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|Cambria Freeman, 12 Jul 1907, Contributed by Patty Millich
|Death of Capt. Davis
One of Cambria's Best Known Citizens Died at His Home in this Place Saturday after Lingering Illness
Cambria County lost one of her best known and sturdiest sons and Ebensburg, one of the most enterprising citizens Saturday afternoon in the death of Capt. Thomas Davis, which occurred at 2:36 o'clock at his home in this place. The end was hastened by another paralytic stroke, since which time the patient had sunk rapidly. The cause of death was a complication of diseases from which Mr. Davis had been suffering for some time and which had confined him to his bed for the past few months, his condition at several times during recent weeks being regarded as extremely critical.
Thomas Davis was born in Cambia township about two miles southeast of Ebensburg on October 7, 1831, and was a son of Richard and Elizabeth (Roberts) Davis, his father having come from Wales to America and located in Ebensburg about 1812. He was educated in and commenced life as a farmer but, while a young man, engaged in the lumbering business and followed it from 1854 until the breaking out of the Civil War. Then he set his energies to work for the union and began by recruiting 120 men for the Nineteenth Regiment, United States Regulars, which had its headquarters at Indianapolis. Afterward he made first sergeant of Company C, filling the position until after the battle of Chickamanga, when he was commissioned second lieutenant. In about four months he was promoted to first lieutenant and remained in the service in this capacity until the close of war, serving, in all, three years and eight months and taking part in thirty-two engagements, among them Pittsburg Landing, Stone River, Resaca, Chickmanga and Lookout Mountain. He was also with Sheridan at Atlanta and saw the city burned.
Following his retirement from the army on account of poor health, Mr. Davis engaged in farming for a year and then went into the mercantile business with his brother under the firm name of Davis Brothers. In 1887 he went out of business and lived in South Dakota for three years in the hope of curing a bad case of asthma. At the end of this time he returned to Ebensburg and engaged in the real estate business, which he followed as long as able to attend to it. During his life time he acquired considerable wealth, largely through heavy purchases of coal lands when they were considered of little value and he leaves behind a comfortable fortune.
Mr. Davis was one of Ebensburg's progressive councilmen for several years and it was through his efforts that many improvements were made to the town.
Captain Davis was one of the advocates of extensive street paving and much of the paved streets in Ebensburg belongs to him.
In politics, Mr. Davis was a Republican and while he was in health, there were few campaigns in which he did not take an active part. His capabilities in the line of politics were generally recognized and the influence of "Thomas Davis Jackson," as he was called to distinguish himself from other Thomas Davises, was always a factor to be reckoned with. Early in life he served as a jury commissioner of Cambria county and in 1876 was nominated for Sheriff by the Republicans, but failed, of election by 211 votes, a narrow margin for a Republican candidate of those days. In 1900 he was elected to the Pennsylvania legislature as one of the members from Cambria county and served two terms.
December 20, 1864, Mr. Davis married Susan Burkhart, who survives and to this union were born four children – Izora, wife of Lester Larimer; Schuyler C. and T. Stanton, all of Ebensburg and Fred, who died in 1893. Besides the above, Mr. Davis is survived by the following brothers and sisters: David of the Seventeenth Ward, Johnstown; Mrs. Milton Jones of Ebensburg; Mrs. Mattie Ross of Reynoldsville, Jefferson county; and Mrs. Mary Stiles of Ebensburg. The late Timothy Davis of Conemaugh was a brother.
The funeral took place Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock and was largely attended by relatives and friends of the deceased from over the county. After services at the house the cortege proceeded to the Congregational Church, where the services were in charge of the Rev. J. Twyson Jones, assisted by the Rev. W. S. Bell, pastor of the Progressive Brethren Church of Johnstown.
The pallbearers were the Hon. A. V. Barker; A. J. Darragh; F. H. Barker; William Davis, Esq.; Ex-Sheriff Joseph A. Gray of Spangler; James M. Singer of Vinco; Herman Apel; M. D. Kittell, Esq.; J. B. Denny; the Hon. Edmund James; the Hon. J. D. Hicks of Altoona and Neal Hunt of Conemaugh.
Burial was made in the family plot in Lloyd Cemetery. Members of the Grand Army and the firing squad of the Sons of Veterans attended the funeral in a body.