WERTER KENICK DAVIS

William G. Cutlerís History of the State of Kansas.

 

WERTER KENICK DAVIS, D. D., Pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at Baldwin City, seat of Baker University; took his present charge in 1881. He was born in Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio, April 1, 1815; he was converted and joined the church in 1829. His preparatory studies were taken at the Hillsboro Academy. He was educated at Kenyon College; afterward received the honorary degree of M. A. from the Indiana State University, M. D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Cincinnati, Ohio, and D. D. by Asbury University of Indiana. He entered the Ohio Conference in 1835, and was ordained Deacon by Bishop Roberts in 1837, at Xenia, Ohio; ordained Elder by Bishop Joshua Soule, at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1835, afterward receiving the following appointments: At Ripley, Va., and Wilmington, Union, Eaton, Germantown, Zanesville, Putnam, Hebron, Rushville, Eaton second time, Dayton, Lebanon and Hamilton, all in Ohio. In the fall of 1853, he joined the St. Louis Conference, and took charge of Ebenezer Chapel in St. Louis, the only Methodist Episcopal Church North in the city. In 1854, he was appointed to the chair of Natural Sciences in McKendree College, and was connected with this institution until 1858, the last year acting as President. In 1858, he removed to Baldwin City, Kan., to organize the Faculty of Baker University, being the first President of the college. He returned to McKendree College to select professors, and brought out with him Prof. Parker, Prof. Cunningham and Prof. Mudge; he returned in the spring of 1859, and organized the Faculty, and started the institution. Was also for a time, while President of the college, in charge of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the town. He was appointed Presiding Elder at the Wyandotte Conference of Baldwin District; resigned in 1862, to take the Chaplaincy of the Twelfth Kansas Infantry. He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel, and assisted in organizing the Sixteenth Regiment Kansas Cavalry. In 1864, he returned home, and was appointed Presiding Elder at the Fort Scott District; two years later took charge of the Baldwin City District, a position he retained four years; was then appointed to take charge of the Leavenworth District, holding it the full term, and then taking the Topeka District, holding the office fourteen consecutive years. He was elected Representative to the first State Legislature, at the same time holding the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction for Douglas County, and Chaplain of the Wyandotte Constitutional convention. In 1880, he took charge of the church at Salina, Saline County, and from there moved to his present charge. He was a member of the General Conferences of 1868 and 1872 and 1880, and was a delegate to the Ecumenical Methodist Conference, in the City Road Wesleyan Chapel in London, England, in 1881, at which time he visited Paris, France, and other places of interest in Europe. Dr. Davis was married in Putnam, Muskingum County, Ohio, May 4, 1843, to Miss Minerva, daughter of Col. John Russell, County Treasurer of that county. Mrs. Davis is aunt, by marriage, to Gen. Hancock. They have had eight children, of which there survive Minnie, now Mrs. Capt. E. I. Meeker, formerly of the signal service; Judge Werter R., in the Surveyor General's office, Santa Fe, N. M.; Allie Hancock, now wife to Gen. J. W. Robbins, Surveyor General of Arizona; Katie B, now Mrs. W. C. North, of Leavenworth, and Henry T.