Friday, April 01, 2005


The Bible belonged to Thomas Jefferson Davison, an early physician in the town of Pine, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, and his wife, Margaret Belle Stophel Davison. The couple had children named Olive Branch Davison, Robert Davison, Emma Mellissa Davison, Anna Eliza Davison, Homer Davison, Annie Weaver Davison, Charles Davison, and Thomas Edison Davison. There is an inscription in the front for a Daisy Tibbott of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania who may have been the last relative to own the Bible.

DR. THOMAS J. DAVISON, a prominent and successful physician and surgeon of Ebensburg, Cambria county, Pennsylvania, and a veteran of the Civil War, is a son of Robert and Eliza A. (Scott) Davidson, and was born in Ligonier township, Westmoreland county, this State, April 30, 1838.

Dr. Davidson's paternal grandfather was John Davidson, who was a native of the “Emerald Isle,” and was born in County Down. He emigrated to America in the year 1785, and soon made his way into the beautiful Ligonier valley, where he passed the remainder of his life, dying in about 1820. He as a weaver by trade, and followed that avocation all his life. One of his sons, Robert Davison, who was the father of Dr. Davison, was born in Ligonier valley, Westmoreland county, and died there December 27, 1895, universally loved and lamented. Possessed of strong mind and studious habits, he acquired a good education for his day, and taught school during the winter months until 1850. At that time he abandoned teaching, purchased a farm, and devoted the remainder of his active life to agricultural pursuits.

In early life he espoused the principles of the Democratic party, but upon the issues of the Civil War, he, believing that human bondage was a curse to any civilized country, joined hands with the Republican party, and was ever afterward found among its loyal supporters. Religiously, he was reared a United Presbyterian, but in later life connected himself with the Methodist Episcopal church. He married Eliza A. Scott, who died in August, 1895, aged eighty years, and who bore him ten children, eight of whom grew to maturity: Dr. Thomas J., subject; Elizabeth, deceased, the wife of John Campbell; Annie, the wife of Andrew Henderson; Malissa, the wife of John McDowell, of Cooke township, Westmoreland county; James B., a carpenter of Unity township, same county; John A., a lumberman, of Wisconsin; Maria, the wife of Alfred Shrum, of Tarr's station, Westmoreland county; and George A., of Ligonier township, of the same county.

Dr. Davidson obtained his scholastic training in the common schools of his native county, and in the old and renowned Ligonier academy. Leaving the academy, he taught school and read medicine alternately, until the Civil War burst upon us in 1861. Imbued with patriotic sentiments, he enlisted in the Federal service, under Captain McCurdy, company E, Eleventh regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer infantry, and served until the close of the war. He was connected with the Army of the Potomac, and participated in twenty-seven regular engagements and a number of skirmishes. Among the more important engagements may be the mentioned: Second Battle of Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, and Five Forks. In all his service he was never seriously wounded or captured, but made many very narrow escapes. He was present at the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, and throughout his entire service bore himself with gal- lantry and courage. To such soldiers we are indebted for the preservation of the union of the States.

After the close of the war, he returned home and resumed the study of medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. L. T. Beam, of Ligonier. He afterwards taught school for a time, and in 1867 went to Indiana county, and there read under Fr. C. M. Ewing. Subsequently he completed his education in Philadelphia medical colleges, and in 1869 returned to Indiana county, and formed a partnership with his preceptor, Dr. Ewing, with whom he maintained pleasant relations for one year, when Dr. Ewing removed from that place, leaving his practice to Dr. Davidson, who remained there until 1886, when he removed to Ebensburg, where he has since been engaged in active and successful practice. In connection with his practice he runs a drug store. Politically he is a republican, and is a school director of his borough, president of the board of health, and under the administration of Harrison was a member of the board of United States Pension examiners of Cambria county. He is a member of John M. Jones Post, No. 556, G. A. R., of which he is past commander; Highland Lodge, No. 428, I. O. O. F., of which he is a past grand; and Beulah Castle, No. 248, K. G. E., of which he is a past chief. He is a steward and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal church, and takes a lively interest in church affairs.

On March 4, 1870, Dr. Davidson and Miss Maggie B. Stophel, a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Stophel, of Indiana county, were married, and to them have been born nine children: Olive B., married Otto Wagner, a tanner of Buckhannon, West Virginia; Robert E., is taking a medical course in the University of Pennsylvania; Emma M., wedded Charles White, a miller of Ebensburg; Annie W., clerk in her father's drug store at Ebensburg; and Charles S., Thomas Edison and Lydia are at home with their parents. [1896 pp 199,200 BIOGRAPHICAL AND PORTRAIT CYCLOPEDIA ]

1850 PA Census: Westmoreland County, Ligonier Borough and Ligonier Township
National Archives Microfilm Series M432, roll 836

46/46 Robert DAVISON, 37, Farmer, $250, Pa.
Eliza, 33, Pa.
Thomas, 12;
Elizabeth, 11;
Angeline, 9;
Melissa, 8
James, 6;
John, 4;
Margaret, 4/12