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Algonquin Historic
Commission

The Elgin Daily Courier
March 29, 1925

 

Dr. Jerome D. Davis Article

Mrs. Elsie P. Deming read an interesting paper at the Missionary society held at the home of Mrs. V. N. Ford, Thursday afternoon, on the life of Dr. Jerome Dean Davis, a former missionary in Japan.

Dr. Davis was born January 17, 1838 at Groton, New York, of Puritan parents. His grandfather served in the war of the Revolution and Dr. Davis himself in the Civil War. Dr. Davis was a missionary thirty-nine years in Japan. His mother died when he was eight years old. Seven years later his father with three of the five children moved from the east to Dundee, Illinois.

After moving to Dundee and at the age of fifteen, he studied Latin, walking several miles to recite to a woman teacher. He wanted to study Greek, but found no one, who could teach him.

He worked on a farm during the summer and taught school in the winter. In the autumn of 1859 he entered Lawrence College, Wisconsin, and in the following spring, Beloit College, working his way through with the view of entering the ministry.

At this time the Civil War broke out and he enlisted, after the war he went back to Beloit and graduated in 1866. He then entered the Chicago Theological Seminary. During his second year at the Seminary, he supplied the pulpit in Algonquin.

It was under his leadership that the Congregational Church of Algonquin was established. Dr. Davis graduated from the Seminary in 1869 and was ordained, later marrying a Dundee woman with the his bride entered Home Mission work in Cheyenne, Wyo. In 1871 Dr. and Mrs. Davis sailed for Japan where he organized churches and colleges. Dr. Davis passed away at Oberlin, O. on November 4, 1910.

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