His family moved to Albion, New York, in 1825. He attended Lima Seminary in Buffalo, New York. Then he studied law in Lewiston, New York, was admitted to the bar in 1841, and practiced in Gainesville, New York, and Buffalo. He returned to Albion in February 1844, and practiced law in partnership with Sanford E. Church.
In 1857, he was appointed to the New York Supreme Court (8th District) to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James Mullett, and was subsequently elected to two eight-year terms, but resigned in 1868 after his election to Congress. He was ex officio a judge of the New York Court of Appeals in 1865.
Davis was elected as a Republican to the 41st United States Congress, and served from March 4, 1869, to July 15, 1870, when he resigned. Davis was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and held that office from July 20, 1870, to December 31, 1872, when he resigned.
In November 1872, he was elected to a 14-year term on the New York Supreme Court (1st District). He presided over the trial of William M. Tweed in 1873. After his term expired, he resumed the practice of law in New York City and was a member of the council of the University of the City of New York (now New York University.)
He was buried at Mount Albion Cemetery in Albion.
- United States Congress. "Noah Davis (id: D000126)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- EX-JUSTICE DAVIS DEAD, The New York Times, March 21, 1902
- The New York Civil List, compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (p. 352; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)
-  Court of Appeals judges
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 28th congressional district
Charles H. Holmes