Webster Davis

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Webster Davis (June 1, 1861 – 1923) was a mayor of Kansas City, Missouri from 1894 to 1895 and was the Assistant Secretary of the Interior from 1897 to 1898.

Davis was born in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. In 1868 his family moved to Chillicothe, Missouri and then to Gallatin, Missouri where his father began a shoemaking operation.

In 1881 Davis moved to Chicago, Illinois where he was a lamplighter. In 1884 he attended the University of Kansas and became a lawyer initially practicing in Garden City, Kansas and becoming active in the Republican Party. After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School he moved to Kansas City, Missouri where he unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1892.

After Davis' successful run for mayor he was appointed by President William McKinley as Assistant Secretary of the Interior.[1]

He was forced to resign after an 1898 visit to South Africa when he sympathized with the Boers. Unable to get a plank supporting them in the Republican Party platform, he switched to being a Democrat. He wrote a book about the Boer War entitled John Bull's Crime: Or, Assaults on Republics which was published in 1901 [2]

He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.[3][4]


Political offices
Preceded by
William S. Cowherd
Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri
Succeeded by
James M. Jones