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John B. Davidson
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Birth: Mar. 14, 1860
Fulton County
Indiana, USA
Death: Sep. 26, 1928
Kittitas County
Washington, USA


Judge John B. Davidson of the Superior Court for Kittitas County died at the family home at Eighth and Pearl streets last evening. Death followed a stroke of apoplexy a month ago while the judge was on his way to visit some mining property high in the Cascades in the Glacier Peak country in the western part of Chelan County. The news of his death became circulated on the streets last evening, causing a shock to his thousands of friends in this part of the state.

Judge Davidson was one of the pioneer attorneys of Ellensburg in the real pioneer days. He came here in 1883 and has been honored by the citizens in numerous public positions. He was one of the city's first treasurers, then acted as city attorney and in 1889 was mayor.

In 1896 he was first elected to serve as judge of the superior court and served four years. In 1916 he was again elected to the bench and has continued to serve ever since. He was renominated in the September primaries without opposition, so had he lived he would have been elected to his fifth term in the November election without the slightest opposition. This nomination and election without opposition shows esteem and respect and how popular he was with the people of the county.

Judge Davidson was born in Rochester, Ind., March 14, 1860, the son of Stephen and Catherine (Brown) Davidson, the former a native of Ohio while the latter was born in Abbeville, S.C. His father was the son of Andrew Davidson, whose father came to America from Scotland prior to the Revolutionary War, crossing the Atlantic about 1760. The father of Judge Davidson was a farmer in Ohio, later removing to Indiana, where he died in 1877. Judge Davidson's mother came to Ellensburg after her son and died at his home here in 1897.

An academic training followed Judge Davidson's completion of a public school course and later he entered the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He was also for a time a student at Valparaiso University in Indiana. He began reading law at Rochester, Ind., in 1883, and was graduated from the Albany Law School in New York.

Following his graduation he moved to the Pacific Northwest, settling for a brief time in Yakima but later that year coming to Ellensburg, where he since followed his profession.

On March 31, 1886, he was married to Miss Jean C. Schnebly, a daughter of D. J. Schnebly, editor and publisher of the Ellensburg Localizer, the predecessor of the Evening Record. Mrs. Davidson and three children survive the judge. The children are Phillip A. of Ellensburg, Mrs. F. A. Kern of Ellensburg, and Miss Margaret A. Davidson, who is studying art in Paris.

Judge Davidson was second exalted ruler of Ellensburg Lodge No. 1102 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He was also a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Kiwanis Club. In addition to his public offices work for the Kittitas High Line Canal, and in 1891 subscribed $1000 to help with the organization work. He has also had an active part in the Chamber of Commerce and other community organizations.

The esteem in which Judge Davidson was held in King County was evidenced by the number of times he was called to serve on the bench of that county. He has always been greatly interested in the mineral development of the Cascade Mountains. For many summers he spent his vacation in western Chelan County, generally spoken of as the Glacier Perk country.

It was on a trip to this mining property that he was stricken, in the middle part of August. With his son Phillip and a grandson and an old miner he had gone to the head of Lake Chelan and started on a horseback trip to the mines some 25 miles away. While riding he suffered the first stroke and his son tried to persuade him to give up the trip and return to the lake. Weakened by the stroke and in considerable pain, the judge persisted in pushing on, although it was with the greatest difficulty he remained in the saddle. However, his great will power carried him through and for a day or so he was better. Then the second and more severe stroke followed. He was unconscious for a time and the grandson was sent with a note to the nearest mine where there was a phone many miles away. The message was relayed to F. A. Kern, his son-in-law here.

Mr. Kern accompanied by Mrs. Davidson and A. C. Kresse immediately drove to Chelan and accompanied by a doctor went to Railroad Creek. There Mrs. Davidson remained while Messrs. Kern and Kresse and the doctor continued on horseback for 20 miles to the camp where the judge was prostrated. The judge was allowed to remain quiet for a day but on the arrival of a group of miners it was decided to carry him out on a stretcher. The trip took two days as the going was extremely difficult.

The judge never complained and was cheerful throughout. From Railroad Creek a boat was taken to Chelan and he was brought home in an automobile. At times his condition has shown some improvement but for 24 hours before his death little hope was held for his recovery.

Funeral services will be held Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Elks Temple, the Elks' Lodge and Rev. C. A. Kopp officiating.

Ellensburg Daily Record, September 27, 1928
Family links: 
  Caroline Jean Schnebly Davidson (1862 - 1944)*
  Phillip Adams Davidson (1888 - 1959)*
  Mary Virginia Davidson Kern (1889 - 1972)*
*Calculated relationship
IOOF Cemetery
Kittitas County
Washington, USA
Created by: Shelli Steedman
Record added: Jul 31, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 55698248
John B. Davidson
Added by: Mary
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- Shelli Steedman
 Added: Jul. 31, 2010

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