David Davis Commissioner
David W. Davis, Commissioner,
Bureau of Reclamation, 1923-1924

Born in Wales, 1873, Davis and his family emigrated to the United States in 1875. Davis went to work in a coal mine in Iowa at age 12 to support his widowed mother, and is the only Reclamation Commissioner who never received a college degree. He moved to Idaho in 1890s to improve his health after spending his youth down the mines. Davis founded the First National Bank of American Falls, Idaho. Highlights of his public life included his election as a member of the Idaho State Senate, 1912 1914, and serving one term as Idaho's Governor from 1919 to 1923. On March 16, 1923, Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall appointed Davis special Assistant Secretary of the Interior to supervise the United States Reclamation Service. On June 18, 1923, the office of the Director of Reclamation was abolished and Davis named the first Commissioner of Reclamation on July 1. While Commissioner, the Fact Finders Commission held hearings in Salt Lake City in January 1924. Davis left office on April 2, 1924, and died in 1959.


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Last Updated: 7/28/15