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Shown here is members of the Davis Family. Seated from left to right: H.W. Davis, Thomas Wilburn Davis, Narcisis Morgan Davis (second wife), Nancy Alice Davis, Standing: Ezekial Dempsey Davis, Sarah Caroline Davis, Zura Cordelia Davis, Lynn Ann Paralee.
The earliest known settlers on the present site of Dora were, no doubt, James M. Davis and Ezekiel Morgan. Sometime soon after the War of 1812 the families of James M. Davis and Ezekiel Morgan along with several other families left Raleigh, North Carolina, and traveled by covered wagon and horseback to Alabama, settling for a time around Blount Springs, then moving again. In the late 1820s or early 1830s, they found a pretty valley with a creek running through it that they named Horse Creek because of all the wild horses that ran along the banks. They decided to settle there for a life of farming. James M. Davis filed claim to government land Tn Section 18, Township 15, Range 5, on February 13, 1830. This land was located along Horse Creek and extended west to the Warrior River
JAMES M. DAVIS (ca 1790-August 16, 1865) a pioneer settler of Walker County and Dora having- come to this area with his wife Lydia (1781-1851)-* and his family in covered wagons after the War of 1812 opened up this area to be homesteaded. James was a soldier in the Mexican-American War. (An unusual story is told about James and Lydia. When James was a 'soldier, Lydia received word that he had been declared dead. She remarried and had a baby with her new husband. However, James was not dead at all, and one day he came home from the war to find his wife married to another man, and a new child in his home. James did the honorable thing-—he suggested a duel, with Lydia as the prize. The second husband said he would simply disappear if James would promise to take care of Lydia and their baby.)
James M. Davis got a Passport into the Indian/Mississippi Territory in 1816. Soldiers escorted him through Indian Territory and he traveled south and west ending up in what was a little creek with wild horses all around. He lived in a stone house above the creek.
James M. Davis filed for government land on February 13, 1830. In the early forties he dug coal out of the "bottoms" and banks of the Warrior River and Horse Creek and boated it to lower river markets. He and Lydia had four children: J.T. Davis (1813-1861), Daniel Davis (1816-1874), Peggy Davis Glover, and Sabra Davis Hood. The J.T. Davis and Daniel Davis families are listed below.
J.T. DAVIS, oldest son of James M. Davis, and his wife Annie lived in East Walker County in the Dora area. They had ten children: Thomas W. Davis married first Antalisa Morgan, second Narcissus Morgan, and third Sarah Busby; Daniel Jackson Davis married Nancy Snow; William; Emaline; Francis Melinda married Francis Alien Gilbert; Margaret M. married William A. Reed; Martha Ann married William Black; Sarah married Sam Walker; Mary Elizabeth married Marion Reed; and Nancy L. married William P. Taff.
THOMAS WILBURN DAVIS, oldest son of J.T. and Annie Davis, was born April 7, 1837. Thomas Wilburn was a Baptist preacher and a Confederate Soldier, a Sergeant in Company F, 56th Alabama Regiment. Later Thomas became a circuit rider. Thomas was the father of nine children in all.
Thomas and his first wife Antalisa Loucreasa Amerzener Morgan had four children: Josiah, not married; Newton Woodard married Mary Jane Morgan; Patsy Lucceasa
married James Newton Barnett; James T. married Mollie A. Antalisa died in 1862, just after Thomas entered the Confederate Army. Antalisa's sister Narcissus cared for the children while Thomas fought in the Civil War. After the war, Thomas married Narcissus (Thomas and Narcissus had five children: Ezekiel Dempsey married Sarah C. Sanders, Lyna Ann Paralee married Charles H. Phillips, Hiram Wilburn married Melissa A. Barnett, Zora Cordilia married John David Wilson, and Nancy Alice married Pearce Phillips. After the death of Narcissus, Thomas married a third time to a widow, Sarah Busby. Thomas died August 24, 1904.
EZEKIEL DEMPSEY DAVIS, son of Thomas Wilburn Davis, was born June 9, 1867. He married Sarah Caroline Sanders, daughter of J.R. (Jake) and Annie McAdams Sanders. Dempsey and Caroline had ten children: Jacob Alvin, Mary Lee D. Alien, John Wilburn Davis, Thomas Nathaniel (Nat) Davis, Annie D. Griffen, Simmie Davis, James Euel Davis, Lance D. Sanders, Francis D. Maize, and Cora Davis. Dempsey was a schoolteacher and later became a blacksmith.
THOMAS NATHANIEL "NAT" DAVIS, son of Ezekiel Dempsey Davis, (1896) married Katie Ola (Bud) Watts. Nat was a coal miner all of his working years, having started at the age of nine at Old Victory Mine. Besides Victory he worked at Kershaw, No. 10 and in most all of the Alabama By-Products mines in this area. During this time he helped connect Ruby Mine and Barney Mine. "Nat" and "Bud" were married at the residence of Judge J.A. Thomas. They built their home on Red Star Hill and reared six children: Thomas B. married Jus tine Gray. They had one daughter, Diane D. Browning-, and one grandson, Billy Jack. George Nathaniel remained a bachelor. Sarah
Kate Davis married Walter H. "Junior" Park. They had one daughter, Myra Rose P. Rouse, and one grandson, Lloyd Neal Rouse Jr. Mary Helen married John Henry Spradling. They had one daughter, Jo Helen "Jo Jo." Jimmie Lee "Sonny" married Mary Frances Reed. They had two daughters, Lori Leigh D. Wallace and Kelly Lynn. William Ray married Virginia Ann Cole. They had two daughters, Joy Nell and Andra Katie.
2. DANIEL DAVIS, second son of
James M. Davis, married Louisa Hoover. (Louisa was born in Armenia; saw her mother killed in a massacre, probably in a war between Russia and Persia. Her father escaped with Louisa and her brother and came to the United States on a cattle boat. Louisa was indentured to the family of a physician named Hoover in South Carolina. Daniel met and married her there and brought her back to Dora to live. She outlived her husband by more than twenty years and continued to run the farm with her children's help after Daniel died. Thus she was one of the few women of her time with private property of her own. She was affectionately known as "Aunt Louisa".) Daniel and Louisa had twelve children: John, Josiah, Martin, Joan, Jake, Bill, Mary, Sarah, Lucinda, Jane, Martha—married Burwell B. Posten, and James Wesley—married Sarah Elizabeth Snow.
JAMES WESLEY DAVIS, son of Daniel and Louisa, was born in 1841. James Wesley married Sarah Elizabeth Snow, daughter of the Reverend William Henry Snow and Mary Ann Chilton Snow. On September 21, 1861, he enlisted at Jasper as a private in Company I, Fiftieth Alabama Infantry, under Captain B.M. Long. He was wounded in Atlanta on May 12, 1864, and after recovering from this wound he re-enlisted in Company G, Fifty-sixth Alabama Calvary, and served until the close of the war. (There is an interesting story told about his re-enlistment. After he was wounded in the battle of Atlanta, he went home where he found his brother Martin to be AWOL and in danger of getting shot as a deserter. Their mother was so ashamed of Martin that she made James Wesley go back and fight in his place. James Wesley re-enlisted under Martin's name and finished
the war as Martin Davis. Later Martin collected a pension on James' service.) James Wesley and Sarah Elizabeth had eight children: Matilda Norman, Daniel Monroe, Mary Angeline, Martha M., Lucy L., Queen Esther Belle, Henry Etta, and James Grover. Both James Wesley and Sarah are buried at Davis cemetery in Dora.
DR. DANIEL MONROE DAVIS, oldest child of James Wesley and .Sarah Elizabeth, was born in 1866. Daniel was the first teacher at "Hard Bargain School." Starting his medical career as early as 1889, his entire life was spent in Walker County and vicinity with the exception of a
short period of medical practice in Texas. Daniel was graduated from Southern Medical College in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1889 and The Bellvue School of Medicine in. New York in 1893. He was married to Laura Richbourg, daughter of (Mrs. Jim Armstrong. Dr. Daniel usually worked as a company doctor for mining companies; however, he was a doctor in Cordova for a while. Dr. Daniel and Laura Davis had eleven children: Florine married Kelly Harris, no children. John and Alice died in infancy. Henry married Willie DeWeese. They had one daughter and four grandchildren. Mary married Otis Smith, two children. George married Josephine Oscello, two children. Sarah married Raymond Wilkenson. They had two children and six grandchildren. James married Mary Maynard, no children. Samuel Richbourg married Florine Cunningham and had three children: Laura Lee Hudson, Margaret Parker, and Daniel, and five grandchildren: Mike Hudson, Rhonda Hudson, Linda Kay Parker Spears, Nicky Davis, and Jennifer Davis. Louise married Wilburn Cunningham. They had three children: Hugh Lee, 'Laura Sue Tucker, and Harvey Wilburn, and four grandchildren: Bobbi Sue Tucker, Wilburn Lee Cunningham, Pamela Sue Cunningham, and Laura Elaine Cunningham. Francis D. Wood Cousins had one son and two grandchildren.
MATILDA NORMAN DAVIS SINGLETON, daughter of James Wesley Davis, was born in 1876.
Although her father didn't encour age education for women, she completed one year at Mississippi
Female College in Hattiesburg, then taught school for a while at Barney. She married Edmund Singleton, originally from England, in 1898. Edmund had come to Dora to purchase coal mining mineral rights from Matilda's father. They lived a short time in Jasper, but Edmund was away a lot
and soon his wife moved back to her family home, vowing never to leave.
Edmund's job as an auditor with the Pratt Coal Company gave him reason to be absent a great deal, so Matilda sold milk, butter, and eggs to supplement their income. Edmund and Matilda had five children: Edmund Davis married Virginia Lee
Poe, no children; Edith Elizabeth; Louise Bessie married Lawrence Norberg, two children and four
grandchildren; James Wesley married Lucille Cunningham, two children: James and Elizabeth and two grandchildren: Iris and Melissa; Margaret Hannah married Herbert Joseph Kuntz, five children, several grandchildren.
NOTE: This information comes from the Dora Centennial 1886 to 1986 Book