Member Biography

Joseph Depuy Davis 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1867       8 Democrat
1868       8 Democrat
1869       8 Democrat
1870       8 Democrat
1871       8 Democrat
1872       8 Democrat
1873       8 Democrat
1874       8 Democrat



10/25/1825 - 08/04/1907

Colonel Joseph Depuy Davis (D8) Berks County 1867-1873

Early Life: 

Colonel Joseph Depuy Davis born October 10, 1825, Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania; the son of attorney Charles and Mrs. (maiden name unknown) Davis; moved, Reading, Pennsylvania; read law with his father; Hoffman Law Institute, Philadelphia; attended (one year) United States Military Academy, West Point, Class of 1846; private, Mexican War; Lieutenant Colonel, Civil War, 1862-1863; admitted, Berks bar, attorney, private practice; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1867-1873; Solicitor, Texas and Pacific Railroad, Marshall, Texas, 1874; married, Mary Smith; died, August 4, 1907 (aged 81) Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania; interment, Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania.  

Early Career:

Attended, (one year) United States Military Academy, West Point, Class of 1846; classmates included General Stonewall Jackson, General George McClellan (later Governor of New Jersey), General A.P. (Ambrose Powell) Hill.

Enlisted, Private, Mexican War, Company I, 3rd Kentucky Infantry; then 2nd Lieutenant, 11th United States Infantry, saw action, surrender of Mexico City.

Lieutenant Colonel, 167th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, nine-month service, March 19, 1863, Davis promoted, Colonel and regimental commander.

On 12 August 1863, mustered out. General Lysander Cutler, the commander of the 1st Division of the 1st Corps, wrote the following to Colonel Davis: “As you are about leaving the service with your command, I desire to express to you, and through you to your command, my entire approval of the manner in which they have discharged their duty as soldiers since they joined this division. The regiment has been a pattern of order and promptness on the fatiguing marches of the last month. Wishing you and them a safe and pleasant return to your homes and friends, I am, very truly yours.” 

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 8th district, Berks County, 1867-1873; committee assignments, Constitutional Reform, Congressional Apportionment, Judiciary General, Public Printing Committees.  

Berks County Democratic Convention Chairman.

Solicitor, Texas and Pacific Railroad, Marshall, Texas, 1874.


Married, Mary Smith of Berks County, daughter of state Supreme Court Justice, George Smith


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members D"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1873). Smull, J.A., (Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 515, 517, 522-524.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2000 issue of The Historical Review of Berks County. About the author: Dr. Gary L. Shugar, who lives on Bern Street, Reading, is a graduate of Reading High School, Albright College and the Jefferson Medical College, where he earned his MD. He currently employed by the Ephrata Community Hospital. The 167th Pennsylvania - Berks History Center 

Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania) Tuesday August 6, 1907, Page 2.

Col Joseph DePuy Davis (1825-1907) - Find a Grave Memorial