Christopher Davis Biography


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From "Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Carroll County"
Munsell Publishing Co. - 1913 Edited by Charles L. Hostetter page 769-770.

DAVIS, Christopher. -- The modern farmer while he has many more opportunities of development than his forefathers, still because of the requirements made upon him, has to be a better trained man to succeed. Farming is no longer conducted in a hit-or-miss style, but logically and methodically, and nothing is done without there being a good reason back of it. For this reason Carroll county farmers are numbered among the best agriculturists in the country, and one who has attained a welll deserved prosperity is Christopher Davis of section 20, Salem township. He was born in Franklin county, Pa., October 21, 1840, being a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Rinedollar) Davis, of the same county. These parents arrived by boat at Savanna, Carroll county, Ill., in 1852, and from thence came to Mt. Carroll, where the father opened a blacksmith shop. This he conducted until he was seventy-two years old, having been born in 1809. His wife died in March, 1899, aged eighty-one years, having been born December 27, 1818. They had ten children, seven of whom survive, Christopher being the eldest. In addition to him there were: Mrs. Camilla Altenson, of Mt. Carroll, Ill.; Mrs. Anna Hoover, of Mt. Carroll; John C., also of Mt. Carroll; Mrs. Harry Sutton of Mt. Carroll; Mrs. Ellen Shores, of Marseilles, Mo.; Mrs. Abbie Edwards, of Missouri; and three who are deceased, Thomas, Sarah and Elithebeth.

Christopher Davis was educated in the schools of Mt. Carroll, with one term at the seminary. When nine years old, he began working on a farm in summer and attending school in winter, and kept this up until he was sixteen years old, after which he devoted all his time to farming. In 1861, he enlisted in the first company formed in Mt. Carroll, but on accounty of his mother's poor health was excused. On August 6, 1862, he enlisted in Company C, Ninety-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry and served with that regiment until mustered out at Concord, N. C., July 7, 1865. Although he saw much service, he was neither wounded or taken prisoner, and was only absent from his command five days, on account of sickness. He was in many skirmishes and in Georgia with General Sherman, marching to the sea with that commander. In 1865, he returned to Mt. Carroll, rented a farm, and began working for himself. Two of the brothers of Mr. Davis, Thomas and John C., also gave good service to their country during the Civil war. Thomas Davis enlisted in Company K, Fifteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, which was the first company to be raised in Carroll county, and he died suddenly of sickness while at the siege of Vicksburg. John C. Davis enlisted in Company C, Ninety-second Illinois Volunteer infantry, in December, 1863, and served until the close of the war. He was transferred to the Sixty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry while in the service.

On December 22, 1868, Christopher Davis married Mary J. Zuck, born in Freedom township, Carroll county, May 4, 1850, daughter of Henry and Sarah (Zillhart) Zuck. Mr. Zuck was born at Zuck's Landing on the Potomac, in Virginia, June 22, 1816, his father being a ship builder. Mrs. Zuck was born in Lancaster county, Pa., December 24, 1816. The Zillhart family moved to Maryland, to which state Mr. Zuck moved when young. There he met and married Miss Zillhart, September 9, 1838. On September 10, 1844, they started for Illinois in a wagon, arriving in Ogle county October 10 of that year. In the spring of 1845, they settled in Freedom township, this county, where they rented land, but in 1849, entered land to the amount of eighty acres on section 20, Salem township. To this removal was made in February, 1852, and here Mr. and Mrs. Zuck resided until they went to Mt. Carroll, in 1890. Mrs. Zuck died April 1, 1891, and Mr. Zuck, December 9, 1895. They owned 287 acres on sections 17, 20 and 21, and were well-to-do. There were two children in their family: John, born April 17, 1840, now at Mt. Carroll, and Mrs. Davis.

When Mr. and Mrs. Davis married, they rented the farm they now own, of Mr. Zuck. After a year they moved to Fair Haven township, but after a year more, they returned to Salem township, and rented the farm on section 17. In the spring of 1892, they bought 137 acres in Woodland township, making it their home until 1901, when they sold and moved to their present farm of 157 acres on section 17, Salem township, inherited by Mrs. Davis from her father's estate. They own property on section 20, making in all 261 acres, devoted to general farming and the raising of graded stock, including short horn cattle. Politically Mr. Davis is a Republican, and he belongs to Nace Post, No. 80, G.A.R., of Mt. Carroll. Mr. and Mrs. Davis are members of the Methodist church.

Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Davis: Thomas, who was born December 21, 1869, was killed by a bull on September 20, 1909; Sarah E., who was born July 4, 1872, is at home; Nellie S., who was born June 2, 1874, married L. O. James and they live at Savanna; Charles F., who was born September 10, 1876, resides with his parents; and Lulie Mae, who was born October 17, 1883, is the wife of Ray Altanson, of Mt. Carroll. The Davis family is one of the most representative in this section. Mr. Davis is an excellent farmer, a loyal citizen and has given public-spritied assistance in securing many needed improvements.