The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan



Hon. Enos Goodrich, "Our Pioneer Debating Society," (1887), published in
Michigan Pioneer And Historical Collections, Vol. XI (Second Edition),

Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Company, Lansing (1908), pp. 267-268

Judge Norman Davison, who first saw the light of day in the valley of the Susquehanna on the 11th day of August, 1786, and who came from the Genesee Valley of the Empire state to the wilds of Michigan, in the month of June. 1831, was the first settler in the woods between Grand Blanc and the St. Clair river, was one of the framers of our first state constitution, and under its provisions became one of our first judges, died at Davisonville in the town of Atlas, and county of Genesee. on the 26th day of March, 1841.  His dust reposes on the site of his sylvan home.  The soil of Michigan holds no more honest heart than his, nor any more indefatigably determined in the cause he considered right.

Paul G. Davison, the judge's oldest son, who was born in Monroe county, New York, on the 13th day of April, 1809, and partook the noble traits of his father's character, was a strong hand in all the labors of pioneer life, and did much in shaping the destinies of our early settlements.  Among other important offices he held was that of county commissioner of Lapeer county, the duties of which he discharged with credit and honor.  When I had the honor to be first elected to the legislature Paul G. Davison was my competitor, and in him I found a "foeman worthy of my steel;" and had he been the successful candidate I take pleasure in recording the fact, that the interests of the state would not have suffered in his hands.  He died in California on the 28th of November, 1851, and as the setting sun sinks in the broad waters of the Pacific it looks out upon the grave of one of the noblest of Michigan's pioneers.

Oliver P. Davison, who was born in Parma, New York, on the 31st of August, 1810, was also one of the pillars of that united family in developing Michigan's northern wilds.  It was he who gave the name of Atlas to his adopted township when it was organized in April, 1836.  Having subsequently removed to Highland, in Oakland county, he was elected to the legislature of 1847, and, as before stated, was one of my co-laborers in removing the capital from Detroit to Lansing.  After having honored many minor offices he died at Milford, in the county of Oakland, on the 6th of March, 1879.

Dewitt Clinton Davison lived and died a farmer of Atlas, and is the only son whose dust reposes beside that of his father, the judge.

[Begin Page 268] Benjamin Franklin Davison, the youngest and only surviving son of the original Davison family, still lives upon his farm in Highland, and as his age is now sixty six years it cannot be long till the last member of that pioneer family will have passed away. 


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