Davis, Jacob C.

Born: 1820-09-16 Virginia

Died: 1883-12-25 Missouri

Flourished: Hancock County, Illinois

Jacob C. Davis was a lawyer, county government official, state legislator, and U.S. representative. Born near Staunton, Virginia, Davis attended local common schools and matriculated to William and Mary College. In 1838, he moved from his native Virginia to Warsaw, Illinois, where he read law. Davis earned admission to the Illinois bar and commenced practicing law. From May 1842 to May 1843, Davis served as clerk of the Hancock County Circuit Court. In November 1842, Hancock County voters elected Davis to the Illinois Senate. He secured reelection in 1846, serving until March 1847. Davis ran unsuccessfully to represent Hancock County at the Illinois Constitutional Convention of 1848. In 1850, Hancock County voters returned him to the Illinois Senate, where he served until 1856, when he resigned having been elected, as a Democrat, to the Thirty-Fourth U.S. House of Representatives to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William A. Richardson. Davis served in the House of Representatives from November 1856 to March 1857. He was not a candidate for reelection. At the end of his term, he resumed practicing law in Clark County, Missouri. He continued his law practice until his death in Alexandria, Missouri.

John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 210, 212, 213, 217, 218, 220; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 351, 409, 448; Th. Gregg, History of Hancock County, Illinois (Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman, 1880), 240, 450, 451, 454; Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 912-13.