Morais, Henry Samuel, The Jews of Philadelphia …, Philadelphia: The Levytype Company, 1894, page 314
David Solis Cohen, third son of Myer and Judith (nee Solis) Cohen, was born in Philadelphia, October 15th, 1850. His early instruction did not differ from that given to most boys. His natural talents developed remarkably, and to his thorough methods of study were added elocutionary powers, which subsequently proved of advantage to their possessor and of benefit to many others. Mr. Cohen commenced his career, as a proof-reader on the Public Ledger, when that journal was published at Third and Chestnut Streets. This was the first step in his career of honor and of value. He became a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines, and as "Daisy Shortcut"—his nom de plume—his reputation was extended. For a considerable period he conducted a humorous department of the Sunday Dispatch, which became a feature of that leading Sunday newspaper.
To many a worthy cause he lent his services as a reader, a speaker, or as an impersonator of characters in plays given by amateurs. Not a few persons will remember Mr. Cohen's successful and brilliant efforts as an interpreter of the main role in comedies and farces produced at the Amateur Drawing Room to assist work in connection with the Centennial Exhibition. His rare gifts as a comedian were the means of delight to numerous auditors. His efforts, however, were exerted as well in other directions. For five years he was President of the Irving Literary Association, to which he rendered excellent service. He became identified with the Hebrew Association—another literary body—at whose meetings he frequently spoke. He was among those who took the initiative in forming the Young Men's Hebrew Association—an outgrowth of the Hebrew Association—and he served on its first Board of Officers as Corresponding Secretary. Mr. Cohen continued to display an earnest interest in literary, educational, and congregational institutions in this city, until his removal to Portland, Oregon, where he has resided since 1878. He is still occasionally heard when, on his annual visits to this city, he is invited to address public assemblies. To literature Mr. Cohen has contributed valuable material of a varied character. As a book writer he is best known by "Our Show," of which he and Harry B. Sommer are the authors, and which, as a work of humor, illustrative of the Centennial, met with a large sale, and afforded rare amusement . "Doves and Pigeons" is the title of a comedy that has emanated from his pen. Two of his plays have been put on the stage.
In Portland Mr. Cohen soon became a representative merchant and citizen. He is senior member of the firm of Cohen, Davis & Company, wholesale dealers in and extensive importers of toys and notions, and a leading house. Business cares have not been allowed to engross his time. In fact, his labors in various spheres of commercial, intellectual, political, social, and religious work have proven his untiring activity. His services are in constant demand, and, as an orator, several of his brilliant efforts have been given wide publicity; specially his masterly oration delivered on the occasion of the hundredth birthday of the venerated Sir Moses Montefiore.
Mr. Cohen has risen to an eminence in Portland, and far beyond its limits, attained by few men. Of the numerous offices filled by him, the following may be mentioned: Member of the Oregon Board of Immigration; Portland Board of Charities and Correction; Director of the Chamber of Commerce; Portland Trust Company; Grand Master of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, for Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia; a Royal Arch Mason; Grand President of District Grand Lodge of the Independent Order Bené Berith in the territory comprising Pacific Coast States; President of the Young Men's Hebrew Association, of Portland; and a Police Commissioner of Portland, to which position he was elected on the Independent ticket, by an overwhelming majority. In 1892 Mr. Cohen was nominated for Mayor of the combined cities of Portland and East Portland—for whose consolidation he had labored effectively—but he declined the honor. He has recently been prominently mentioned as Democratic nominee for Senator of the United States from Oregon, and the election of such a man to such an office would undoubtedly be hailed with satisfaction by every Israelite in the United States. On April 4th, 1894, Mr. Cohen was married to Miss Bertha Kahn, of Portland.
Mr. Cohen's praise is best spoken by his own record. It is one of rare achievement for a young man who is, to quote another, "the leading and most popular Jew in the great Northwest;" and to which remark we may add—a Jew, unyielding in his adherence to the religion of his forefathers, and of whom the House of Israel has just cause to be proud.