WILLIAM A. DAVIS, M. D. may well be considered the dean of the medical profession in the city of Grand Ledge, where he has been established in active and successful practice for nearly half a century, honored as a citizen and commanding unqualified confidence as a physician and surgeon of high attainments. Dr. Davis is native of the old Green Mountain state, having been born in Addison County, Vermont, July 11, 1831, and being a son of William Arnold Davis and Abigail (Lawrence) Davis, both of whom were likewise born in Vermont, being representatives of families founded in New England in the colonial era of our nation's history. When the Doctor was but eleven months old his parents came to Michigan, about five years before the state was admitted to the Union. They settled in Washtenaw County, where the father took up three hundred acres of government land and established a home in the midst of the untrammeled forest wilds, having been one of the very early settlers of that county. He was compelled to go a distance of eleven miles to secure men to aid him in building his little log house, and for a number of years water for domestic purposes was secured from a spring half a mile distant from the house. The family endured the full tension of the pioneer epoch, and the father developed a good farm in the midst of the wilderness, continuing to reside on the homestead until his death, at the age of seventy-one years, his wife attaining the venerable age of eighty-six years. He was originally a Whig and later a Republican in politics and was a man who commanded unequivocal esteem in his community, but he would never permit his name to be used in connection with candidacy for public office, being reserved and unostentatious in his demeanor. In earlier days he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church, but eventually the former united with the Congregational and the latter with the Baptist church, the amicable arrangement being made to alternate in attending the two churches. They became the parents of seven children: Juliet. who died in Wayne County, became the wife of Nehemiah Pruden, and their only son is now resident of the state of Washington; Lucia died at the age of four years; Willard and Oscar E. died in childhood; Dr. William A. was the next in order of birth; Lucy E. is the widow of Dr. Roswell B. Gates and resides in Chelsea, Washtenaw County; and George died in July, 1904. Dr. Davis secured his preliminary education in the subscription or district schools of the pioneer days and in a seminary in the town of Sylvan. He supplemented this discipline by entering the Michigan State Normal School, in Ypsilanti, from which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1852, his intention at the time having been to make teaching his permanent vocation. He received a life certificate as a teacher and after following the pedagogic profession four years decided to take up the study of medicine. He began his technical reading under the preceptorship of his. brother-in-law, Dr. Roswell B. Gates, and he finally entered the medical department of the University of Michigan, in which he completed the prescribed course and was graduated as a member of the class of 1858, duly receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine. Shortly after his graduation he located in Williamston, Ingham county, where he continued in practice until 1869, when he came to Grand Ledge, where he has since continued to follow the work of his beneficent profession, having marked prestige as a physician and surgeon and retaining a representative patronage. His able and kindly ministrations during all the intervening years have gained to him the affectionate regard of the people of this part of the county, and in the earlier days he endured all the hardships that fell to the lot of the average pioneer physician, traversing the country roads in summer's heat and winter's cold, often with but little rest night or day, and pursuing his humane mission in relieving suffering and distress. The life of the physician is necessarily one of much self abnegation and Dr. Davis has been in the most significant sense humanity's friend, ever ready to sacrifice personal comfort for the sake of helping those who called upon him for professional aid. His life has been guided and governed by the spirit of utmost conscientiousness and integrity, and thus he has never lacked the good will and regard of all who have come within the sphere of his influence. He has been successful professionally and financially but has always been tolerant and generous, never having sued a person for a bill during the entire course of his extended professional career. He is a member of the American Medical Association and the Michigan State Medical Society. Dr. Davis cast his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont, the first candidate of the Republican Party, and he continued to support the cause of that party until 1872, when he identified himself with the Greenback Party. He is now independent in the matter of politics, giving his support to men and measures rather than holding to strict partisan lines. He has never consented to run for office, though taking a deep interest in public affairs. While resident of Williamston he was a delegate to the Republican county convention on one occasion, and was nominated for representative in the legislature. He declined the nomination, however, and personally nominated Daniel L. Crossman, a prominent citizen of Ingham county, who was elected. When Dr. Davis came to Grand Ledge the place was a small village, but he had the prescience to discern in a measure its future status, and he manifested his confidence in divers helpful ways. Realizing that the city would naturally expand toward the railroad, he purchased four lots on the north side of the river and there erected three brick buildings and one frame building property which is now quite valuable. At that time the town had a population of about nine hundred. The railroad line had been built from Lansing to Ionia and in 1872 it was extended eastward, affording connection with the city of Detroit. The Doctor has viewed with pride and satisfaction the progress and substantial up building of Grand Ledge, which is now one of the most attractive and flourishing of the smaller cities of the state. December 8, 1860, Dr. Davis was united in marriage to Miss Matilda Hollis, who was born in the state of New York, May 21, 1839, being a daughter of James G. and Mary E. (Spencer) Hollis. Mr. Hollis, who  was a contractor and builder by vocation, came to Michigan with his family in the pioneer days, locating in Howell, Livingston county, where he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives. Dr. and Mrs. Davis became the parents of three children: Warren Ellsworth, who was born October 14, 1863, is engaged in the drug business in Grand Ledge; Arnold C. died at the age of seventeen months; Arnold C. (2d) was born December 11, 1867, and is now engaged in the drug and grocery business in Grand Ledge. Mary E., an adopted daughter, is a niece of Mrs. Davis, and is now the wife of Charles Appleton, principal of the high school at Wayland, Allegan County.