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Davidson Brothers

of the Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

Forest Home Cemetery

March 2006


Arthur (1881-1950), joined up with engineer William S Harley (1880-1943) to form the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, later they were joined by Arthur’s brothers Walter (1876-1942) and William A Davidson (1870-1937). 

Arthur Davidson, 20, and William Harley, 21, began experiments how to motorize a bicycle. Automobiles, at that time in history, were a relatively new invention so it was a logical progression to come up with the idea to fit a smaller combustion engine to a bike. Soon after, the duo were joined by Arthur’s two brothers Walter and William. In two years they produced 3 motorcycles and the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Co. was born.


Here is a photo taken of the brothers in the 1930s – from left William S Harley (Engineering), William A Davidson, Walter Davidson (President), Arthur Davidson (Sales). 

A testament to William C’s woodworking skills, the shed still stood well into the 1970s, transported from the family home to the factory at Juneau Avenue, where it was later bulldozed, mistaken for scrap wood!