EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series leading up to the Highland County Historical Society inducting five more into its Hall of Fame on May 27. This week, Judge Richard Davis is profiled.
For more than six decades, the Hon. Judge Richard L. Davis has been a leader in the legal profession in Highland County and around the state of Ohio, and is well known as a respected civic leader in his county and community.
Now 93 years young, Davis has been recognized for his superior judicial service by the Supreme Court of Ohio, has been honored by the Ohio State Bar Association for his 65-plus years of service to the profession, and on May 27, he will be enshrined in the Highland County Historical Society Hall of Fame.
Davis graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in business and later earned his law degree from the school. He was admitted to the bar in 1948, practiced general law for four years, and then was elected prosecuting attorney for Highland County for 12 years (1953-65). He served as Common Pleas Court judge, Juvenile and Probate Divisions of Highland County, for 30 years. He also served as a visiting judge in many counties after he retired.
After graduating from Hillsboro High School, Davis was a member of The Ohio State University basketball team that won a Big Ten Championship in 1944 and went to the NCAA Final Four in 1944 and 1945.
He is an honorary member of the Ohio Trustees and Clerks Association, and has received a Distinguished Service Award from the Hillsboro Jaycees. He served as director and attorney for the Home Building and Loan Association of Hillsboro and is a member of National Probate Judges Association, Ohio State Probate Judges Association, National Juvenile Judges Association, Highland County Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
He is a lifelong member of Hillsboro First United Methodist Church, and is a past president of the Highland County Bar Association, Hillsboro Lions Club, Hillsboro Athletic Boosters Club, Hillsboro High School Alumni Association and Hillsboro Rotary Club.
He is a member of the Hillsboro Rotary Club, Hillsboro Masonic Bodies, Highland County Farm Bureau, Highland County Historical Society, Southern Ohio Genealogical Society of Highland County, and was former chairman of the Highland County Children Services Board and Salvation Army in Highland County.
Davis is currently retired and living with his wife, Kathryn Tolle (Evans) Davis, in Hillsboro. Kathryn’s family received a land grant north of Hillsboro through an ancestor who served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. They still live on the original land grant property. They have two children, the oldest, Bruce Davis, who is a retired insurance agent and is the current Hillsboro Recreation director, and their youngest, Susan L. Davis Thompson, who is owner of Davis Law Office and Preferred Midwest Title LLC, having received her license in 1980. They have six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
In addition to Davis, on May 27, the Highland County Historical Society will induct the late Edwin Billingham Ayres, Moses Carothers, Helen B. Hoover and Wesley T. Roush into its hall of fame. In addition, the Lincoln Mothers will be recognized as a group during the ceremony, which will be held at the First Presbyterian Church on May 27 at 2 p.m., with a reception and social hour immediately following at the Highland House Museum. The Highland County Historical Society invites the public to attend and honor this outstanding group.
For more information on the Highland County Historical Society or the upcoming Hall of Fame ceremony, call 937-393-3392 or email the society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees.