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DAVIS, Edwin Wallace

Source: The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol. III pg. 105 1923
Author: The History of Florida: Past & Present

DAVIS, EDWIN WALLACE. The story of personal effort winning success in the face of difficulties is one that has always interested the American public, personal and moral courage always arousing an elemental spirit of right and justice. There are many men in public, business and professional life who have had to carve their own way to success, and few, perhaps, really deplore the hard discipline if it brought them the capacity to value the real things of life with the clear vision and broad outlook. One of the leading citizens of Orlando, EDWIN WALLACE DAVIS is an example of one who advanced himself from unassisted boyhood to a place of honor and independence among his fellow men, by whom he is respected and esteemed far beyond the average. Mr. DAVIS is one of the foremost members of the Orlando bar, a member of the well known law firm of Davis & Giles, and is credited with being the ablest trial lawyer in the State of Florida.

EDWIN WALLACE DAVIS was born on a farm near St. Paul, Minnesota, August 21, 1869, a son of WALLACE and HELEN D. (WINSLADE) DAVIS, the former of whom was born in the city of London, England, and the latter at Madison, Wisconsin. In childhood his father became superintendent of a saddler and hardware business at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a few years removing to Canton, Ohio, in the same line of business.During early boyhood EDWIN WALLACE DAVIS attended the public schools at Canton, and remembers that one of his teachers was a sister of Governor and later President WILLIAM McKINLEY. The boy early became practically self-supporting, and when sixteen years old made his way to Florida, finding work in a sawmill near Ocala. He was ambitious, however, and in spite of discouragements had mapped out a future for himself, in no way being dismayed that its realization could only be brought about by great self denial and determined resolution. He applied himself to his books, particularly law books, and so effectively that when twenty-three years old he had the satisfaction of being admitted to the bar and entered into practice at Ocala. In 1906 Mr. DAVIS was elected on the democratic ticket as state’s attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, and was reelected in 1910, serving through two terms with the greatest efficiency. In 1913 he came to Orlando, as a wider field for professional effort, and organized the law firm of Davis & Giles, general practitioners.In 1892 Mr. DAVIS married Miss SARAH WALLACE, of Marion County, Florida, and they have four children: WALLACE E., ROBERT C., SARAH E., and WILLIAM F. During the World war WALLACE E. served in the United States Navy on the Battleship Pennsylvania; and ROBERT C., a graduate of Stetson College, was a sergeant in Company K, 102nd Infantry, and took part in the battle of Verdun. Both sons are in business at Orlando, the former a bookkeeper and the latter a law clerk. Mr. DAVIS is a thirty-second degree Mason and a Shriner.


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