|Birth: ||Feb. 8, 1796|
West Virginia, USA
|Death: ||Sep. 25, 1876|
Fort Jones (Siskiyou County)
"At Fort Jones, California, Sept 25th 1876, Mrs. Orpah Davidson, aged 80 years, 7 months and 10 days.
Grandma Davidson, as she was familiarly called by all who knew her, was born in Marshall Co. VA on the 8th day of Feb. 1796. The country was then a savage wilderness, her father being among the early pioneers who crossed the Alleghenies and planted civilization upon the banks of the Ohio. Among the first things she can call to memory was the midnight attack by the Indians upon her father's house. Of her mother's collecting her children and escaping in a canoe by crossing the river and pulling up the stream a distance of many miles to the farm situated on Grave Creek. Her father who remained behind to try and save his horses barely escaped with his life, after witnessing the burning of his home and the capturing of a faithful servant and the destruction of his property. This but one of the many hardships and dangers encountered by the fathers and mothers of the former generation who led the Van-guard of civilization westward. It was here, in what is now West Virginia, that she grew to womanhood. It was curious and pleasing to listen to the manners and customs of her young days as compared to our own. It was no uncommon thing to ride four and five miles on horseback to church of a Sabbath morning-return home for dinner and again mount their horses and ride as far in the opposite direction for afternoon service. At the age of 23 she was married to Mr. James Davidson, with whom she lived for more than twenty years, a loving and devoted wife. In 1830 they removed to Indiana and settled in Vermillion County. Ten children were born to them, six boys and four girls. But when they most needed a father's protection and she a husband's help, he was called away and she was left with a large family of little children to care and provide for. With a fortitude and perseverance but rarely equaled she strove to rear her children to usefulness and respectability. The whole energies of her being were devoted to this noble purpose.
In 1854, though then an old lady, yet she still clung to her children and left a home of ease and comfort to cross the Rocky Mountains with them to the Pacific Coast. They settled in Scott Valley in Northern California. The country was but just then beginning to be settled. A single house alone marked the spot where now stands the flourishing village of Fort Jones. Scarcely half a dozen white women were then in the valley. Here she spent the remainder of her days and realized the great aim and ambition of her life. Her children grew up, married and settled around her and became respected and honored members of society. Two of her sons holding positions of honor and trust at the time of her death. Her home was the home of the orphan and the wanderer. Her family increased until with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren they number 52 living. The smallest child found in her a ready comforter, while all loved and honored her. Few wives have been more perfect or devoted to a nobler purpose. Through all her trials and troubles she was sustained by an unfaltering trust in the truths of Christianity. Early in life she became a member of the Presbyterian Church and remained faithful to the end. The well worn family bible tells how much joy and comfort she found within its holy word. Her favorite pastime was spent in perusing its pages and in singing some of those sweet songs of Zion. When no longer able to read by the failing of her eyesight, she was want to call some member of the family each evening to read to her one or two chapters.
She could not be said to have had a last sickness, for no disease fastened itself upon her. It was but the gradually wearing away of vitality, the running out of the sands of life. At first she was confined to her room, then her chair, and last her bed. She realized her days on earth were nearly passed. Calmly and peacefully she awaited the approach of death, even directing where she should be laid and how her funeral should be conducted. Affectionate children and grandchildren, loving neighbors and friends thronged her bedside to render her every aid and comfort. Many times during the last few hours of her life did she repeat these familiar and beautiful lines. "O! When shall I see Jesus and reign with him above." Her last words were, O! My blessed Savior when will you relieve me from my suffering."
Solemnly, mournfully was she followed to her last resting place by nearly the entire community. Not with any show of pomp or parade, but with heartfelt affection did they assemble to lay her to rest. There is something so serenely calm and peaceful in her death that were it not for the loss we feel we should not mourn nor wish that it might have been otherwise, but rather bid her adieu in the language of the sweetest poet of lour land."
Yreka Union VOL. XXIV, Saturday, September 30, 1876
James B Davidson (1792 - 1840)
David McMechen Davidson (1821 - 1862)*
Jeremiah Davidson (1824 - 1896)*
James A Davidson (1838 - 1917)*
Mary Elizabeth Davidson Simas (1865 - 1936)*
Fort Jones Cemetery
Fort Jones (Siskiyou County)
Maintained by: Kristi Bigham
Originally Created by: Kimmie
Record added: Jan 16, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 32957443
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