In the 1870 census he is listed as a worker in his father's livery stable. By 1880 he lived in Effingham, Effingham Co, IL withe the Omer Boots family along with brother William. The relationship and reason for their stay there is unknown.
Does the following pertain to this man:
Last Friday afternoon, BEN DAVEE, of Greenup, had a difficulty with Jere Morgan, who swore out a warrant for DAVEE's arrest. Marshal HANKINS made the arrest, and while on the public square, procedding to the Justice's office, his prisoner concluded he wouldn't go any further. The Marshall, as he was in duty bound, tried to persuade him. DAVEE got excited and pulled an open knife from his pocket. The Marshall attempted to knock DAVEE down, but failed and was cut twice or three times in the neck and once under the left arm. The cut barely missed the jugular vein. None of the cuts however, seemed fatal. DAVEE then ran across the square, jumped into DR. GOODWIN's yard, ran around the house, entered KESTER's garden and then his shop by the rear door, closely pursued by the Marshal. Here he was secured. He still held the knife, but immeditely after the second arrest, threw it away. He was taken before Esquire McCONAHA, and as the prisoner was not ready for trial, he was held in recognizance of $1,000 to appear before the same Esquire on the 13th inst., J.J. KELLUM appearing as sponsor.
This is another of those cases in which whiskey is alone responsible. Had DAVEE been in his normal condition, he would not probably have done so rash a deed. For the sake of his family, and his own, we deplore the occurance. Mr. HANKINS is an officer who is much respected and deserves the thanks of all well disposed persons for his pluck and faithful discharge of his duty in all cases. We hope his wounds will not disable him for long. DAVEE has left for parts unknown. [page 4 column 2,3]
J.J. KELLUM is reported as lost. He started west on the hunt of Ben DAVEE and has forgot to return and it is a question with the people here now which will be back first, KELLUM or DAVEE.
Jim OWENS & Pete BRADY are running the Restaurant and Billard Hall at Ben DAVEE's old stand are doing a good business.
[The Mail 30 July 1874, p.4, c. 1]
John HANKINS, City Marshall, who was stabbed last week, is around again. The case of the State vs Ben. DAVEE, for assaulting office HANKINS, was called upon Monday but Ben, the boys say, has taken change of venue to California, and, of course, was not here to see it.
[The Mail, Greenup 16 July 1874 p 1 c 7]