Obituary for Lorenzo Dow (L. D.) Davis

(Postmaster in Wellsville, NY – 1869 to 1882)
Allegany County Reporter Dated June 18, 1885
A Brief Sketch of one of Wellsville’s Prominent Citizens
Mr. Davis died at his home in Wellsville on Wednesday, June 10th, 1885, and was buried on Saturday, June 13th.  The funeral services were held at the Baptist church, conducted by the pastor, Rev. Albert Coit, assisted by Rev. Wm R. Baldwin of Friendship and Rev. F. w. Beecher of Wellsville.  A very large number of citizens joined with relatives upon this occasion to testify their appreciation of the character and life work of a citizen who bore in many respects the relation of a landmark to Wellsville, and with them thus to mingle in generous measure their sorrow in his death and condolences to the afflicted members of the family.
Lorenzo Dow Davis was born July 3rd, 1809 in Truxton, Cortland county, N.Y.   With his parents he removed to Freedom, Cattaraugus county, in 1810.  Later he lived in Yorkshire and Arcade.  In 1854 he came from Arcade to Wellsville, where he has since continuously resided, and where his principal life work has been wrought out.  Yet wherever his home has been, Mr. Davis has commanded that degree of public respect and confidence that he has often been called to positions of trust.  Eight years in Arcade, he served as Magistrate and eight other years as Postmaster.  During his thirty one years of residence in Wellsville, he served one term of three years as Coroner and thirteen years consecutively as Postmaster.
The death of his father when yet but a lad put him early upon his own resources and denied to him the gaining of more than a meager education.  Yet an indomitable will, coupled with heroic courage and energy, supplied the remaining contingencies necessary to success, however, severe the struggle of life has been at varied pointes of its pathway.
In early life, Mr. Davis united with the Baptist church, and to the end his fidelity and zeal as an earnest practical Christian were never doubted.  In the cause of the church and of the Master he made cheerful sacrifice.  In proof of this it is instanced that he gave of his time and means to the building of the present Baptist church edifice in Wellsville almost to his own impoverishment.  The obligations which were than necessarily created to furnish supplies for the family he was never able fully to discharge, until within a few years.  Yet it was the act of as cheerful a giver as ever wore the bright crown he has won.  His peculiarities and individuality were marked characteristics.  To form a purpose, was to declare and espouse it with a tenacity that could brook neither hindrance nor argument to the contrary.  In its defense he not unfrequently antagonized his nearest and dearest friends with a force and fervor that sometimes reflected even resentment.  But though clothed with the outward garb of austerity, his heart was as warm as that of a child, and he was as willing to acknowledge a fault as he was earnest to maintain a cherished plan or principle.
It has been well said of Mr. Davis that he must be known and known thoroughly to be appreciated. But the true test of friendship once applied, that friendship could never be broken.  He was truly an earnest and an honest man faithful to every trust, and conspicuous for boldness in the defense of principle.  Next to his family, that whom a more devoted and tender husband and father never lived, the church of his adoption was the idol of his soul. He rarely if ever missed attendance upon every service, and opened his purse with his heart in its support.  For the first time probably in his mature life, he was this year absent from the annual session of the Baptist Association.  Yet his heart was there.  Lying upon his death bed he dictated a loving letter to that body, then in session at Cuba, which was read, and while the Wellsville Church Letter was being read, the message was received by wire that their faithful compatriot and counselor had passed to his rest.  It seemed like the fulfillment of prophesy – dying thus in the Christian harness, with his hand and heart extended to those he so much loved and with whom he had so long and so faithfully ministered.
The wife and children who survive him are scarcely less stricken in heart than are those of our citizens who knew him intimately, and who appreciated him as his true character deserved.  The church of his adoption loses in his death as faithful and zealous a Christian as its rolls bear or ever bore record of, and the people of this community, as they laid to rest the patriarchal citizen and honored landmark, bowed their heads in earnest sorrow.  Their comfort is that he was fully prepared to go.  Their hope may well be that when the measure of their useful days shall be deemed to have been fulfilled, they too, will be ready.
The following preamble and resolutions were read and adopted during the session of the Association:
Cuba, N.Y. June 10, 1885.  The Allegany Baptist Association having while in annual session, been informed of the death of our esteemed and beloved brother, Deacon L. D. Davis of Wellsville, do hereby record our sorrow and our appreciation of his Christian character and worth.
As a member of this body, having attended all its session from its organization, his relations with us have always been of the pleasantest kind.  He has served the Association many times, and always with fidelity, as well as to its entire satisfaction.  Personally he was a man of peculiarly strong convictions and conscientiously lived up to his clear sense of duty, outspoken and positive.  He was also a kind hearted, sympathetic and reliable friend, and one who was scarcely capable of being a bitter enemy.
His brethren always expected the aid of brother Davis in favor of every good cause, and were and wee never disappointed.  Large hearted and noble minded, his impulses and desires were “to be good and do good.”  As expressive of our feelings, it is hereby:
RESOLVED, That we as an Association tender to the Baptist church of Wellsville our sympathy for the loss they have met in the death of Deacon Davis, an officer of the church,  and the pastor Brother Coit, in the loss of so warm a friend and so good a counselor.  We also especially express our sympathy with sister Davis and the other relatives of our deceased Brother, praying and trusting that He who is a Father to the fatherless and the widow’s God, will put underneath them the everlasting arms and give grace equal to their trials in this great sorrow.
RESOLVED  That a copy of these minutes with resolutions be sent to Wellsville, that it may be read at the burial services.
Rev. W. R. Baldwin, Moderator,
Rev. H. D. Baldwin, Clerk.
From: Allegany County Reporter Dated June 18, 1885