Cushman K. Davis, the seventh governor of Minnesota, was born in Henderson, New York on June 16, 1838. When Davis was still a baby, his family moved to Wisconsin and settled near Waukesha. His education was attained at the Carroll College in Waukesha and at the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 1857. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1859, and then established his legal career in Waukesha. With the start of the Civil War, Davis enlisted and served as a first lieutenant with the 28th Wisconsin Infantry. From 1862 to 1864, he served as an assistant adjutant general on General W.A. Gorman’s staff. After his military service, he moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and entered into a political career. He served as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1867 and was the U.S. district attorney from 1874 to 1875. Davis next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 4, 1873. During his tenure, a board of railway commissioners was created; the state constitution was revised, which allowed for women to vote in school affairs, as well as permitting them to hold office. Also, assistance was sanctioned to farmers whose crops were destroyed in a grasshopper plague. After declining to run for reelection, Davis left office on January 7, 1876. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a member of the U.S. Senate, a position he held from 1887 until his death. Governor Cushman K. Davis passed away on November 27, 1900 and was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.