D. and Jane M. (Masters) Davis. The father, a native of Dalhousie, New Brunswick:, during his earlier years resided in Marimichi and Maguadavic, New Brunswick. When about forty years old he came to Maine, and, settling in New Portland, was there engaged in farming and lumbering until his death, which occurred March 26, 1868, at the age of seventy years. Jane M. Davis, his wife, who was a native of Maguadavic, became the mother of ten children. Of these, six are living, namely: Hannah Elizabeth, the wife of H. L. Kimball, of Skowhegan; Abel, the subject of this sketch; Mariamne, who became Mrs. Mills, and is now a widow, residing in San Francisco, California; Henrietta M., who married Lorenzo D. Getchell, and lives in Skowhegan; Henry D., a resident of Eau Claire, Wisconsin; and Ada M., the wife of Charles Webb, of New Portland. The others were: Angelica; Margaret Jane, who died May 12, 1854; Sarah M. ; and William M. Davis. The mother died April 15, 1897, aged eighty-two years.

Abel Davis acquired his early education in the common schools of New Portland. At the age of nineteen years he enlisted in the Fourth Regiment of Light Artillery, Maine Volunteers, entering the service January 1862. At the battle of Cedar Mountain he was struck in the leg by a piece of shell, causing a severe wound. After passing some months in the hospitals of Alexandria, Virginia, and David’s Island, New York, he was discharged January 26, 1863. Subsequent to his return he settled upon a farm which he had previously purchased in his native town. During the succeeding five years he cultivated this property to some extent, drove a milk wagon in Lewiston for some time, worked upon a farm in New Gloucester, Maine, was employed for a year upon the steamer “Montreal,” plying between Portland and Boston, and also worked in the woods. In 1868, after his father’s death, he went to Eau Claire, Wis., where he was engaged in lumbering for about two years. Having begun the study of law in 1871, he graduated from the law department of the State University in Madison, Wisconsin, June 19, 1873. Then, forming a partnership with Joseph F. Ellis, he practiced his profession in Eau Claire for four years, being at the same time associated with his brother in the lumber business. Failing health having caused him to rest from active business, he spent the summer of 1877 at his old home in Maine. Returning West that fall, he resumed the practice of law. In 1881 he returned East again, and on June 18, while in Boston, he was prostrated on Boston Common by a stroke of paralysis, which subsequently confined him at the Massachusetts General Hospital for some weeks. When sufficiently recovered he went to Maine. In 1882 he resumed farming in New Portland, remaining there for two years. At the end of that time he sold his property, and once more returned to Eau Claire, where he engaged in a mercantile business. A year later he was again forced by feeble health to take a rest. Finding the climate of Wisconsin unfavorable to his permanent recovery, he came East in 1885, stopping in Lewiston for a short time and finally locating in Pittsfield, where he has since practiced law with success. He has always manifested a lively interest in public affairs. On one occasion, while residing in Eau Claire, he delivered a speech upon an important political issue, which brought him into popular favor. He has served as Moderator at town meetings in Pittsfield, has been a member of the Board of Assessors, and was chairman of the Village Corporation for one year. In politics he is a Republican.

On August 28, 1890, Mr. Davis was united in marriage with Mrs. Angie B. (Rogers) Morrill, who was born in Lewiston, October 16, 1849, daughter of Miller J. and Angeline (Blackstone) Rogers. Her first husband died in Buckfield, Maine, where he was a farmer, merchant, and cattle dealer. Mrs. Davis’s father, who is no longer living, was for many years a cotton manufacturer in Lewiston. Her mother is still living, and resides with a daughter in the last named city. In 1874 Mr. Davis joined Chippewa Lodge, I. O. O. F., and Wilderness Encampment in Eau Claire, and is now connected with Phlentonia Lodge and Pittsfield Encampment. He is also a member of Pioneer Lodge, No. 71, Knights of Pythias; of the Patrons of Husbandry; and of Stephen Davis Post, No. i 1, G. A. R., all of this town. He attends the Universalist church. Mrs. Davis died February 5, 1898.

Source: Biographical review: containing life sketches of leading citizens of Somerset, Piscataquis, Hancock, Washington, and Aroostook counties, Maine. Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1898.

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