WILLIAM D. DAVIS. - It is the lot of some men to be born great, while others have to achieve greatness. It is clearly evident that William D. Davis, a leading agriculturist of Wyandotte county, was destined to be the architect of his own fortunes. Beginning his career on a low rung of the ladder of attainments, he has steadily pushed his way upward, making diligent use of his faculties and opportunities, and is now one of the extensive landholders and stock raisers of Basehor. He was born May 29, 1853, in Herkimer county, New York, a son of Ezra F. Davis.
A native of the Empire state, Ezra F. Davis was born March 1, 1827. A farmer from his youth up, he moved with his family to Cole county, Missouri, in 1860, and for awhile was engaged in the raising of tobacco near Jefferson City. He subsequently migrated still further westward, settling in Colorado, where he embarked in the cattle business. He married Elizabeth Eynon, a native of New York state, and to them four children were born, as follows: William D., the special subject of this brief biographical sketch; Llewellyn, a promising stockman of Wyoming; Frank G. and one deceased.
But seven years of age when his parents moved to Cole county, Missouri, and still young when they located in Colorado, William D. Davis had very meager educational advantages, his schooling having been exceedingly limited. He assisted his father in the cattle business in Colorado, and on coming east located at Leavenworth, Kansas, where he owned and operated a mill, and for sixteen years served as postmaster. He is now extensively engaged in general farming, owning five hundred and sixty acres of land in Wyandotte county, three hundred and twenty acres of which he utilizes as pasture for his cattle. Mr. Davis is one of the foremost stock growers of his community, in fact being one of the largest buyers and shippers of cattle in northeastern Kansas. He is a Republican in politics, but has never sought official honors, his private affairs demanding his entire time and attention.
Mr. Davis married February 29, 1888, Eva Trickey, who was born in Maine, June 16, 1859, and came to Kansas in 1865. Mrs. Davis. received a good education in St. Mary's Academy near Leavenworth, Kansas, and she had an excellent musical training. Her parents were John and Annie J. (Marshall) Trickey and she was the only child of their union. The father was a native of New Hampshire and he received an education of some thoroughness and adopted agriculture as his calling. He traced his lineage to England, three Trickey brothers from one of whom he descended, coming to this country at an early period in its history, probably early in the seventeenth century. Politically he was a Republican. He was a soldier in the Civil war, enlisting in Company I, First Maine Heavy Artillery. He was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness and died of his wounds at Washington, D. C., in 1864. His widow married again, her second husband being Louis A. Menager, a native of Gallipolis, Ohio. He was born November 19, 1833, and died November 23, 1910. Mr. Menager received exceptionally good educational training and was an expert accountant. He, with his brother Edward, were large landholders in Wyandotte county. The brothers Menager were of French descent, for although born in this country, both of their parents came from France. Mr. Menager's brother-in-law, Julius Pitrat, was the inventor of the computing scales, used by commerce in the United States.
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Menager were the parents of one child - Elsie Romaine, who received a splendid education in literary and musical lines. As previously stated, Mr. Menager was associated with his brother and they owned the large estate now controlled by Mr. and Mrs. Davis. This comprises over five hundred acres, and the Menagers were the first owners after the Delaware Indians. The brothers, Edward S., was a student at West Point Military Academy and he was a man of commanding physique, being six feet, six inches in height and finely proportioned. He had studied law, although he did not engage in its practice. He was a Republican in politics and a man of superior ability. He died in 1889, aged about sixty-two years. When the Hon. John G. Pratt had governmental charge of the Delaware Indians Louis Menager was his bookkeeper. Mrs. Menager, the mother of Mrs. Davis, was born November 8, 1836.
Mr. and Mrs. Davis have two children, namely: Anna M., a graduate of the Kansas City, Kansas high school, wife of John L. Hastings, who assists Mr. Davis in the care of the farm; and Elizabeth E., a graduate of the Kansas City, Kansas high school, of the class of 1911, who is now at home.
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