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DAVIS, Samuel W.

    Cambria Freeman, 2 Jun 1905, Contributed by Patty Millich

Col. Davis Passes Away

Prominent Cambria Countian Succumbs at His Home at 7:15 Thursday Evening

Col. Samuel W. Davis of Ebensburg, one of the Cambria County's foremost citizens, died at his home here at 7:15 Thursday evening, June 1, 1905, after an illness of about one year, from a complication of diseases in the 65th year of his age.

Col. Samuel W. Davis was a son of William and Elizabeth Davis, both of whom immigrated to the United States from Wales and both of whom died in Cambria township many years ago.

Col. Davis was born in Cambria township February 13, 1841. He received his early education in the public schools and for many years assisted his father, who was engaged in conducting a lumber and mercantile business in this vicinity. Later the young man became the business partner of his father and they continued in the business together until August, 1862, when with a number of young men in this vicinity, Samuel W. Davis went to Harrisburg and enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Thirty-third Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers under Capt. John M. Jones, being sworn in at Camp Curtin on Aug. 15, 1862. Col. Davis was with the Army of the Potomac. His company arrived at Antietam on Sept. 17, 1862 on the evening the battle ended, from which point the company was marched to Fredericksburg. The greater portion of the winter was spent at Camp Falmouth. Among the Ebensburg comrades of Col. Davis to be killed at Fredericksburg on the 13th of December, 1862, were Capt. John M. Jones, Lieut. W. A. Scott and Adjt. J. C. Noon. The company next saw service at Chancellorsville on May 5, 1863. After this battle the term of enlistment expired and the company was mustered out at Harrisburg in May, 1863, and returned home.

In September 1864, Col. Davis enlisted in Company C, Two Hundred and Ninth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, under Capt. Robert Litzinger. In this company Col. Davis was first lieutenant and Hugh Jones was second lieutenant, the latter gentleman being killed at Fort Stedman on March 25th, 1865. The company was in what was known as the Bermuda Hundred, under Gen. Ben. Butler, Eighteenth Corps of the Army of the James. Later they were transferred to the Ninth Corps of the Army of the Potomac and laid in the rear of Petersburg until its capture. The company was mustered out on the 7th of June, 1865, at Harrisburg.

After the war was over, Samuel W. Davis was elected colonel of the Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania National Guard and from that time until his death was familiarly known as Col.

Immediately after the war Col. Davis engaged with his brother, Lemuel, in the livery business in Ebensburg, and for a number of years was very successful in that business.

Politically Col. Davis was a staunch and uncompromising Republican and was very active in the service of his party. Even up to last fall's campaign, when Col. Davis was chairman of his party in this county, he labored unceasingly for its success. In 1878 he was elected to the office of County Commissioner and in 1881 was re-elected to the same office. At the expiration of his term as Commissioner, he became clerk to County Treasurer Alex Stackhouse. In 1889 he was appointed deputy sheriff by Sheriff J. C. Stineman and at the end of three years, when Sheriff Stineman's term expired and James M. Shumaker was elected to the office of sheriff, Col. Davis was continued in the office as deputy. When David W. Coulter was elected to succeed Sheriff Shumaker, Col. Davis was again re-appointed and served in that capacity under Sheriff Coulter for one year. In 1895 Col. Davis was elected to the office of Prothonotary of Cambria county which position he held for two terms. During the long political career of Col. Davis, he was an upright and honest as he was fearless and never shirked his duty.

Col. Davis was a member of Summit Lodge No. 312 Free and Accepted Masons. He was prominently connected with John M. Jones Post No. 556, G. A. R. and a devout member of the First Congregational church of Ebensburg.

When the present court house was erected Col. Davis was one of the County Commissioners and much credit of this handsome temple of justice is due to the efforts and interest taken in its erection by Col. Davis.

When the First National Bank of Ebensburg was organized in September, 1897, Col. Dais was one of the incorporators and served upon the executive committee of the board of directors up to the time of his death. The death of Col. Davis has caused the first vacancy on the board of directors of the First National Bank since its organization.

As a citizen he was known in every quarter of the county. He was a man of strong personally, broad-minded, public-spirited, conservative and yet enterprising. The handsome three-story Davis office building on Center street in Ebensburg was the last enterprise in which Col. Davis took an active part. He, in company with Mr. T. Stanton Davis of this place, being the owners of this modern business block which was only completed last month.

Col. Davis had a kindly disposition. He was one of those men who could command the respect of all with whom he came in contact. He made many friends and leaves behind but few enemies. His illness which was in the nature of Bright's disease dates from about a year ago. During this long illness Col. Davis suffered greatly. Especially was this the case during the last two months when he was delirious much of the time. Long ago Col. Davis realized that his days were drawing near to an end and during his rational hours he seemed to accept the situation with fortitude and was willing that the will of the Divine Master might be done. Day after day he lapsed into unconsciousness but throughout his long struggle, his faith in God never waned. On Wednesday evening when he recovered consciousness for the last time, he called his family to his bedside and bid them a last farewell. He realized that he had but a short time to live and though suffering greatly, managed to summon all his faculties to his assistance for this last sad greeting.

It was thought early this (Thursday) morning that the colonel was dying but he lingered in an unconscious condition until this evening at 7:15 o'clock when he closed his eyes to his early labors and sank into the peaceful sleep of death.

By the death of Col. Davis his family suffers a severe blow to the loss of a kind husband and father and the community looses one of its best citizens. Many poor will miss the yearly benefactions of Col. Davis and many of the wants which he supplied will be left to the charity of others.

Col. Davis was married to Miss Sarah J. Evans, who survives him, with the following children: Emery Hubert; Mary E, wife of B. F. James; Elmer C.; Lillian June; Ralph H; Willis; Nannie Margaret; Park Meade and Reginald S., all of Ebensburg. He is also survived by one brother, Lemuel Davis, Esq., of Kane, Pa. and one sister, Mrs. Lydia Evans of Ebensburg.

The funeral will take place Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock after the arrival of a special train from Johnstown, which will leave there at 11:55 a.m., arriving in Ebensburg at 1:30 when the cortege will leave the house in charge of the Knights' Templar. Interment will be made in Lloyd Cemetery.

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