Missouri is often called the heartland of America and is quite literally almost the center of the United States. Missourians have a reputation of being down to earth, no-nonsense people and “the show-me state” is proudly displayed on their license plates, the saying being ascribed by some to a statement made by a Congressman in 1899, “…frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I'm from Missouri, and you have got to show me."
history lists Golden Davidson born in Virginia about 1770. The family
migrated to Tennessee, then Alabama and finally Illinois. Golden’s
grandson and Doyle Davidson’s great-grandfather, James Madison Davidson, moved to Jasper County, Missouri in the late 1800’s. Newell Miller,
Doyle’s maternal great-grandfather served in the Civil War in the 2nd
Michigan Cavalry, Company B and mustered out as a sergeant. He moved to
Missouri from Illinois also in the late 1800s. A number of Doyle’s
maternal ancestors came to New England in the 1630’s, and were founders
of Rhode Island and the first Six Principle Church in America.
ancestors were military men from the earliest settlers of New England
to the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War and the wars
of the 20th Century. Doyle served four years in the United States Navy
during the Korean War. Predominately English, Scottish, German with
Cherokee and also some Irish and Welsh mixed in, they were horseman,
stockmen, farmers and ranchers and they loved their country and trusted
God as much as they knew. Both of Doyle’s grandfathers, Luther Davidson
(b. 1874) and Frank Miller (b. 1883) were born in Missouri in Jasper
County and Newton County respectively. They lived and raised their
families there and are both buried very near where they were born. Doyle
was born on a farm adjacent to the property where his grandfather,
Luther, was born and his parents, Lyle and Alba (Miller) Davidson were
both born and raised in Jasper and Newton Counties.
Truman was born on a farm near Lamar, Missouri and grew up farming most
of his life. His ancestors were predominantly English, but also
Scottish, French and German. According to his family history the first
recorded ancestors in America were in Virginia. They pushed westward to
Kentucky and later moved to Missouri, settling there in the 1840s.
Truman’s forefathers were also military, a number of them serving in the
American Revolution. His parents, John and Martha (Young) Truman were
both born in Missouri, their families having settled in the Jackson
Solomon Young, Truman’s maternal grandfather,
became a large landowner and also a freighter, running freight as far
as San Francisco, California and Salt Lake City, Utah. His landholdings
grew to almost 2000 acres before the Civil War. His grandfather Anderson
Truman was also a landowner and farmer, though of somewhat more modest
means. The President remembers his Grandpa Truman as a “grand man”, a strong Baptist and violently anti-Catholic.
and Martha Truman moved to Lamar, Missouri soon after their marriage,
where John established himself as a livestock trader, especially horses
and mules although he considered himself a farmer. Harry was born there
May 8, 1884.
The President remembered his father this way:
was an honorable man. If he guaranteed a horse in a horse sale that
guarantee was as good as a bond. If he agreed to do a day’s work for a
certain amount of money he’d give good measure on the work. He always
expected the people that worked for him to give him a day’s work for a
day’s pay—and woe to a loafer. He made the pole tax workers work for the
county just as they worked for themselves…I was taught that the
expenditure of public money is a public trust and I have never changed
my opinion on that subject.”
Similar sentiments are
reflected in Doyle’s testimony of the day Lyle Davidson came to Texas
and spent a day at 121 Veterinary Hospital. He mingled with Doyle’s
clients while Doyle tended his patients, which were predominately
equine. At the end of the day, Lyle said, “Well, I’ve learned two things.”
“Yes, and what would that be?”
“Your clients say you are honest, and you’re not afraid to tell someone you don’t know, but you’ll try to find out.”
“Well, that shouldn’t surprise you, you raised me.”
Doyle was told once by a client, “Doc, you are too honest for your own good,” and Doyle’s reply was, “Never.”
Truman family moved to Independence, Missouri and Harry attended public
school, graduating in 1901 and the family moved to Kansas City in
1902. Following high school he worked as a timekeeper for the railroad
and as a clerk at two banks in Kansas City before returning to
Grandview to farm with his father, and remained there ten plus years.
had joined the Missouri National Guard in 1905 and served with them
until 1911. When the United States entered WWI he helped form the 2nd
Regiment of Missouri Field Artillery and went on to serve in France, was
promoted to Captain and given command of Battery D, of the 129th Field
Artillery. After the war he joined the reserves achieving the rank of
Harry married his childhood sweetheart,
Elizabeth “Bess” Wallace in 1919, when he returned home from the service
and they had one daughter, Mary Margaret. An interesting note, Harry
learned to play the piano at the insistence of his mother and was an
accomplished amateur pianist.
Doyle was well acquainted
with Jewish people during his life, his Dad did business with them and
Doyle did as well in his years as a veterinarian. His superior in the
U.S. Navy, Chief Medical Officer Captain Cohen, was a Jew and became a
friend. Doyle speaks of him with great fondness and respect. Harry
Truman grew up with Orthodox Jews as neighbors and during his time in
the service he met and became good friends with Eddie Jacobson. Eddie
wasn’t born in Missouri, but his family moved to Kansas City in 1905 and
he is buried there. After returning to civilian life, the two went
into business together, opening a “haberdasher” (hat store). With the
beginning of the depression, they soon went broke. They refused to file
for bankruptcy and it took fifteen years to repay their investors.
Pendergast (a political boss in Kansas City and Jackson County)
appointed Truman as overseer of highways; this would have been during
the years Luther Davidson was involved in county and state road
construction and was an appointed road supervisor. Truman had became
acquainted with Thomas’ nephew while in the military and that
relationship facilitated his introduction to Thomas. Pendergast later
encouraged Truman to run for one of the judgeships in the county and he
won. It was and administrative position rather than judicial, similar to
a commissioner in other areas. He lost his bid for a second term and
later won again and served until he was elected to the United States
Senate in 1934. He established a reputation for honesty and integrity in
county government and serving in the Senate.
Roosevelt chose Harry Truman as his vice-president for his fourth term
with encouragement from his advisors and they won the election in 1944.
Three months into the term, Roosevelt died and Vice-President Truman
became President of the United States.
21 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
22 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
to his death, President Roosevelt attended the Yalta Conference
(February 4-11, 1945) where world leaders met to discuss a post-war
Europe. He made plans on his return to the States to meet with a number
of Middle East leaders and arranged a meeting with the Saudi king, King
Abdul Aziz, aboard the USS Quincy in the Suez Canal, February 14, 1945.
The two leaders found they had had much in common and a friendly rapport
developed between them. During their private meeting, according to
William A. Eddy (who was acting as Minister to Saudi Arabia), when
Roosevelt mentioned Palestine and a Jewish homeland, the Saudi king was
opposed to a great influx of Jewish people allowed into Palestine and
stated as much, suggesting that Germany should be responsible for them,
leaving Roosevelt with the impression he was willing to go to war on the
side of the Arabs in Palestine. The President assured the King that he
would “do nothing to assist the Jews against the Arabs and would make no move hostile to the Arab people.”
The president later sent a formal letter to King Aziz, reiterating the
statement. Two months later President Roosevelt died and Harry S. Truman
was sworn in as President of the United States.
The Potsdam Declaration (July 26, 1945), called for the surrender of Japan, with the alternative being, “prompt and utter destruction.”
August 6, 1945, the United States detonated an atomic bomb over
Hiroshima, Japan. Hours later, President Truman again called for Japan’s
surrender, warning them to "expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth." On
July 9th, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. August
15th, the Emperor of Japan gave a formal radio address, announcing
Japan’s surrender to the Allies.
In the closing months of Truman’s presidency, Winston Churchill told him:
last time you and I sat across a conference table was at Potsdam. I
must confess sir, I held you in very low regard. I loathed your taking
the place of Franklin Roosevelt. I misjudged you badly. Since that time,
you, more than any other man, have saved Western civilization.”
was brought up in the Baptist church and was a student of the bible.
His actual writings reflect the influence of his parents and
grandparents and the rural community he was raised in.
Sometime during his presidency, Truman made the statement:
“I am not Roosevelt! I am not from New York! I’m from the Middle West. I must do what I think is right.”
mother’s cousin, Paul Miller born in Newton County, Missouri, became
chief of the Washington Bureau of Associated Press in 1942 and was
elected as president of the organization in 1963, stated:
actions must be determined not by mere compliance with state or federal
law, not by public attitudes, but on the basis of doing the right
Many times Doyle has
shared how his parents, grandparents and the rural community he was
raised in molded his character and personality, the influence of his
parents, Lyle and Alba, especially. They read the bible together as a
family and he remembers his dad, a student of the bible, often with the
bible open on his lap. Lyle
demonstrated his faith by his works and he ministered that faith to
Doyle's heart. The hours his mother spent playing the piano and singing
hymns are written in his heart and being brought forth today.
subject of Palestine and the Jewish refugees became the new President’s
responsibility after the death of Roosevelt and it brought much trouble
as he endeavored to resolve it. Everyone had an opinion, and he was
determined to do what was in the best interests of the United States.
Richard Holbrook who served as Special Counsel to the President, stated
that Truman, from the beginning of his presidency was in favor of the
Jewish people having their own state. He felt it was a moral obligation,
influenced at least to some degree, by his own study of the Bible. He
was lobbied from all sides and remarks from some speaking for the Jewish
cause were accusatory and tried to turn it into a political issue. For
Truman, it had nothing to do with politics, and he finally refused to
see anyone. It seems his greatest concern was it would require him to
commit American troops to protect the new state and that in turn could
provoke Stalin into sending troops and it escalating into a full-scale
conflict with the Soviet Union which he intended to avoid at all costs.
All of his military advisors were telling him Israel would not be able
to defend themselves against an Arab attack. His Secretary of State and
General of the Army, George C. Marshall, was his most trusted advisor
and Marshall was adamantly opposed to recognizing a Jewish state.
Balfour Agreement was soon to expire and still the Jewish people had no
assurance from the administration that they had U.S. support. Dr. Chaim
Weizmann who later became the first President of Israel, came to
Washington D.C. and requested an audience with President Truman, to
present the case for a Jewish homeland. Although the President had
great respect for Weizmann, he refused to see him. Truman’s friend and
partner, Eddie Jacobson was enlisted to intervene and appeal to
President Truman to meet with Weizmann. One can’t help but be reminded
of Mordacai’s words to Esther, “…how do you know, that you weren’t born for such a time as this.” Eddie
met with Weizmann in New York and then visited the President,
unannounced. By the end of their visit, Truman agreed to a meeting with
Their meeting (Truman and Weizmann) confirmed
what Truman already believed, the Jewish people must have their own
state. As soon as the Balfour Agreement expired and Ben Gurion announced
their independence and formation of a government, Truman wanted the
United States to be the first to recognize them as a state.
President Truman 1964 Video.
that is just what happened, eleven minutes after Israel’s Proclamation
of Independence, President Truman signed an executive order recognizing
the State of Israel.
In 1949, the Chief Rabbi of Israel visited Truman and during their meeting said:
put you in your mother’s womb so that you could be the instrument to
bring about the rebirth of Israel after two thousand years,” and he went on to read to him the words of King Cyrus, King of Persia, from the Book of Ezra:
Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kindness of the earth and he
hath charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
An eyewitness at that meeting recorded the moment and wrote that Truman wept; and then asked
“…if his actions on behalf of the Jewish people were indeed to be
interpreted thus… and that the hand of God was in the matter…” and the rabbi reassured him it was so…and that he too [as Cyrus] would occupy a place of honor in annals of the Jewish people.”
David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel visited the United
States for the last time, he reiterated to President Truman that he had
a place of honor in Jewish history.
Harry S. Truman , a
native son of Missouri, a man chosen by God to fulfill His purposes,
oversaw the re-birth of the nation of Israel in 1948.
Davidson, also a son of Missouri, servant and apostle of the Lord Jesus
Christ by the will God, called into the ministry in Columbia, Missouri
in 1958 and anointed at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem June 17, 1974, chosen to lead God’s people in these last days.
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord
of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing,
seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Two Missouri sons, ordained of God for His purposes.
Compiled by Kathryn Currier
Writing and Research
Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel by Michael T. Benson; The
Faith of the Post War Presidents by David Holmes; Truman Library;
Teaching American History.org;
Truman’s Grandview Farm by Jon Taylor; Jerusalem Center for Public
Affairs; Wikipedia; Water of Life Ministries/Doyle Davidson.