Edward Walter Davies (Pipestone, MN)

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Edward W. Davies (April 5, 1855 – January 29, 1936) was an important pioneer Banker and businessman in southwestern Minnesota from the 1870s to early 1930s. He helped start the towns of Jasper and Lakefield (and was credited with naming Lakefield). He was also instrumental in the early growth of Pipestone. During his 47 year banking career, E. W. Davies was involved with (at least) 13 banks (8 National banks and 5 State banks). These banks were located in the Minnesota towns of Pipestone, Jasper, Woodstock and Ruthon, and the South Dakota towns of White and Gary.


Early life and family

Edward Walter Davies was born on April 5, 1855 in Shropshire, England, the son of John and Elizabeth (Owens) Davies. In July 1857 his family emigrated to Canada. They later came to the U.S., settling first in Milwaukee, WI, then in Afton, Rock County, WI, where Edward received his early education in district schools.[1][2][3]

In 1869, the family became homesteaders and pioneer residents of Jackson County, MN, where Edward completed his education in the backwoods school. At the age of 21, he took his first job as a clerk in a general store in Jackson, MN. After a year there, he was appointed to the position of Deputy Treasurer of Jackson County for 2 years. In August of 1879 he became manager of the Colman Lumber Company in the new town of Lakefield, MN. The first building erected in Lakefield was the office for Colman Lumber, built by E. W. Davies. He is also credited with the naming of Lakefield.[1][2][3]

In late 1879, Davies was transferred to the lumber yard in the infant village of Pipestone, MN, which he managed for 7 years.[1][2]

Davies was united in marriage with Nellie G. King at Jackson, MN on January 5, 1881. They had 6 children, 2 of which survived to adulthood: Kittie Alta (1883-1924), and Bonnie I. (1897-1961). His wife Nellie G. Davies passed away on September 28, 1913. [1][2][4]

On July 27, 1914, E. W. Davies married Allie I. Humble of Pipestone. They had one daughter Elizabeth Anne (b. c1920).[1][2][4]

Banking career

Bank Letter dated Dec 6, 1893, signed by E. W. Davies, President

E. W. Davies' banking career began in November 1886, when he acquired an interest in the Pipestone County Bank (later the Pipestone State Bank and then Pipestone National Bank). He became Cashier, and 4 years later was promoted to President, a position he held until January 1923, when he sold his interest in the bank to Arthur C. Walker, who then became President. Davies continued to serve on the Board of Directors of the bank from 1923 to 1932.[1][2][5][6][7][8]

E. W. Davies helped start the town of Jasper in 1888. He organized the State Bank of Jasper in 1892, which became the First National Bank in 1902. Davies was also involved in organizing and operating several other banks in Pipestone County, as well as banks in Gary and White, SD, serving as President and Director.[1][2][6][7][8]

Other career highlights

During his 57 years in Pipestone, Davies held several positions of trust in Pipestone County. He was a member of the Board of Commissioners from 1904 to 1912, He served on the Pipestone City Council, and was mayor of Pipestone from 1923 to 1925. He was an active member in several Masonic Circles in Pipestone and Jackson, MN.[1][2]

Later life and death

Edward W. Davies passed away on January 29, 1936 in Pipestone at the age of 80 years, after several years of failing health. He is buried in Pipestone's Old Woodlawn Cemetery.[1][2][4]

Bank Officer Summary

During his banking career, E. W. Davies was involved with these 13 MN & SD banks:[6][7][8][9]

$10 Series 1902 Red Seal bank note with pen signatures of James Jackson, Cashier and E.W. Davies, President
$10 Series 1929 Type 1 bank note with engraved signatures of L.A. Lohr, Cashier and E.W. Davies, President


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 "Edward W. Davies Obituary", Pipestone County Star, January 31, 1936, 1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 "Edward W. Davies Obituary", Pipestone Leader, Feb 6, 1936, p??.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Memorial Record of Southwestern Minnesota (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1897), p??.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ancestry.com and Findagrave.com websites.
  5. "Arthur C. Walker Obituary", Pipestone County Star, May ??, 1940, p??.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 OCC Annual Reports 1889 – 1935 (U.S. Treasury Dept: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Rand McNally Banker's Directories 1879 – 1935 (Chicago: Rand McNally & Company).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Polk's Banker's Encyclopedias 1921 – 1934 (Detroit and New York: Polk Bankers Encyclopedia Co.).
  9. Banks & Bankers Historical Database (1782-1935), https://bbdata.banknotehistory.com.