Davis, Oliver L.

Born: 1819-12-20 New York, New York

Died: 1892-01-12 Danville, Illinois

In 1841, Davis settled in Danville, Illinois, where he would remain for the duration of his life. He studied law and was admitted to the Illinois state bar in December 1842. Davis frequently utilized Abraham Lincoln's legal services. In December 1844, he married Sarah M. Cunningham, with whom he would have ten children. In 1850, Davis was practicing law and owned real estate valued at $1,100. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1851, and in 1857, he was elected back to the state legislature as a Republican. Davis was one of the Chicago Convention delegates who supported Lincoln's nomination for president in 1860. By 1860, Davis had amassed $15,000 in real property with a personal estate valued at $7,300. In 1861, he became judge of the Twenty-Seventh Judicial Circuit until his resignation in 1866. Religiously, Davis was a Presbyterian.

John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer (New York: Bramhall House, 1960), 214; Portrait and Biographical Album of Vermilion County, Illinois (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1889), 382-83; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Danville, Vermilion County, IL, 302; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 218, 221; Albert A. Woldman, Lawyer Lincoln (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1936), 262; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Danville, Vermilion County, IL, 24; Gravestone, Spring Hill Cemetery and Mausoleum, Danville, IL. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.