by William Urban

Very cursory investigation into Alexander Davidson's life shows these facts:

He purchased a lot in Monmouth at the first public sale of land, June 6, 1831; he was in the jury pool of March 8, 1833.

The census of 1850 lists him as born in 1802 in Kentucky, a Christian preacher by profession. His wife Rachel was 47, born in Kentucky. Their children were: Elizabeth, born 1826 in Kentucky;  Walter S, born 1834 in Illinois; Sarah, born 1837 in Illinois; Robert P, born 1839 in Illinois; James W, born 1845 in Illinois. His net worth was estimated at $800. The census of 1840, locating him in Ward 2 of Monmouth, indicated that he had six children, three between ten and fifteen, three under five.

He was present at the trial of County Clerk Daniel McNeil in January 1847 on charges of having altered county records and of negligence in office. (Atlas, Jan 14, 1847). McNeil was acquitted, but admonished to take better care of the records.


The Davidsons were a prominent family, as was noticed in the Daily National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C., for April 15, 1850. On the back page is the following item: MONMOUTH, (ILLINOIS,) APRIL 5, 1850.

    FOR OREGON.--On Friday last ten teams, taking with them thirty-nine persons, left this place for Oregon. They go out as emigrants, not expecting to return. The company was made up by Mr. Elijah Davidson, some sixty-seven years of age, who was an early settler of this county. Having been a pioneer to this part of the country at an early day from Kentucky, and being desirous of keeping pace with emigration, he now takes his family, accompanied by numerous grandchildren, and starts for the Western frontiers, now bounded by the Pacific Ocean. Should they find comfortable homes, and a country abounding with gold and honey, other relatives will follow in their train a year hence. We had intended giving the ages and sexes of the persons composing the company, but our notes containing them have been accidentally destroyed. The outfit includes eighty oxen and cows, besides several horses, and all in a good condition for so long a journey. 

The article was attributed to the Atlas (probably condensed from a longer piece).