William Davis

b. circa 1799, d. 22 September 1842
  • William Davis was born circa 1799.
  • He married Emeline Williams on 23 September 1822 in Tolland, Tolland County, Connecticut.
  • William Davis and Emeline Williams appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1830 in Batavia, Genesee County, New York. Also in the household was one additional female, age 10-14).
  • William Davis and Emeline Williams appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1840 in Batavia, Genesee County, New York. Other (counted but unnamed) members of the household apparently included Sarah Louise Davis, Isaac Davis, Eliakim Williams Davis, William A. Davis, Emeline Davis and Lucy Davis. Also in the household were three additional females: one age 60-69, one age 20-29, and one age 10-14.
  • William Davis died on 22 September 1842 in Batavia, Genesee County, New York.
  • His wife Emeline Williams became a widow at his death.
  • The following appeared on 27 September 1842 in the Batavia Rupublican Advocate: [Died] In this village, on the 22d instant, Col. William Davis, aged about 46 years.
  • The following appeared in online at the City of Batavia website: The Fourth Decade (1831-1840) . . . 3: Housing
         As the population grew in the fourth decade, the amount of housing continued to grow as well just as had been the case in earlier years. Back in the chapter on 1811 to 1820, the reader may recall remarks made by Safford North in which he commented on the circumstances that led East Main Street to be filled with handsome residences (Safford E. North, Descriptive and Biographical Record of Genesee County, New York [Boston: Boston History Company, 1899] p. 274). One example of such a “handsome residence” was the home erected by Col. William Davis ca. 1839.
         William Davis, like many early Batavians, nvested in land, seeking to “buy low” and “sell high.” In the course of his efforts, he apparently did quite well, at least for many years. As a consequence, in 1836, he purchased land on the north side of East Main Street between present-day Summit and Ross streets. Then, about 1839, he built a fine home on that location. This structure later became the central part of the mansion owned by Dean and Mary Richmond, a mansion generally regarded as the finest residence ever to exist in Batavia. (From deeds and other documents submitted by the City Historian to the William G. Pomeroy Foundation in 2013 as part of an application for an historic marker.)
         Davis became an apparent victim of the Panic of 1837 as land lost value. From all indications, he held onto his fine home on East Main Street as best he could. However, when he died in 1842, his wife was forced into bankruptcy and she lost the building to creditors. Not long afterwards, widow Emiline Davis and her children moved from the area. The home was eventually acquired by the Richmonds in 1854 and, over a period of several years, was significantly enlarged. More information will be provided about this development in a later chapter. (From documents submitted by the City Historian to the William G. Pomeroy Foundation in 2013 as part of an application for an historic marker.)
  • The following appeared on 5 February 1881 in the Batavia Spirit of the Times: Mrs. Emeline Davis died in New Orleans on the 24th day of January, 1881, aged 76 years. The remains reached here on Saturday last and were buried in the cemetery on that day. She was the wife of Col. Wm. Davis, one of the early settlers of Batavia. Mrs. Davis was a devoted Christian, an honored and active member of St. James' Church from its infancy, a kind and affectionate mother of a large family, whom all of the old inhabitants of this place will remember with love and respect. The husband, Col. Wm. Davis, was the first partner of the Hon. Trumbull Cary, deceased--known as Cary and Davis--to all classes the most attractive and gentlemenly dry goods firm in Western New York, at that time. Col. Davis retired from the establishment with quite a fortune and built the store now owned by Mr. Doty, corner of Jackson street, and was for a long time one of the leading merchants here. He also built the beautiful residence now owned by Mrs. Dean Richmond, and died there in 1842.
  • Research Note: A source of information for the Williams &c families is Families of Dickerman Ancestry: Descendants of Thomas Dickerman, an Early Settler of Dorchester, Massachusetts (1897). Note, though, that comparison to available documentation reveals a number of errors.
  • Last Edited: 20 Sep 2015

Family: Emeline Williams b. 10 October 1803, d. 24 January 1881