John Davis

John Davis was a businessman, politician, and mayor of the City of Windsor.

John Davis was the fourth mayor of the City of Windsor. He was elected mayor five consecutive years, 1897-1901, four of which were decided by acclamation. Davis also served on Windsor city council and was the first inspector in Windsor of the Inland Department of Revenue.

Davis was born in Prescott, Ontario in 1836. In 1858, he relocated to Chicago and for two years worked in the distilling firm John Phund & Co. He later embarked in the same John Davisbusiness in Peoria, Illinois in 1860. In 1861 he married his first wife, Mary Conly, and together had a son. She would pass away in 1867. Returning to Ontario in 1863, Davis was appointed the excise officer of the distilleries for Canada, and in 1867 advanced to the position of assistant inspector. 1872 would be a pivotal year for Davis: this is the year he would become a resident of Windsor, made inspector of Canadian distilleries, and married his second wife, Frances Julia Baby. Together they had seven children. In 1888 he was promoted to chief inspector of the Dominion, a position he would hold until 1895. Notably, in 1891 Davis was the heaviest individual stockholder in the Windsor Street Railway and Electric Light Plant. He also served as a member of the Windsor high school board, president of the Beaver Boat Club, and was president of the Northern Light Insurance company based out of London, Ontario. From 1897-1901 Davis would serve as the mayor of the City of Windsor. Davis passed away on October 13, 1912.


“John Davis.” Commemorative biographical record County of Essex, Ontario. Toronto : J.H Beers & Co. 1905.