Davidson, William H. (IL State Senator)

Born: 1805 Virginia

Flourished: 1830-1848 White County, Illinois

Sometime before 1830, Davidson moved to Carmi, Illinois, where he worked as an attorney and storekeeper. Davidson, a Whig, represented White County in the Illinois Senate from 1832 to 1844. When Alexander M. Jenkins resigned, the Senate elected Davidson to fill his seat as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois and Speaker of the Senate from December 1836 to December 1838. In 1840, Davidson was the head of a household in White County that included three free people of color and one enslaved person. Prior to 1850, Davidson moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he became a successful merchant and banker. In 1860, he owned $10,000 in real estate. Davidson's son, Henry G. Davidson, served as captain of a company of Union infantry during the Civil War.

Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, White County, 110:217, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; History of White County Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1883), 310, 315-16, 332; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 99-100, 202, 203, 205, 206, 208, 210; U.S. Census Office, Sixth Census of the United States (1840), White County, IL, 283; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Louisville, Jefferson County, KY, 283; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Louisville Ward 6, Jefferson County, KY, 112; Dennis W. Belcher, The 10th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009), 15; Usher F. Linder, Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (Chicago: The Chicago Legal News, 1879), 272-73.