|Don Henry Davis (1812 – 1887)|
A survey of the life of Don Henry Davis leaves little doubt that he had an adventurous spirit. Born October 9, 1812 to his parents Wiley Oran Davis and Susan Parker Kitchen, he was known to his siblings George A., Jessie Kitchen, and Ann Oran as “Henry.” He was a young man when his father left home on “a trip out West,” never to return. That is, he traveled west of Hartburg, Haywood County, Tennessee.
In the absence of his father, Henry was about fifteen years old when he began an apprenticeship in the saddler’s trade that sustained him for several years. After moving to Leesville, Indiana, he opened a shop and invented the “Davis Spring Saddle,” the most comfortable saddle of its time. Although his trade was prosperous, it was not his sole occupation.