Wednesday, August 17, 2022


Marker Details

Historical Marker:

David Davis

The marker is located west of Bloomington on I-74 in the Eastbound rest area.
No coordinates identified
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Illinois Department of Transportation and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
David Davis, a distinguished Illinois jurist, was born in Maryland in 1815. He graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio and studied law at Yale. In 1836 he settled at Bloomington, Illinois, which was his home town the remainder of his life. From the commonplace activities of a pioneer lawyer, Davis turned to politics and was elected as a Whig to the lower House of the Illinois Legislature in 1844. Three years later he served in the State Constitutional Convention. In 1848 he was elected judge of the State's Eighth Judicial Circuit, then comprised of fourteen central Illinois counties. He served until 1862. Many lawyers of distinction, including Abraham Lincoln, practiced before him. During this time he and Lincoln became warm friends. Lincoln at times presided over the court when the judge was absent. Davis organized the forces that nominated Lincoln in the Republican National Convention at Chicago in 1860 and then campaigned vigorously for Lincoln's election. Two years later Lincoln appointed Davis to the Supreme Court of the United States. During the 1870's, Davis disassociated himself from partisan affairs, establishing his reputation as a political independent. In 1877 he resigned from the court after being elected to the United States Senate by the Illinois Legislature. He served as President pro tempore from 1881 to 1883. He then retired to "Clover Lawn," his Victorian mansion in Bloomington, where he died in 1886. His mansion, at Monroe and Davis Street, now preserved by the Illinois State Historical Library, is open to the public.

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