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Timothy Davis (Iowa): Wikis


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Timothy Davis (March 29, 1794 – April 27, 1872), a lawyer, was a one-term U.S. Representative from Iowa's 2nd congressional district. He was the only Iowa congressman born before 1800.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Davis attended the public schools. He moved to Kentucky in 1816. After studying law, he was admitted to the bar and began to practice.

He moved to Missouri and engaged in the practice of law, and later, in 1837, moved to what is now Dubuque, Iowa (then in Wisconsin Territory), and continued the practice of law. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1848 to the Thirty-first Congress.

In 1856, the Republican Party's first year as a major political party, Davis became the party's nominee to represent Iowa's 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House. He was also considered "the Know-Nothing (Party's) fusion candidate."[1] He won the November 1856 general election by defeating veteran ex-Congressman Shepherd Leffler, a Democrat who was the Second District's original representative.[1] The same day, fellow Republican Samuel Curtis of Keokuk, Iowa, won the race in Iowa's only other district. Davis and Curtis were the first Iowans elected to Congress as Republicans. As a member of the Thirty-fifth Congress, Davis served from March 4, 1857 to March 3, 1859. At his party's 1858 district convention, he was not a candidate for renomination.[2]

After completing his term, he resumed the practice of law and also engaged in business activities in Dubuque. He was also interested in merchant milling at Elkader, Iowa, Galesville, Wisconsin, and Pickwick, Minnesota. He died in Elkader, on April 27, 1872. He was interred in Elkader Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b Olynthus B. Clark, "The Politics of Iowa During the Civil War and Reconstruction," p. 4 (Iowa City: Clio Press 1911).
  2. ^ "Republican Congressional Convention," Davenport Daily Gazette, 1858-06-19 at p. 1.

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.



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