Romanzo E. Davis

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Romanzo E. Davis (April 8, 1831 - October 31, 1908) was a farmer and merchant from Middleton, Wisconsin who served as a member of the Wisconsin State Senate from Dane County.


Davis was born on April 8, 1831 in Varysburg, New York. He first moved to Attica, Wisconsin in Green County in 1846 with his parents.[1] He attended the University of Wisconsin for three years, then later spent some time in business in Cole County, Missouri. He returned to Wisconsin in 1861, first to Cross Plains, where he became a farmer and grain merchant. He moved to Middleton in 1856, becoming active in the shipping of produce and grain.

Elective office[edit]

Davis was an unsuccessful Independent candidate for the Wisconsin State Assembly's 3rd Dane County district in 1864.

In 1869 he was elected as a Republican to the Senate's 26th District (the Dane County Towns of Berry, Black Earth, Blue Mounds, Cross Plains, Dane, Fitchburg, Maxomanie, Middleton, Montrose, Perry, Primrose, Roxbury, Springdale, Verona, Vermont and Westport). He was re-elected in 1871. In 1873 he changed his affiliation to Liberal Republican, and was re-elected with 2019 votes to 1668 for Republican Assemblyman Phineas Baldwin. He was re-elected once more in 1875 as a member of the Liberal Reform Party, a short-lived coalition of Democratic, reform and Liberal Republicans, and Grangers, receiving 2,662 votes against 1,667 for Republican Assemblyman Sereno W. Graves.

In 1878, Davis was the Democratic nominee (the Liberal Reform coalition having collapsed) for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin , but lost his race (although he did better than any other Democratic candidate for state office) to James M. Bingham. Later that year, he was the Democratic candidate for the United States House of Representatives in Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district.[2] He lost to incumbent Lucien B. Caswell, a Republican, who polled 12,607 votes to Davis' 9502 and Greenback Horace A. Tenney's 2,376 (Tenney was a former Republican Assemblyman). He was succeeded in the Senate by Matthew Anderson, also a Democrat.

He also served on the Board of Trustees for the Wisconsin Hospital for the Insane through April 1879.

After the Senate[edit]

Davis opened a general store in Middleton in 1879, which he operated until retiring in 1887. He was active in the International Order of Odd Fellows and as a Freemason. Davis died in 1908 and is buried in Middleton.[3]


  1. ^ "Wisconsin Legislature-Senate". The Legislative Manual of the State of Wisconsin. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  2. ^ "Davis, Romanzo E.". Our Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  3. ^ "Romanzo E. Davis". Find A Grave. Retrieved 2013-10-19.