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Name of Rev Davis Carved in Cement.

Reverend Samuel H Davis

Reverend Samuel H Davis was a station master of the Under Ground Rail Road in Buffalo and New York earlier in his life, and a teacher. Just a bit later, he became a preacher as well. We are told that he even had his own school for Black Children at one point.

The British American Institute had entered very hard times by the time that Rev Davis first came to the Dawn area. Those who had founded it of course though, wanted to bring it back again to be a thriving school and enterprise. They saw it as a way to educate the black children in the area and give them the education that they needed to become very successful in their life time.

Davis was one of the people who was put in charge to try to bring the Institute back to life. He was a teacher who might have the skills to get the school going again. It is very hard today to understand the circumstances and what happened with the BAI, but sadly it never regained it's glory. Later it's finances were turned over to the Wilberforce Institute in Chatham.

Davis, and others, helped to build the First Regular Baptist Church, Dresden in 1857.

Davis built a log cabin for his family on 50 acres of land that his wife Catherine had purchased in 1858. Sarah Ann Davis, Emma Catherine, and Martha McGuin Davis, were born there. Later he purchased more adjoining land to make a 100 acre farm.

The Ohio Black Historical Society tells us that "Davis became the pastor of the First Regular Baptist Church, Dresden in 1858, serving 15 straight years before having a break. Over the period 1858-1881, he pastored Dresden for 18 years and Chatham First Baptist for one year."

The Black Historical Society tells us that "Davis died in 1907 at 97 years of age. All of his children, except daughter Emma Catherine (died young), were alive at the time of his death.

He is buried, with his wife Catherine and Emma Catherine, in the British American Institute Cemetery, across the road from the Henson Family Cemetery, and Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site. There are monuments for his wife and daughter, and his name is scratched into the cement wall in the cemetery. "