(34.) JOHN W. DAVIS (1873-1955)
Democrat Davis/Charles Bryan
Defeated by Republican Calvin Coolidge/Charles Dawes, 1924
Davis graduated from Washington Law School. His first case was recovering a turkey and eighteen little turks. His fee was one dollar. His political life developed in the twelve years he served as Democratic chairman in his state. He refused any suggestions of running for office himself, preferring law practice. President Wilson, however, appointed Davis Ambassador to England.
Davis’ father, also a lawyer, was a force in securing the separation of a part of West Virginia from the Old Dominion, when it seceded from the Union.
A writer finds a Davis likeness in Horatio Seymour and Alton Parker, in their temperament and talents. A quality he possessed, perhaps somewhat unusual among lawyers, at least on the surface, was his even temper. He did not get angry. This was considered, by some, a weakness, but when the election was over, Davis returned with usual calm to his law practice.