Biography of Milo Eugene Davis

Milo Eugene Davis, of San Bernardino, was born in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1841. His father, Asa M. Davis, was a Vermont Yankee, and married a French lady by the name of Salinas. When Eugene was a lad of twelve years, they moved from Ohio to Nebraska, then a wild frontier territory, and settled in Beatrice, which place Mr. Davis laid out and named. Their nearest neighbor lived thirty miles distant, and the city of Omaha was then but a mere hamlet. Mr. Davis died years ago upon the homestead he then founded, and being a distinguished Mason, was buried there with high Masonic honors.

After graduating from Eastman’s Business College in Chicago, and a year’s experience in a mercantile house in that city, the subject of this memoir commenced railroading as an employee of the Lake Shore Company. At eighteen years of age he was running a passenger train as conductor on the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Drifting into the construction department, he was employed on construction for the Sioux City & Pacific, now a branch of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, for several years. In 1861 Mr. Davis enlisted in the Union army under the call for three months’ volunteers, and served as a member of the Eleventh Wisconsin Infantry until broken health compelled him to resign in 1863. He served in the capacity of a sharpshooter a portion of the time. At the battle of Pea Ridge he was General Sigel’s orderly, where he was slightly wounded; and was also wounded in the May charge upon Vicksburg.

Mr. Davis came to California, landing at San Francisco, in 1880, for the restoration of his health, being such a sufferer from catarrh that he was obliged to sleep in a reclining position. After traveling over the coast from Alaska southward, he became connected with the California Southern Railroad in the capacity of conductor nominally, but actually as superintendent of construction on that line, continuing from the time the first rail was laid until the road was completed, after which he ran a train over the road for years as conductor. Marrying in 1885, he resigned his position, and bought five acres of land on South E Street, just outside the city limits of San Bernardino, upon which he built their present residence and otherwise improved, planting most of the tract to choice varieties of deciduous fruits, from which he now receives a fine income. Three-fourths of an acre of strawberries pays the expenses of cultivating and taking care of the entire place. Two fine artesian wells furnish sufficient water, with strong pressure, for all purposes on the place. In 1886 Mr. Davis opened a furniture store in San Bernardino with a stock of 85,000 to $6,000. At first his sales ranged from $300 to $400 a month, but his trade grew rapidly, and during the boom two years later the monthly transactions ran up as high as $19,000, and averaged $12,000 a month for some time. He sold out the business in December 1889. Mr. Davis is a prominent member of the Masonic order, having taken all the degrees up to the thirty-third. He was Captain General of the San Bernardino Commandery Knights Templar during the triennial conclave held at Chicago in 1880.

Mrs. Davis was formerly Miss Darlington, of San Diego County, and a native of Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have one child.


The Lewis Publishing Company. An Illustrated History of Southern California embracing the counties of San Diego San Bernardino Los Angeles and Orange and the peninsula of lower California. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois. 1890.

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