Franklin W. Davis, cashier of the State Bank of St. George, Kan., was born in the State of Indiana, in 1859, son of William F. and Lucy A. (Taylor) Davis, and is descended from a long line of sturdy Welsh ancestry. His great-great-grandfather came to America from Wales at an early day and his great uncle, John Davis of Massachusetts, was known as "Honest John Davis" throughout the Bay State. William F. Davis was born and spent his boyhood days in Ohio, but while still young settled in Illinois, when that state was still on the frontier. From there he turned east to Indiana, and then west to Iowa, where he opened up a prairie farm, but soon grew restless and removed to Wisconsin and took up another claim. At the time of the Civil war he was appointed a member of the secret service force of the government and was assigned to duty in Milwaukee. During the late '60s Kansas became the goal of many of the hardy frontiersmen, who felt crowded when the country began to get at all thickly populated, and with many sturdy pioneers Mr. Davis, accompanied by his family, made the long trip from Wisconsin to Kansas, with a team of horses and a covered wagon. They at once located on a homestead of eighty acres in Pottowatomie county, and the whole family helped to improve the new home. Subsequently William F. Davis moved to Wamego and purchased a newspaper, which he owned over two years, but he had lived too long in the country and found that he wanted the freedom of country life. He purchased a farm north of St. George and another east of the town, where he lived until he had secured a comfortable competency, when he retired to St. George to enjoy his declining years in ease and a cessation from toil. In the early '70s he served one term as sheriff of Pottawatomie county. Mrs. Davis was a native of Indiana, but most of her married life has been passed in the West. Franklin W. Davis was reared on his father's farm, where he herded cattle, plowed corn, and attended the district school in the winter, until he was eighteen. He then was employed at various kinds of work for about one year and again engaged in agricultural pursuits for a while, but about this time his father purchased the "Kansas Reporter," at Wamego, and the son became its editor, which position he held about two years. He then once more returned to the farm, but becoming active in local politics and having become well and favorably known over Pottawatomie county, he was elected county clerk in the early '90s, filling the position with great credit for four years. Upon retiring from office he returned to his country home, but the ambition to engage in a commercial life prompted him to suggest to some of the substantial citizens of the county that a bank be organized and located at St. George. His plans met with approval and the outcome was the St. George State Bank, one of the most successful banking houses of Pottawatomie county. In 1906 he was offered and accepted the position of cashier of the bank, which position he is still most ably filling. Mr. Davis is a product of the West, sturdy, self-reliant, and self-made, for though he had but a common school education he has in reality taken a higher course, as he has been a student for years in the correspondence schools of the country. He is a great lover of books and, realizing the advantages of training, has taken correspondence courses in the regular college studies and in law, so that he is well prepared to be one of the guiding influences of a bank and to shape its policy. Politically he is a Progressive Republican, a member of the party that stands for clean government and the best man for the place.
In February, 1907, Mr. Davis married Miss Grace Dalton of St. George, Kan. By a previous marriage he has a son, Franklin Dane, a student in the State Agricultural College at Manhattan, Kan.Pages 596-597 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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