Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

27 March 2013

William A. Davis, a Biographical Sketch

From Memoirs of Georgia, Volume II by The Southern Historical Association, 1895.
Transcribed by S. Lincecum about 2006.

William A. Davis, one of the most prominent business men in Bibb county, was born on a farm eight miles east of Macon, Ga, April 4, 1847, living there until he was thirty years of age. He studied at Jeffersonville, Twiggs Co., Ga, in the years 1861-2-3. In 1863, though but sixteen years old, he entered the Confederate service, enlisting in Company B, Second Georgia battalion of cavalry, as a private, and later was made orderly sergeant, serving as such until the surrender. He fought in the battles of Chickamauga and Griswoldville, participated in many skirmishes, and left the service with an enviable record. After the cessation of hostilities he resumed his studies at the academy of Allentown, Twiggs Co., of which James E. Croslin, an educator of reputation, was principal, and then returned to his home in Bibb county, being called there by the death of his father. He managed the homestead from 1866 to 1877, during which period he was elected to represent Twiggs county on the general assembly, and during the session served with distinction on the committees on agriculture, public institutions and other matters before the legislature. A majority of his fellow-members not favoring the permanent institution of the college at Dahlonega, a bill to that end was defeated, but Mr. Davis secured a reconsideration and succeeded to having the bill passed, to which fact the agricultural college at that point now owes its existence, and for which service he received unstinted praise. Entering municipal as well as state politics Mr. Davis has been elected alderman from three different wards of the city of Macon -- serving six years in all in the city council -- and for four years of that time he acted as mayor pro tem. He has also been road commissioner from his district for several years. In 1880 he came to Macon and five years later, in company with M. C. Balcomb, engaged in the business of handling cotton, the style of the firm being Davis & Balcomb. The firm existed until 1890, when it was re-arranged under the title of W. A. Davis & Co., and now continues as such. For years Mr. Davis was a director of the Merchants' National bank of Macon, which went into voluntary liquidation in 1893. He is now vice-president and director of the Guarantee company of Macon, and has interests in various other business enterprises. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and a Mystic Shriner. He has held all the principal offices in the subordinate lodges, to-wit, past master of Macon lodge, No. 5, F. & A. M.; past high priest of Constantine chapter, Royal Arch Masons; past eminent commander of the St. Omar commandery, Knights Templars, and he is at this time grand senior warden of the grand lodge of the state. He is also a member of the I. O. O. F. and the Encampment, having held all the chairs and being at present district deputy grand master. He is past noble grand of the United Brother's lodge, I. O. O. F., and past chief patriarch of the Encampment. He is, as well, a Knight of Pythias. He affiliates with Baptist church, and, while living on his farm, was for many years a deacon of the local church. In 1868 Mr. Davis married Mary R., daughter of J. W. and Susan (Barlow) Summers; they have four children, Hattie B., Edwin, Mabel C. and Gussie M. Edwin is a graduate of Mercer university, Macon. Mr. Davis' father was Elisha Davis, a native of Burke county, Ga, who was several times elected to the general assembly. He was a jurist and served on the bench of the inferior court of Bibb county for many years. He died in 1866 at the age of sixty-one. Two of his sons, in addition to William A., served in the late war. John N. was in the Bibb county cavalry and with the western army almost all the time that army was in the field. Gilbert M. enlisted in Hampton's brigade as a private, saw service during the entire war period, and was mustered out when in command of his company. Elisha Davis' father was John Davis, a Virginian by birth and the son of John Davis, a Welshman, who emigrated from Wales to Virginia and was killed in the revolution at the battle of Brandywine. William A. Davis has won his way in life by force of individuality and honest determination to succeed, using his great natural abilities to the best advantage; and as a public-spirited citizen has won a host of friends in social, business and political circles.

No comments: