Mr. Delos Rogest Davis was the first Canadian
born black lawyer in Canada. Davis was born in Colchester Township
in 1846. He taught school for four years at Gilgal before pursuing
a career in law. In 1871 he was appointed a commissioner of
affidavits and in 1873 he became a public notary. Following
study in law a prospective lawyer must article under an established
lawyer in order be eligible to write the bar exam and be accepted
to the bar. Although an excellent student Davis was unable
to find a lawyer who would accept him. Therefore, in 1884 Davis
appealed to the Ontario legislature to allow him to write the
examinations and be accepted
Courtesy of The Ontario Black History Archives
to the bar without articling.
Delos R. Davis was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada
on May 19, 1885. Davis’ son graduated from law school at
Osgoode Hall in 1900. Together they established the law firm of
Davis and Davis on Gore Street in Amherstburg with offices Windsor.
On November 10th, 1910 Davis became the first black lawyer to be
appointed King's Counsel. Delos R. Davis died in 1915 and is buried
in the cemetery at New Canaan (now Gesto) (See Historic
Sites – Cemeteries)
Fred Davis, the son of Delos R. Davis, followed
in his father’s footsteps and studied Law at Osgoode
Hall. He graduated in 1900 and practiced law with his father
in Amherstburg. The law firm of Davis and Davis was located
on Gore Street in Amherstburg but also had offices in Windsor.
Lloyd Dean is the grandson of Delos R. Davis.
While attending Law School at the University of Windsor Dean
completed extensive research on his grandfather’s legal
career and organized a scholarship for students of law in his
Linda McCurdy is a partner in the firm McCurdy
& Strain. They specialize in criminal defence and highway traffic
offences. McCurdy and Strain also provide notary services.
Lana Strain is a partner in the firm McCurdy & Strain.
They specialize in criminal defence and highway traffic offences.
McCurdy and Strain also provide notary services.