William Edward Davis, state auditor of Kansas, is one of the youngest men in such a position in the United States and is a representative of that splendid type of young American manhood which has drawn attention by its capability of accomplishment. He was born on a farm in Hampshire county, West Virginia, July 14, 1875, and is the son of John William Davis and wife, whose maiden name was Hannah Catharine Timbrook, both native West Virginians, the former having been born in Hardy county, May 21, 1851, and the latter in Hampshire county July 12, 1854. Both parents are living and are residents of Carroll county, Missouri. The paternal grandfather of Mr. Davis was Eli Davis, whose wife's maiden surname was Evans; he was a native of what is now Hardy county, West Virginia, but then Old Virginia. Gipson P. Timbrook was the maternal grandfather of our subject and his wife's maiden surname was Hott.
William Edward Davis was nine years old when he removed with his parents to Carroll county, Missouri, where his youth was spent on a farm. He attended a country school in Carroll county, and later attended Avalon College of Livingston county, Missouri, but left school at the age of twenty and became a clerk in the village postoffice at Tina, Carroll county. In 1896, when twenty-one years of age, he came to Kansas to make his fortune and after spending one year at Atchison and another at Topeka, as a solicitor, he went to Hutchinson, where he became a traveling salesman for a county and bank stationery house of that city. In 1902 he removed to Dodge City, where he purchased and still owns a controlling interest in the "Globe-Republican," the pioneer weekly paper of that city. He never gave his personal attention to that paper, however, but has always trusted its management to an experienced newspaper man. He continued as traveling salesman for the Hutchinson firm until January, 1907, when he was appointed to the office of assistant state auditor, which office he held until Jan. 9, 1911, when he became auditor of the State of Kansas, having been elected to that office on Nov. 8, 1910, on the Republican ticket. It is the first office for which he was ever a candidate and, being but thirty-five years of age, is probably one of the youngest state auditors in the United States.
Mr. Davis was married Sept. 23, 1899, to Miss Ellen Mary Wiley of Meade, Kan., but a native of Osceola, Iowa. They have one son, William Edward, Jr., born Nov. 16, 1902. Mr. Davis is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and of the United Commercial Travelers. He still retains his residence at Dodge City.Pages 635-636 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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