Rupert Davis

Rupert James Davis (1858 - 1938)

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Rupert James Davis
Born in Baxters Harbor, Kings, Nova Scotia, Canadamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 21 May 1878 in Lakeville, Kings, Nova Scotia, Canadamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Wolfville, Kings, Nova Scotia, Canadamap
Profile manager: Terri Davis private message [send private message]
Profile last modified 10 Sep 2019 | Created 23 May 2018 | Last significant change: 10 Sep 2019
21:48: Terri (Hoch) Davis edited the Biography for Rupert James Davis (1858-1938). [Thank Terri for this]
This page has been accessed 152 times.

Categories: Kentville, Nova Scotia


Killed while riding his bicycle. Buried Oak Grove Cemetery; lot 406

Kings Township Records-Marriage 21 May 1878; Lakeville;Free Baptist; DAVIS, Rupert 20 Bachelor farmer Baxters Harbour New Minas Denson Davis farming ng ARNOLD , Sarah E 22 Spinster Woodville Woodville William ARNOLD ng Jane Vol 1,115, 47

KINGS COUNTY VITAL STATISTICS- CD; Deed Records; KINGS 1916 Sells Grantor Surname Grantor Given Names Grantee Surname Grantee Given Names Book Page Year Location Remarks DAVIS Rupert et al KELLY Wallace 114 725 1916 Cornwallis Twsp deed Buys Grantor Surname Grantor Given Names Grantee Surname Grantee Given Names Book Page Year Location Remarks ETTER Nancy A et con DAVIS Rupert 115 376 1916 Kentville, Main St deed

The Kentville Police Department: Historical Sketch 1887-2006 ;; (This excerpt from the report KENTVILLE POLICE SERVICE: STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION by Lynda Clairmont and Anthony Thomson has been posted with the permission of Dr. Anthony Thompson Acadia University. ) From the appointment of Kentville's first Police Chief, Robert Barry (1887) until late in Rupert Davis' term as Chief (1894 - 1931) the Kentville Police Department was a one-man operation. In 1926, with the hiring of Constable John Brown, the department expanded to a two-person unit. Brown served as a constable for 5 years and upon Davis's retirement became Chief. He was to hold that position for thirty five years. In contrast to the increased specialization of police work today, the early police officer or "guardian" in Kentville was responsible for a sweeping range of assignments that far exceeded his accountability for law enforcement. The "guardian" was charged with enforcing "the every day laws of common decency" (The Acadian, May, 1883). Supplementary assignments included janitorial tasks, serving as Health Inspector and Animal Control Officer and monitoring various town services, such as water and street cleaning (McGahan, 1988). These tasks were often tedious: "The duties of a policeman in a small town are numerous and not always of a more agreeable nature, and it is not to be expected that any man could give unbounded satisfaction" (The Acadian, July 22, 1898). The relatively quiet town of Kentville was, in the early part of the century, characterized as "a raucous and disorderly community" (McGahan, 1988, p. 88) disparagingly referred to as "The Devil's Half Acre". With 14 drinking establishments located within the town boundaries it is not difficult to understand the implications for "rowdyism", vandalism and liquor related offenses. As McGahan (1988) indicated, "the vast majority of offenses involved crimes against property; crimes against the person were much less common" (p. 89).

Transcribed from article published in the paper, source unknown

POLICE FORCE - 1886 On December 6, 1886, Kentville was incorporated as a town. During the first forty-four years there were only three police officers. The first policeman was Robert Barry, who served from 1887-1888. For his services he received $30. per month and his uniform. He was succeeded by Thomas H. O'Grady, who performed duties from 1888 - 1894. From 1894-1931 Rupert Davis was Chief of Police. Davis was a man of splendid physique as he was six feet tall and weighed 200 pounds. During his long period of service he served under thirty-seven Town Councils. Lawlessness was rampant and because of it, Kentville was known as the Devil's Half Acre. When first appointed, there were fourteen licensed bars, and trouble was continually brewing. However, Mr. Davis never carried a gun. He maintained control without the aid of any firearms, combing fearless enforcement of the law with diplomacy and sympathy for thoughtless offenders. He was also the Nova Scotia Temperance Act Inspector for Kentville, and it is said he made the town dryer than any other place of its size in the Province. Any liquor sold in the vicinity was sold outside the limits of the town. It is interesting to note that Chip Davis used a two-wheeled bike when in need of fast transportation about the town. In October 1926, John H. Brown was appointed Night Police Officer and received good training from Chief of Police Davis, who retired in 1931 after thirty-seven years of service. Mr. Brown then became Chief of Police at a salary of $1,200. Annually. He, too, like Chief Davis served faithfully and well. He retired in January, 1966.

Transcribed from article published in the paper, source unknown CORONER'S JURY ASKS FURTHER INVESTIGATION! (Held Three Hour Session Monday Inquiring into Circumstances Resulting in Death of Former Police Chief} Unable to ascertain the party or parties responsible, if any, or the nature of the accident resulting in injuries which, in the light of medical testimony heard, might at least have hastened the death of former Police Chief Rupert Davis, a coroner's jury recommended on Monday afternoon that a further investigation into the matter be carried out by the Attorney General's Department at Halifax. The jury's verdict was as follows: "We find that Rupert Davis died on Feb. 24 in hospital of degeneration of the central nervous system primarily caused by an accident and resulting shock received on, or about midnight Dec. 24, 1937. According to evidence submitted we cannot ascertain the nature of the accident or the party or parties responsible, If any. We recommend that further investigation be carried out by the Attorney General's Department." THREE HOUR SESSION Coroner Dr. G. R. Forbes conducted the inquest and it was only after listening to evidence for three hours that the above verdict was reached. The Crown was represented by W. D. Withrow and George C. Nowlan, Wolfeville, represented Roy Forsythe, operator of the car alleged to have struck Mr. Davis. (I'm not sure if there was a continuation of this item - I couldn't find "the next page") .

Rupert Davis Transcribed from article published in the paper, source unknown

FUNERAL HELD FOR EX-POLICE CHIEF (Died on Thursday Last---In Hospital since Christmas Eve with injuries sustained when thrown from bicycle.) People from all walks of life filled the Babtist Church here to pay final tribute to one of Kentville's most outstanding citizens on Sunday afternoon when funeral services for the late Rupert Davis were conducted by the Rev. Waldo C. Machum. Mr. Davis died at Eastern Kings Memorial Hospital, Wolfeville last Thursday morning. He had been a patient there since Christmas Eve as a result of injuries sustained when he was thrown from his bicycle only a short distance from his home on Main Street east. Mr. Davis was one of the town's most well known figures. For forty years he was chief of the Kentville police force, an office he held until March, 1931, when he was succeeded by John H. Brown. Since that time he has been a special officer and tax collector in the town. The chief, or ex-chief in later years, was known to everybody in Kentville and to most of the people in Kings County and the Valley. He was respected by all and to see him riding his bicycle about the town even as he was approaching the age of eighty years, was a sight familiar to all. It was while he was riding his bicycle homeward after special duty last Christmas Eve that he sustained the injuries which according to medical testimony at an inquest Monday afternoon, hastened his death. He was found lying on the roadside by a neighbor and rushed to the hospital by a passing motorist. He failed to show any marked improvement during two months there and finally on Thursday morning, passed away. Born at Baxter's Harbor, he was appointed chief of police in Kentville in 1891. He was Kentville's first Scott Act Inspector, an office he held for 25 years, as well as being town vendor for five years. He was particularly active in his campaign against liquor law breakers and one of his outstanding achievements was in connection with this work. in one of his raids, some $50,000 in liquor was seized and the resulting court action was carried to the Privy Coouncil. The case was decided in the chief's favor in the English court. Mr. Davis' enforcement of the law was carried out in a quiet but effective manner. In his years on the Kentville force he had associated with Robert White, now chief of police in Liverpool; Parr. Hall, Melbourne Bond, now in the United States, and the present chief, John H. Brown. Mr. Davis is survived by his wife and two daughters, Mrs. Harry Wyman and Mrs. Albert Whiting, both of Kentville. Following a short service at the home last Sunday afternoon, Mayor B. W. Roscoe, Town Councilllors, town employees and members of the Fire Department joined in the service at the Baptist Church. Firemen marched in a body in the funeral procession with former Chief Robert Peck and Chief Arch McInnis leading. Chief of Police Brown, Officer Fred Balcom, Special Officer W. Ritchie and D. A. R. Officer C. Ftiz-Walters were pall bearers. Internment was at the Oaks cemetery.

1871 Census Name Age

  • Denson J Davis 45y
  • Abigale Davis 45y
  • Rosina A Davis 27y
  • Mary A Davis 20y
  • Elizebeth Davis 17y
  • Sarah L Davis 15y
  • Ruper J Davis 12y

Where is the 1881 Census for Rupert John Davis ?

1891 Census Name Age

  • Rupert Davis 33
  • Sarah Davis 36
  • Stella Davis 13
  • Jennet Davis 11
  • William Davis 9
  • Charles Davis 7
no more information on Charles
William Noble Davis moved to Littleton, Grafton, New Hampshire. He died in 1923 so he is not mentioned in Rupert's will.

1901 Census

  • Rupert J Davis 43 19 Sep 1857 Chief of Police
  • Sarah E Davis 46 29 Apr 1854
  • Stella J Davis 22 16 Jun 1878
  • Jennie J Davis 20. 23 Feb 1881

1911 Census Rupert Davis 53 Sep 1857 Sarah Davis 56 Apr 1855 Jennie Davis 31 Feb 1880

Probate Records for Kings Co. Rupert 24 Feb 1938 (William Noble died in 1923) Heirs Mrs. Sarah, Wife Stella Wyman, daughter Harry Wyman, Son-in-law Jennie Whiting, daughter Albert Whiting, Son-in-law

Research on where Rupert is buried: From: [1] Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 10:57 AM To: Terri Davis Subject: Re: Location of burial site

Hi Terri, Wayne has been working on the location of the Davis family and has found where it is. He found the place where Rupert’s two daughters and their husbands are buried. It is lot 406 in the Oak Grove Cemetery. There are 6 spots but no headstones. He concludes that the Rupert and his wife are buried with their daughters so the question is answered.
Best of it, Lucy
Jeff contacted chief of Police to encourage some sort of recognition for Rupert (tombstone/plaque/ etc) since Rupert is a frequent honoree during their annual "Ghost Walk"

Historical-Glimpses-of-Kentville-Revised-Ed Coleman

Kentville thrived thanks to the railway but other “firsts” before and after incorporation contributed to the town maintaining a leading position in the Valley. Kentville had its first uniformed police officer in 1887, the year after incorporation. This was Robert Barry who served for part of two years and was followed by Thomas O’Grady, who served from 1888 to 1894, and the legendary Rupert Davis.


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Images: 3
1980 Rupert Davis
1980 Rupert Davis

Rupert Davis - Chief of Police
Rupert Davis - Chief of Police

Will of Rupert Davis
Will of Rupert Davis


Rupert is 20 degrees from Michael Cayley, 25 degrees from Rick Rescorla and 15 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Horton, Nova Scotia Colony