Jamestown Evening Journal

Parke H. Davis Taken by Death

Kiantone Native Was Pioneer of Football Realm
Was Nationally Known Authority on Grid Sport;
Graduated from Jamestown H. S.


EASTON. Pa.—Parke H. Davis, football pioneer, coach and for years nationally recognized statistician of the game, died today at his home here.

He would have been 61 years old July 16.

A player at Princeton 1890-92, coach at Wisconsin 1893, at Amherst 1894 and Lafayette 1895-97 he maintained a close contact with the game until his death and was the outstanding historian of the sport.

Davis served on the rules committee from 1909-1915 and had much to do with the evolution of the modern game. Among innovations with which he is credited are the division of the game into quarters, numbering of players, abolition of inter-locked interference and creation of end zones.

He was author of the articles in football in the Encyclopedia Britannica, author of a glossary of football terms and for years had kept the records and written a history of the game for the football guide.

Davis was one of football's most loyal adherents and always took pride in pointing out the distinguished men who had played the game or had contact with it. He boasted that he was taught football by one president, Woodrow Wilson, and had another as a consultant coach during his time at Amherst, Calvin Coolidge. Several years ago he made an imposing compilation of football "greats" listing three presidents - the other being Herbert Hoover, who was manager of the Stanford team in his undergraduate days, several cabinet members, ambassadors and congressmen. He was a familiar figure at most of the big games each year, pacing along the sidelines, still a fine figure of a man whom the years had altered little from the roaring Princeton tackle of many years ago.


News of the death of Mr. Davis was a shock to many Jamestown residents. He formerly lived in this city, and during the past few years visited many times with his sisters, Mrs. Austin W. Stitt of Frewsburg, and Mrs. Frank Van Vliet of Stow. Mr. Davis was born in Kiantone July 16, 1873, the son of Josiah and Susan Hill Davis. The family moved to Jamestown when Parke was only 5 years old and made their home on Prospect Street. He attended the Jamestown Public Schools and was graduated from Jamestown High School in 1889. He entered Princeton in the fall of the same year and was graduated from that institution in 1893, leaving the same year to go to the University of Wisconsin where he studied law and acted as football coach.

During his four yeas at Princeton Nr. Davis devoted his summers to the study of law in the office of Walter L. Sessions former congressman in this city. He was admitted to the bar while in the office of Judge Kirkpatrick of Easton, Pa. and made his home there up to his death.

He attended the famous Leipzig University at Leipzig, Germany and received a degree from that institution.

Mr. Davis was a prominent lawyer, steel manufacturer and nationally known figure in Democratic politics.

During his school days in Jamestown he was very active in school and social affairs in addition to being an ardent sports devotee. Many people who attended the local schools with Mr. Davis still live in this city.

Besides his two sisters, Mr. Davis is survived by a widow Edith Detwiller Davis; three daughters, Mrs. Donald Grosset, wife of one of the members of the firm Grosset & Dunlap book publishers of Scarsdale, N.Y.; Mrs. Thomas Robinson, Exeter, N.H.; Elizabeth Virginia Davis, at home; and one son, John Detwiller Davis, also at home.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.