Capt. Daniel O. Davis

Daniel Oscar Davis is the grandson of Thomas Davis, and my 2nd great grandfather.  He was born in Acworth, NH on 1 November 1828 to John Davis and Nancy W Campbell.  At the age of 6, he moved to Whitefield, ME.  [Whether he moved there alone or with his mother and/or father, I do not know.  No further direct evidence of John Davis exists and his mother, Nancy, allegedly died around 1835, it is not known where.]

Daniel joined the U. S. Navy at the age of 10 as an apprentice, and served for two years on the frigate United States, and then was discharged on 20 October, 1840 because of sickness.  He went to high school in Whitefield.  His first voyage in the Merchant service was from Plymouth, MA to Ste. Pierre, Martinique in Schooner Byron with Capt. Baker in June 1841.  He married married Mary Eleanor Jewett, daughter of Stephen Jewett and Mary Quinn of Westport, ME, on 27 September 1846 in Westport. The Jewett family was a major landowner on Westport Island.  He was promoted to Captain in 1848, when he was 20.  He owned a house on the south end of Westport Island, as shown on the 1857 Lincoln County Map.  He was a Representative from the Westport area to the Maine legislature in 1859.  He moved to Portland in 1864, and lived there until about 1879, when his wife Mary made a Homestead Declaration in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, CA in 1879.  Mary died in 1887, and Daniel moved back to Portland, ME.  He married Elizabeth A. (Brown) Ayer on 30 September 1891 and lived with her and her children for around 9 years.  He died in Staten Island, NY at the Sailor's Snug Harbor old sailor's home on 1 September 1908, and is buried with his wife Mary in the Evergreen Cemetery in Portland, ME.

Daniel's sailing career lasted 42 years, for 17 of those years, Daniel sailed for J. S. Winslow & Co. of Portland.  He was master of the barks, Philena Winslow and J. S. Winslow, and the ship, Rufus E. Wood.  I have not found pictures of any of these particular ships, but the image below is representative of the barks he sailed.

Daniel made a record run in the Rufus E. Wood, by making the trip from San Francisco to Queenstown in 108 days.  His last voyage was in 1882-1883, sailing the Ella S. Thayer from Cardiff, Wales to Hong Kong, then to Victoria, B.C., and finally to San Francisco.  On 19 February 1883, he encountered some Japanese fishermen in the Sea of Japan, who were in distress as the result of a typhoon and saved their lives.  For that act, he received the Red Ribbon medal from the Emperor of Japan on 14 April 1884.

D. O. Davis Family Group Sheet.  This link will connect to a Family Group Sheet for Daniel O. Davis.

Davis Family Page


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Updated January 27, 2011
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