W.J. DAVISSON, one of the most skillful watchmakers and jewelers of Randolph County, with factory and residence at Farmland, was born in Wayne County, Indiana, April 10, 1842, and is a son of Moses and Elizabeth (Hiatt) Davisson, the former of whom was born in North Carolina, but who in early life settled in Wayne County, Indiana, where he followed his trade of blacksmith until the end of life. He and wife, both now deceased, were the parents of four children, viz: Enos, deceased; Fernando, blacksmith of Farmland; Henry H., deceased and W. J., whose name he3ads this sketch. Moses and Elizabeth were devout members of the Methodist Church, and in politics Moses was a Republican, although, in the beginning, a Whig. Few, if any, could compete with Mr. Davisson as a workman, and none could excel him, and he had the reputation all through the country of being an expert in the true sense of the word.
W. J. Davisson, until fourteen years of age, was reared in Williamsburg, Wayne County, where he received a good education at the common school. In 1856, he moved to Farmland, Randolph County, and served an apprenticeship at blacksmithing for four years with his brother Fernando, and in all worked six years at the trade. He then tried his hand at house painting for three years. But Mr. Davisson was possessed of a genius for mechanism of a high grade, and in 1870 opened an establishment in farmland for the manufacture and sale of watches, clocks, and jewelry, to which he has ever since devoted his time and attention, and in which he is now an acknowledged expert. Mr. Davisson is also a patentee of a wire fence, in the manufacture of which he was for some time engaged at Winchester, doing business under the style of the Winchester Fence & Iron Works. He has also his war experience, having enlisted August 12, 1862, in Company A, Eighty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and having served in West Virginia and Kentucky, but was honorably discharged December 24, 1862, on account of disability and now draws a pension of $8 a month.
Mr. Davisson was married in 1863, to Rebecca E. Wilkins, who was born in Wayne County, Indiana, near Newport, in 1843, the daughter of Francis and Hester (Bales) Wilkins, and this union has resulted in the birth of three children, viz: Zeruiah, deceased; Clyde L., deceased, and Charles Austin, in the jewelry business at Elkhart, Indiana. Mr. And Mrs. Davisson are strict members of the Christian Church and he is a master mason. He votes with the Republican Party, but has never had any aspiration for public office, preferring to simply perform his duties as a citizen and Republican at the polls. Mr. Davisson is upright in all his dealings, s industrious and thrifty, and now owns considerable real estate, while his standing with h is neighbors is a most enviable one.