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Descendants of Benjamin (Frank) Franklin Davidson

Generation No. 1

      1. Benjamin (Frank) Franklin1 Davidson was born 18 May 1855 in Lee County, Virginia, and died 12 Feb 1904 in Taloga, Dewey County, Oklahoma. He married Nancy Green Taylor 24 Jan 1878 in Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky, daughter of Jesse Taylor and Mary Mink. She was born 24 May 1858 in Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky, and died 15 Jun 1937 in Thomas, Custer County, Oklahoma.

Notes for Benjamin (Frank) Franklin Davidson:
Benjamin (Frank) Franklin Davidson (1855)
Taken from "B. F. Davidson's Migrations"


      By the early 1850's many Virginians began to move westward. This meant going through the Appalachian Mountains by way of Cumberland Gap, the meeting point of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. This natural gateway was used by many pioneers to reach the other side of the mountains, namely, the town of Harlan in the eastern most corner of Kentucky.
      Hardy frontiersmen found they needed protection over the not-so-well traveled paths. Vicious and hungry animals needed to be Death with. A Jesse Taylor (1792-1862), was among these frontiersmen.
      He had been drafted in the Grayson County Courthouse and saw service with the Virginia militia and infantry in the War of 1812. At one time he received a total amount of $24.14 for a distance home after 400 miles of walking.
      After an honorable discharge at Fort Barbour, 22 February, 1815, he and Nancy Green were married three years later in Ashe County, North Carolina. Their nine children were all born in various Virginia counties near Cumberland Gap.
      They were living in the Harlan area in 1850 when he received 800 acres of Bounty Land. He died in 1862 near Barboursville (Knox County), Kentucky, at the age of 72.
      After Jesse's death Nancy's whereabouts in the Harlan area can be found in Harlan County Courthouse records when she established a claim for a service pension before a Justice of the Peace.
      She later appeared before the same Justice of the Peace, John Fee to state that she was unable to go before the court to make her declaration, due to infirmities of her age, which was 77. She had not been over a half block from her home in five or six years, so she is compelled to ask for a Justice of the Peace of Harlan County he was well acquainted with Nancy, and had been in her home many times.
An interesting side note hear. Knowing that the Genealogical Society of Harlan County welcomed such information as found in the Jesse Taylor Way of 1812 service papers, including his Bounty Land application and his and Nancy's pension papers, which I had received from the National Archives, Washington, D.C., I sent a packet of copies to the society.
      The acting president of the group, Holly Fee, immediately answered to thank me for the welcomed contribution to their files. This John Fee was the father of her mother-in-law's grandfather and she was fascinated to see his signature on several of the affidavits. She went on to mention that he, John Fee had been a Justice of the Peace for Martin's Fork for many years while Jesse and Nancy had lived there.
      Holly sent me an old topographical map showing Daniel Boone Trail which is now the main highway from Rose Hill to Jonesville, Pennington Gap. This was originally called Boone's Path, of which we will hear more about later. We will kind it as the "address" on the letterhead of C.E. Gaylor General Merchandise Store. The Path parallels the Kentucky, Virginia Line. Across from their eight is Martin's Fork where Jesse the elder and nancy brought their eight children from Virginia.
      This was a primitive isolated country where geographics of the land determined your 'address,' depending on the 'crick' or a fork of where you chose to live. In this case, it is Martin's Fork.
      There were rough wagon roads, mostly mountain trails. There was horseback riding, but mostly walking to get to where you wanted to go.


      By early November 1884 the family had grown to six. Lillie was now six years old, Ben was four, Fannie two, and Jim was a three month old baby. After going through several hot Kentucky summers, Frank decided Nancy would not go through another summer trying to keep milk and others foods cool. He would build an ice house.
      He would build double walls and fill in with sawdust, then stack slabs of ice about six inches from the wall until it was filled with ice. Then he would pour water over it, to become a solid mass of ice when frozen. To withstand the summer heat he could fill in with sawdust between the ice and the walls. A huge effort, but it would be appreciated by all the famil7y, come next summer.
      Stoner Creek would be frozen over this time of the year, time to harvest ice. He could drag chunks of ice and load them on a wagon and haul them to the icehouse-to-be.
      But first of all, he needed to do some blasting to prepare for these walls. On the morning of November 4th he set off a blast of dynamite which blew off ahead of time with such force which nearly killed him. His eyes were blown out and he was blinded.

      He was a strong robust man twenty-nine years old, and he was determined that he could make a living for his family, with Nancy's and his older sons help, he drove a wagon through the streets of Paris selling books and other articles. Sometimes he sold chickens, eggs and farm produce. He traded horses. For a time he ran a sewing machine shop, selling Home machines, and repaired other makes of machines.


      By 1892 Frank probably had "Go West Young Man" on his mind. They would leave Kentucky. In paris for twelve or thirteen years he found that he needed to do more intensive farming to support his larger family. "Table farming" was not adequate. Illinois- and the West would mean a place where "there's land they'll give me." He wanted to have his own land where he could do "market farming."
      But first they must go "back home" to Lebanon in Marion County. In the two or three years they are here, there will be a wedding (Lillie's), a new addition to the family, Mollie #9 born 27 March, 1895, and Nancy Green's father, Jesse Taylor, died of pneumonia here in 1898.
      Here, Lillie was born, and she would be married to James Edgar Raley, know as Rip. He raised tobacco and racing horses. Their eight children were born here. Lillie would live all her 86 years, except for her last three weeks when she had gone to Louisville to visit her daughter Daisey (Mrs. W.L. Perkins). She died 7 October, 1950, in Louisville, her funeral was held in Lebanon and she was buried in Old Liberty Cemetery, Bradfordsville, a few miles from Lebanon.


      Next, Lebanon Junction and Louisville, a 67 mile trip northward. As its name implies Labanon Junction was on the branch line that came from Lebanon about 1857. Probably mostly Indians there that early and only a fort. The Indians became troublesome, burning railroad property. At one time a Lebanon-Nashville switch engine with a long hose was used to protect areas within reach of the tracks.
      Later, curing the Civil War the junction was constantly threatened. In 1861 the Confederates burned the bridge over Rolling Fork and General Sherman had his headquarters in the Lebanon station.
      Growing from a fort in the early days the junction grew to become an incorporated town by 1895. The Davidson family arrived here soon after.
      By 1898, the family was now eight: Ben 18, Fannie 16, Jim 14, Daisey 13, Tom 8, Winnie 6, and Molly 3 years old. While here in Lebanon Junction, their last child, George Williamson (Billie) was born, 25 January, 1898. Lillie their oldest remained in Lebanon.


      Next, Louisville, a short distance from lebanon Junction. Kentucky is blessed with rivers, having more than any other state. It's entire northern, western and portions of it's entire boundaries are formed by three rivers, the Ohio, Mississippi, and Big Sandy Rivers.
      Once in Louisville there were five bridges to cross the mighty Ohio River. Two of these, now known as the cities of New Albany and Jeffersonville cross over to Indiana, so the Davision's got over to Old Indiana soil.
      Leaving the land of "My Old Kentucky Home," and Virginia, we are so fortunate to have our Fannie's "B. F. Davidson's Emigration," to pick up the story from here.
      Indiana, two years in Illinois. Then Rolla Missouri, Frank and Nancy Green and their two covered wagons, two teams, two hounds and a sheperd dog. Their world becomes brighter, when William Rush, in his wagon drawn by two Indian ponies, pulls up beside them. He is heading West, by himself. Frank, too is westward bound, but he has his wife and children with him.
      Leaving Rolla they cross the southern corner of Kansas, probably at Chetopa, near Cokkeyville, to enter Olkahoma.
      But we'll let Fannie tell the story. Thank you, Fannie, from all of us. An achievement for a nineteen year old girl.

B. F. Davidson's Imigration by Fannie Davidson

I lived in Old Kentucky among the mountain pines,
For twenty years and more amid rains and bright sunshine.
I strove to keep my family from feeling hunger's pain,
And tried to keep the wolf outside, till I found it was in vain.
I could not make a living for I was poor and blind,
The rich man owned the bluegrass land, and none of it was mine.
I strove and toiled as best I could and worked at all the trades;
One day as I sat down to rest a few remarks I made.
I said "Wife are you willing to leave your native home?
"If so, we will cover our wagons and Westward we will roan.
"For we may work and toil here, until the day we die
"And when the sands of life are run in pauper graves we'll lie."
"There's land they'll give us in the West, as good as any here,
"If we'll just go and take up, and live on it five years."
"Well, Frank," replied my good old wife, "where you go, I'll go too."
You know she always thinks it right whatever I may do.
One bright day in October when the leaves were turning brown,
We loaded up our wagons and shook hands all around.
Our neighbors all came flocking in, to see us start away,
They said "He'll soon come back again, when home sickness wins the day."
We turned our faces Westward toward the sunset light,
We had but very little change but thought we'd win the tight (fight?).
We reached Old Indiana, we crossed the Hoosier State,
And we reached Illinois before it was too late.
To raise a crop in Illinois, you see now was our aim,
And in the fall we meant to go and take us up a claim.
We lived in Illinois two long and weary years
It was the chilliest, swampiest place in all this veil of tears.
You had to live on quinine if you wished to be stout;
If you don't take medicine the chills will shake your teeth all out.
When we left Illinois for Oklahoma bound,
We had two teams, two wagons, a shepherd dog, two hounds.
We had a little money, provisions and light loads,
We were six weeks in traveling over the long, weary roads.
Sometimes the roads were extra good and the sun shining bright,
And with my wife and children my heart was gay and light.
Sometimes the rain was pouring down and we heard the thunder crash,
And the roads were covered in water, and we saw the lightning flash.
And our hearts were sometimes heavy and I'll tell you, it is true,
We thought we'd never get there and we would feel quite blue.
When we passed through Rolla how dreadful was the heat:
We pulled out by the roadside to get our dinner and eat.
Another wagon came rolling by and stopped near by our own;
"Twas drawn by Indian ponies, one man was in it alone.
He said his name was William Rush and was going West,
Out where the grass grew tall and green and the land was all the best.
But when we reached El Reno, a house we could not rent;
We found a heavy down pouring rain, gyp water and a tent.
But now my boys are making three dollars every day.
The sun is shining brightly and to my friends I'll say:
"The sand storms we have braved, my friends, the smallpox we have faced,
"We crossed the wide Old Arkansas and our steps we'll not retrace.
"I've found a house to live in and soon I'll take up land;
"I'll stock it and improve it and independent stand,
"Upon my own broad acres and show to all the earth,
"That a blind man can make a living if he will only work."
By Francis (age 19)


Reaching Oklahoma, means El Reno, near the Canadian River. They arrived in pouring down rain and the month of April can be cold. What they found was a tent city, but there was a shortage of tents. If they could be found they were a luxury. So hundreds slept out in the open on the ground. They found that measels and smallpox epidemics spread like wild fire. Water, if you could find it, was unfit to drink.
      But never mind. All over 21 could register for the land drawing, and if you drew a lucky number you could have free land. This was land in certain part of Oklahoma which had been claimed by the Kiowa, Comanches and Apache Indian tribes, now to be opened to white settlers.
      Rumors of this land run had brought Frank and his family here, as well as hundreds of others families. He and his son might win a lucky number and some of that land in the lottery.


      Back in the State of Maine, Martin Oscar and Eva Mary Chase Dean lived in an old white house known as The Old Dean Homestead. It was located a short distance from the village of East Madison. His father lived here, before him.

      All of the six children of Oscar and his wife, were born here: Morris O. 1873-1949; Susan born in 1875 and died in Myrick Junction, Missouri in 1937; Lyndon 1877-1947 - he is the one we are most interested in, as he married our Frances Malinda (Fannie).

      Other children: Abner born 1880 and died in El Reno in 1901. He was buried there; Sadie born in 1892 and died in Taloga in 1910 at age 18; and Eliza Laura born in East Madison in 1887. We shall hear more about her later.
      The Dean's also hear rumors of the land give-away in Oklahoma, so they sell their homestead, board a train with their six children, and arrive in El Reno about the same time as the Davidson's.
      Martin came a couple weeks ahead of his family to rent a house, but there were none to be rented. So he set up two tents near the Rock Island dept. An enterprising man that he was, he used one for his family, and the other one he charged 25 cents for a place to sleep. If they could not pay they slept free.


      The Frame family originally from Clay County, West Virginia also came to El Reno with probably the same thought in mind - register for the land give-away. The three famnilies became acquainted and before log a romance blossomed between Baines Frame and Daisy Davidson, the fifth child of Frank and Nancy Green, They were married in El Reno in February 1903.
      Six of their children are no longer living. Charles Morgan Frame was serving in the Navy in World War II on Destroyer U.S.S. Pope when it wa sunk in the Battle of the Java Straits on March 11, 1942. All men escaped and were picked up in life boats by the Japanese and sent to a prison camp. He was wounded, a severely broken and shattered leg. He lived in the prison camp for two years and died 23 March, 1944.
      Others who have passed on: Homer died in 1971 in San Francisco, was cremated in Mount Alinet Cemetery. Clarence Baines died in 1932 at age 18 accidentally, "an unloaded gun." Paul died of polio at age four. Wirt died in 1982 and Baby Boy died in childbirth, with his mother Daisy, June 1920. Both were buried in Trenton, Missouri.
      Three living today: One daughter, Lillie Frame Maples lived most of her early life in Trenton, Missouri and later moved to Redwood City, California where she still lives in her home. Her sister Agnes Frame Cross now lives in Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City.
      Harry and wife Lucille (Ely) Frame live in Omaha, Nebraska summers and winter months in McAllen, Texas, while our Ben E. was in an Omaha department store for a Miller Lite Sportswear showing Easter 1984, they came into the store to visit with him.
      From here onm, the Davidson's and Dean's seem to be "one big family." Both families stay in El Reno about a year, then on September 24, 1902, they moved together to Dewey County (D County as it was called then), a few miles from Taloga. In the 1930's when Eliza's parents were too old to live by theselves in Taloga, they moved into Ben's and Eliza's home on the farm until they died one in 1930 and the other 1933.
      The Davidson (Fannie and a Dean (Lyndon) are married in 1903 in Taloga. On 8 January 1904, she gave birth to a son, Frank Randall. She died a week later at age 22. The Martin Dean's raised Frank. In 1922 they moved from the farm into Taloga so he could attend school.
      When 19, Frank married Beulah Almeda Kerns, in Clinton, Oklahoma. After their family was grown, they lived for a time in Pleasanton, California. They now in Hastings, Nebraska.
      Their four children: Earl, a doctor in Hastings, and wife Elaine; Frank and Bonnie live in Lincoln, Nebraska; Ralph and Jean live in Boise, Idaho, and Doris and Pat Thomas live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. While the family was living in Pleasanton, Doris worked for a major airline.
      Lyndon Dean later married Emily Alden. On child, Benny was born in 1915, and died in 1944. Another son, Leroy Dean. His first wife, Irene Alberta died of cancer in Bakersfield, California in 1979. Later he married Beulah's sister. They live in Arroyo Grande, California.

By Avis Wheat Davidson
May 1985

More About Benjamin (Frank) Franklin Davidson:
Burial: Mound Cemetary, Taloga, Oklahoma - lot 4

Notes for Nancy Green Taylor:
Nancy Green Taylor (1858)

      Nancy Green Taylor and Frank Davidson were married in Richmond (Madison County) in January 1878. Lillie, their first child was born in Marion County, then by 1879 or 1880 they were in Paris, in the Blue Grass country.

      Today the fifteen mile drive from Lexington to Paris is the continuous live of white fenced paddocks on either side of the highway. Clumps of trees hide white mansions of horse owners, with their stables and homes of horse trainers. This Maysville-Lexington Pike runs along the east side of the town of Paris. Stoner Creek flows north-south to separate the business and residential section. The creek also flows west-east to form a loop around Brooks Addition next to the business section. A lot in this addition would be the home of the Davidson's later in the 1880's or early 1890's.


      By 1890 the family had grown to eight. Daisey Paige was born in 1886; Alexander Thomas Polk
(Pokey), in 1888 but he lived only two years; then Thomas Jefferson (Tom) arrived in 1890.
      Ben, the oldest boy was now ten and Jim had reached school age. They were needed more and more to help their father make a living, consequently their attendance at school was very irregular at times.
      Generally the older girls attended school on a regular basis. Paris had an excellent school system which at that time was considered to be the best in Kentucky. Fannie especially was very eager to learn and she was a great comfort to her father. She read to him, she did his writing, she could play the organ by ear. She drew pictures for him and she wrote many poems, including "B. F. Davidson's Emigration."
      A great impact on readin', writin' and 'rithmetic in the Paris of those days was a man named of William Holmes McGuffy who introduced his famous McGuffy Readers when he taught school there in 1832.
      Now, more than a century later we hear that these Readers are again rolling off the press in Bristol, Virginia, near Lee County. "here there's a will, there's a way," is being preached again in our own time.
      I was surprised to find that two books I read in Missoula, Montana, when I was nine or ten years old, were written in Kentucky. One, "Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come," was written by John Fox, Jr. , who was born in Stony Point, Virginia and Died in Paris.
      Another favorite, "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch," was written by Alice Hegan Rice, born in Shellyville, Kentucky. The setting for it is Louisville. Did the Cabbage Patch dolls originate here?

By Avis Wheat Davidson
May 1985

Nancy was 6 years old when the civil war started, this was fought within ear sounds of the home place. One was fought within 3 miles of her home and guns sounded like popcorn popping in a skillet, with the lid on it . Lasted 3 days and then died away One day the blues would march by all day and very soon the grays would march by in companies.
by Dora Davidson

More About Nancy Green Taylor:
Burial: Thomas, Custer County, Oklahoma
Children of Benjamin Davidson and Nancy Taylor are:
+ 2 i.   Nora Lillie2 Davidson, born 20 Nov 1878 in Marion County, Kentucky; died 21 Aug 1964 in home of Mary Daisey Perkins (daughter), Louisville.
+ 3 ii.   Benjamin Franklin Davidson II, born 17 May 1880 in near Paris, Burbon County, Kentucky; died 04 Sep 1953 in Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma.
+ 4 iii.   Frances Malinda (Fannie) Davidson, born 27 Jan 1882 in near Paris, Burbon County, Kentucky; died 16 Jan 1904 in Taloga, Dewey County, Oklahoma.
+ 5 iv.   James (Jim) Jesse Davidson, born 06 Sep 1883 in near Paris, Burbon County, Kentucky; died 18 Dec 1965 in Trenton, Grundy County, Missouri.
+ 6 v.   Daisy Paige Davidson, born 14 Apr 1886 in near Paris, Burbon County, Kentucky; died 12 Jun 1920 in Trenton, Grundy County, Missouri.
  7 vi.   Alexander (Pokey) Thomas Polk Davidson, born 1888; died 1890.
+ 8 vii.   Thomas (Tom) Jefferson Davidson, born 22 Jul 1890 in Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky; died 30 Jan 1968 in Weatherford, Custer County, Oklahoma.
+ 9 viii.   Winifred Alice Davidson, born 24 Oct 1892 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky; died 09 Mar 1968 in Thomas, Custer County, Oklahoma.
+ 10 ix.   Molly Nancy Davidson, born 27 Mar 1895 in Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky; died 09 Sep 1961.
+ 11 x.   George William (Billie) Davidson, born 25 Jan 1898 in Lebanon Junction, Bullitt County, Kentucky; died 06 Dec 1958 in Reno, Washoe county, Nevada.
  12 xi.   Laura Rosa (Rosie) Davidson, born 1901; died 1901.

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