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John Davis (1844-?)
Owner of drug store & grocery supply business, West Bay City, MI.
  • Incudes short biographies of sons, Edward & Emerson.
  • 1921 bio. of John Davis. Added Aug., 2009.

    Detroit in History and Commerce, 1891.


    John Davis, manager of the house of John Davis & company, born at Westfield, Massachusetts, May 25, 1844 and received his education in the schools of his native town. His first venture in actual business was as a clerk in the drug line. He enlisted in the military service at the age of 18 in the Thirty-fourth regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, and after one year was appointed hospital steward in the regular army, being stationed at the headquarters of General Crook at Cumberland, Maryland, from which point he was honorably discharged from the service. For one year succeeding this he was employed in the wholesale drug business in New York City, the death of his father compelling his return to Westfield, Massachusetts, where he engaged in the drug business on his own account. His mother's declining health caused him to sell out after the first year, and he removed to West Bay City, Michigan, where he resumed the drug business, from which he gradually developed his present line as a manufacturer of grocers' specialties in baking powders, spices, extracts, condiments, etc. He operates a branch establishment at Windsor, Ontario. He also about one year ago established a plant for the manufacture of phosphates used in baking powder, under the name of the Detroit Chemical Works. The firm of John Davis & Company was incorporated and has a capital fully paid up of $30,000. The officers are F. M. Thompson, president; John Davis, secretary and treasurer. The trade territory is represented by Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Canada, with an annual output of $150,000. Mr. Davis has three sons, the eldest of whom is a member of the reportorial staff of the Detroit Free Press.

    1914 biography of son, Edward. Added Aug., 2009.

    The Book of Detroiters, 1914


    Edward Samuel Davis, secretary Detroit Chemical Works; born, West Bay City, Mich., Apr. 2, 1873; son of John and Ida Maria (Hitchcock) Davis; educated in Detroit public schools; married, Oct. 22, 1894, Nettie M. Skinner, of Detroit; 1 daughter, Clarissa M. Newspapaer reporter and assistant city editor, 7 1/2 years, Detroit Free Press and Detroit Tribune; secretary and director Detroit Chemical Works since Jan., 1899. Congregationalist; outdoor sports. Office 238 Junction Ave. Residence: 36 Erskine St.

    1914 biography of son, Emerson. Added Aug., 2009.

    The Book of Detroiters, 1914


    Emerson Davis, treasurer Detroit Chemical Works, born, Wenona, Mich., May 23, 1878; son of John and Ida M. (Hitchcock) Davis; descended on paternal side from William Davis; who came to America about 1635, and on maternal side from John Folger, 1635, and Thomas Mayhew, 1632; educated in public schools of Detroit, Detroit High School; A.B., University of Michigan, 1901; married, Feb. 10, 1906, Marion Biegler, of Chicago; 3 children: John Emerson, Philip Cameron, Mary Elizabeth. Has served as treaturer and director Detroit Chemical Works ever since leaving college. Republican. Congregationalist. Member American Chemical Society, Society of Chemical Industry, Delta Upsilon fraternity. Office 238 Junction Ave. Residence: 141 Webb Ave.

    Additional Notes:

      1871 - Wenona Directory:

    • Davis, John, druggist e s Lynn bet John and Jane, res same.

      1914 - The Book of Detroiters:

    • John Davis. "Married, 1870, Ida M. Hitchcock (died, 1881); 3 sons: Edward S., John P., Emerson; married 2nd, Beverly, Mass., 1885, Emma F. Carter. Began active career as druggist at Westfield, 1867, continuing at Wenona (West Bay City), Mich., 1868-1879; engaged as manufacturer of grocers' specialties, 1879-95; started Detroit Chemical Works in 1888, incorporated, 1893, and has since been its president ever since.
    • Residence: 56 Garfield Ave.
    Related Notes/Pages

    John Davis

    Related Pages:
    Local Civil War History
    People Referenced
    Biegler, Marion (d-inlaw)
    Carter, Emma F. (2-wife)
    Crook, Gen.
    Davis, Clarissa M. (g-dau.)
    Davis, Edward S. (son)
    Davis, Emerson (son)
    Davis, John (subject)
    Davis, John E. (g-son)
    Davis, John P. (son)
    Davis, Mary E. (g-dau.)
    Divis, Philip C. (g-son)
    Davis, William (ancestor)
    Folger, John
    Hitchcock, Ida (1-wife)
    Mayhew, Thomas
    Skinner, Nettie M. (d-inlaw)
    Thompson, F.M.
    Subjects Referenced
    34th Reg. MA Vols.
    Beverly, MA
    Chicago, IL
    Congregational Church
    Cumberland, MD
    Detroit Chemical Works
    Detroit Free Press
    Detroit High school
    Detroit Tribune
    John Davis & Co.
    Michigan, Univ.
    New York, NY
    Wenona village, MI
    West Bay City, MI
    Westfield, MA
    Windsor, Ont. Can.
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.