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You are here: Davis of Iowa > Jim Davis's Biography > Prologue                     Click HERE to go to Part I





I am a blessed man!  As I write this I am 88 years old, in really good health and enjoying an active life.  I have a wonderful second life partner these past 20 years sharing this life.  I have a fairly large extended family with which I am quite close despite the family being scattered throughout the United States.  We are reasonably well off financially, have a wonderful retirement home in Scottsdale, AZ and a fairly large circle of friends. We, like all families have had our share, some say more than our share, of tragedies which remind us of life’s blessings and the need to live each day fully.


So, why then did I feel a need to spend countless days  documenting my life’s journey and collecting information on our immediate ancestors?  The answer is quite simple, over the past several years as I aged, I recognized what blessings I have enjoyed.  I know that the source of many of these blessings are from my parents, their parents, my formative years on an Iowa farm, my educational opportunities, my USMC experience, my business career and maybe most of all the being born and living in the greatest country of all – these United States.


Moreover, despite being the eldest in our family and knowing all four of my grandparents, I recognized that I really did not know them.  My maternal grandparents died when I was 10 and 11 years old and our family spent considerable amount of time with them as they lived only a few miles from us.  My paternal grandparents died when I was 25 and 34 years old and we also lived fairly close to them, but we did not see them as much as my other grandparents.  I squandered all those years of not really getting to know my grandparents and their life stories.  Fortunately, two of my dad’s older sisters each wrote a brief – about 10 pages - life story which documented some of their family’s early years.  Other than these two documents and a somewhat meager collection of family photos, I had only my memories of my grandparents.  I have lamented my failure to take advantage of those early years to really know my grandparents as well as my many aunts and uncles and their families. 


Unfortunately, despite being fairly close to my daughters and grandsons, I see the same scenario unfolding within my family.  My grandsons and their off-spring do not really know me.  Life unfortunately gets in the way of life.  We are all too busy pursuing our lives to really know our family and its history.  Hence, I decided to document My Life’s Story.   At some point, each in their own time, many of my descendants will want to know more about their grandparents and their families’ history.   They will have My Life’s Story as a source for some of this information. 


Additionally, I have added several appendixes to provide  information about our family and our forebearers.  These include (1) my maternal Howard Ware Grandparents, including The Ware Family and William Penn University, (2)  my paternal Tom Davis Grandparents including  the two Davis aunt’s family histories, (3)  my parents and brief chapters contributed by each of my five siblings (two of which were written after their deaths in a collective effort by their children/spouses/your author and (4) my first wife’s - The Swanson Family.  In addition, since my father was one of eight children who collectively had a total of 34 children,  I have been in communication with one or more cousins from each of the eight families and with their help have (5) documented the family trees of each of the eight families,  copies of which are included as part of the Davis Gamily Genealogy section of this website. Finally, (6) Appendix Five includes some miscellaneous notes which may come in handy for any of my relatives recovering our family history.  I am forever grateful for the help of my siblings and my cousins in this documentary.  It is my fervent hope that someone in my family and one or more of my cousins will perpetuate this wonderful family’s history and maybe even add their own life story(ies).  


I have chosen to write my Life’s Story as a chronicle or documentary, year-by-year which includes more detail than most of the readers will ever want. However, life has changed so much in the past 88 years that documenting some of this information particularly the early information, will provide a perspective on just how much has changed.  For example, in my early years, we lived in a fairly modern house, but we had no electricity, telephone or running water, my father farmed with only horse power, we walked to school, we harvested ice each winter from the river and stored it in an “ice-house” for our icebox to keep food cool, we ate what we raised and we had a good life! I have also documented many major world and national events which I believe add context to My Life’s Story.


One caveat is that while virtually all of the chapters on my life are from my memory, memories are not always correct/factual.  For example, I have a vivid memory as to the morning that my brother Bob and I learned about his daughter Kindra being involved in a auto accident.  That memory included the precise events early on that Sunday morning including the specific house that he owned at that time and my staying that previous night with him when I was on a business trip to ISU.  However, my “vivid” recollection was factually corrected by Kindra herself and by her sister Kyla.  I have therefore deferred to their memory and not posted my memory of that terrible morning.  I am not aware of any other significant memory related in this auto-biography that is refuted by others, but there could well be.


Finally, while I initially intended to publish My Life’s Story as a book, I have reconsidered and have decided to post it on the Internet.  I have, with help of my wonderful daughter and daughter-in-law, established a website davisofiowa.com where all of this will be published and hopefully perpetuated by interested family members as a living, breathing Davis Family History. I am posting this documentary on-line with a “read-only” limitation to  insure that these portions are not changed or lost.  However, there will be in the website frequent notices of convenient methods for family members to submit suggested changes and more  importantly to up-date the information, particularly for  the Davis Family Genealogys as the expanding family increases and as deaths take our older members.  These up-dates will be added to the web-site by the current “web-master” who hopefully will in time be replaced by dedicated family members.  Everyone in  our family will have access to this web-site.  We are conscious of private information being compromised when it is on the web, however, there is nothing that we are publishing within the Davis Family Genealogys which is not already available in public documents, e.g., names, birthdates and places, death dates and places.  We judge the value of  posting of this information in this web-site outweighs the disadvantage of doing so.


We encourage every family member to submit additions and corrections, up-dates and new sections, e.g., one or more of our family members to submit their auto-biography or such, and it is also my hope that some of our family members who are interested in our Davis and even Ware family histories will do research on our ancestors and add those sections to this website.  This website will be perpetuated by my immediate family members long after I am gone.


James (Jim) Howard Davis

2023 with updates post 2023



 Click HERE to go to Part I