Henry Gassaway Davis (Henry Gassaway Davis)

Henry Gassaway Davis

US Congressman, Businessman. Although he would ultimately become a great capitalist he had a rather humble start in life. He was educated in public schools but became fatherless and went to work at a young age. Davis became a plantation superintendent. He then became employed with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a brakeman, conductor, and agent in Piedmont, West Virginia. Davis then became a merchant and a prominent collier. He was instrumental in the continued, financial growth of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railroad which was sold to the Wabash line in 1902. He built the Coal and Coke Railway of West Virginia, and served as president of that company.  He also served as president  of the Davis Trust Company in Elkins, West Virginia.  His political success was quite significant and varied.  He was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1865, and served as a Virginia State Senator from 1867 to 1871. He was then elected as a Senator from Virginia to the United States Senate, serving from 1871 to 1883. He declining re-election. He was a Democratic delegate to six Democratic national Conventions, one of the American delegates to the Pan-American Congress, and a member of the United States Permanent Pan-American Railway Commission.  He, along with Republican son-in-law Stephen Benton Elkins, co-founded Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia.  Perhaps his most unique claim to fame nationally was his nomination as candidate of the Democratic Party for vice-president in the year of 1904. (bio by: Steve Corley)  Family links:  Parents:  Caleb Davis (1792 – 1850)  Louisa Warfield Brown Davis (1795 – 1868)  Spouse:  Kate Ann Bantz Davis (1827 – 1902)*  Children:  Anderson Davis (____ – 1862)*  A. Kate Davis*  Mary Louise Davis Elkins (1853 – 1933)*  Katherine Bantz Davis Brown (1861 – 1903)*  Grace Doris Davis Lee (1869 – 1931)*  Henry Gassaway Davis (1871 – 1896)*  John Thomas Davis (1874 – 1935)*  Siblings:  John B. Davis (1819 – 1889)*  Henry Gassaway Davis (1823 – 1916)  William R Davis (1833 – 1879)* *Calculated relationship


  • November, 16, 1823


  • March, 03, 1916


  • Maplewood Cemetery
  • USA

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