Davis family lived near county line

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 16, 2002

The Jasper Horrie Davis family primarily lived near the border of Covington County along the line that separated Butler and Conecuh Counties. Actually, members of this family were allowed to choose which of the latter two counties they wished to declare as their county of residence for voting purposes and such. Several of Jasper's children and their descendants settled in Covington County.

The names of Jasper's parents are not known, but it is believed that he was born in Alabama. The first record of him to date in Alabama is the 1860 Census of Butler County. At the time he was 17 years of age and residing in the household of Elizabeth Adams and Jane Howell. Also in the home was an E. Davis, 24 years old, who was probably a sister to Jasper. There was a 51-year-old male living nearby in the household of N. Berry, a 27-year-old woman with her young son. Also, residing near these families were Elizabeth "Bette" Davis, a sister to Jasper, and her husband, Bradley D. Davis, son of Harriett Davis.

Two years later, in 1862, Jasper and Bradley D. Davis enlisted in the same Confederate Regiment, Co. B, 17th Alabama Infantry. Jasper's records indicate he enrolled at South Butler and served until the end of the war at which time he was paroled at Montgomery on June 7, 1865. Unfortunately, Bradley died during the war, which left his young wife a widow.

Soon after returning from the war, Jasper was married to Amanda "Mandy" Adams, daughter of Benjamin and Caroline Adams of Covington County. They had at least two children, Richard Franklin and James Leonard whose families are outlined below. In a document dated in 1889, Jasper mentions having three children, but there were only two recorded in the 1890 census. In 1889, his residence was recorded as Urbanity in Conecuh County.

Jasper's sister, Elizabeth J. "Bette" Davis, was born in 1846 and was married to Bradley L. Davis in 1859 at a young age. They had two infants who died in infancy. After Bradley's death during the war, Bette was later married to Andrew Jackson Lee. This second husband also served during the War Between the States as a member of Company A, 38th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Fortunately, he survived the war even though he was taken prisoner during the Battle of Nashville and taken to Camp Chase. In 1871, Bette and Andrew had a daughter, Mary Emma Lee, who married in 1891 Marion Hugh Barrington, son of Marion and Ann Barrington.

Jasper's son, Richard Franklin, was born in Alabama in 1866. He was married first to Sarah Melinda Lee, daughter of William Lunsford and Sarah Melinda (Beck) Lee. Sarah was born in 1874 in Covington County, and the couple married circa 1892. They had the following 12 children during their 18 years of marriage before Sarah's death in 1911: Infant, b.&d. 1892; Ola Mae, b. 1894, d.1964, m. Ernest Eugene Gilmore; Thomas Brown, b. 1896, d. 1980, m. (1) Lois Clyde Jones (2) Alma Stokes; James Elvin, b. 1897, d. 1976, m. Bessie Hazel Beal; Carrie Olive, b. 1899, d. 1982, m. Leonard Drake; Richard Clarence, b.&d. 1901; Horrie Levander, b. 1902, d. 1984, m. Mildred Christine Vickery; Leila Belle, b. 1904, d. 1988, m. Edward Alton Tillery; Mamie, b.&d. 1906; Alma Lena, b. 1907, after 2001; m. Marion Navaroo Lloyd; Amanda Evie, b. 1909, d. 1994, m. Julius William Robinson; and Clarence.

Richard F. was married second to Rosie Lee Williamson. They had two daughters: Grace, b. 1915, m. James Ottis Bozeman; and Lenera. Richard lived to be 91 years of age. At his death in 1957, he was buried in the Bushfield Cemetery next to the Antioch Primitive Church, located in the northwest corner of Covington County.

Jasper's son, James Leonard, was born in 1869, and grew to be a tall and large man. He stood about six feet, three inches tall and weighed about 225 pounds. In contrast, his wife, Minnie Lee, was a very petite woman with a very quiet, pleasant disposition. Minnie, born in 1879, was the daughter of James and Mary Alice (Brown) Alexander. James Leonard and Minnie were married in 1892.

They had the following 15 children: Two infants who died in infancy; Ora, b. 1894, d. 1916 of Typhoid fever; Albert, b. 1896, d. 1974, m. Carrie Kervin; Marvin or Martin V., b.&d. 1897; Mary Belle, b. 1899, d. 1988, m. Elder Clint G. Myers; James Aubrey, b. 1901, d. 1919 of Typhoid fever; Lena Mae, b.&d. 1903; Ida Mae, b. 1904, d. 1984, m. Hillary Benjamin Hester; Clifford, b.&d. 1906; Jasper Newton, b. 1908, d. 1971, m. Sallie Maude Cook; Claude Casey, b. 1910, d. 1955, m. Lucille Loftin; Vera Lois, b. 1914, d. 1997, m. Grady Lee Browder; Era Victoria, b. 1917, d. 1992, m. (1) Julian Ulm, son of Henry and Nellie Ulm (2) Thomas J. "Jack" Gossett; and John Max, b. 1918, d. 1997, m. Doris Bennett.

During their later years, James and Minnie lived in a railroad box car, which had been converted into a house, located next door to their son, Albert Davis, in Red Level. They also lived a while with their son, John Max, who resided next door to the Antioch Primitive Baptist Church and Bushfield Cemetery in the northwest corner of Covington County. At their deaths, James and Minnie were buried in the Bushfield Cemetery where so many of their relatives have been buried.

There are many descendants of the above families who continue to reside in this county. One is Nell Hester Stuart, daughter of Hillary Benjamin and Ida Mae (Davis) Hester, who became the recipient of James Leonard's Bible. Her uncle, John M. Davis, passed it on to her.

Another descendant, James "Jim" Davis, a resident of Celebration, Florida, has done extensive family research, which he allowed to be used for this column. Appreciation is expressed to him and all those in the family who have contributed toward this family's genealogy.

Anyone who might have corrections or additions to above is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at Route 9, Box 97, Andalusia, AL 36420 or Email: chthom@alaweb.com Information on the other Davis family lines in Covington County is particularly desired, and any help would be greatly appreciated.


Looking for family of Samuel Brown (born 1822) and Caroline Isabella Andress Carroll of Pike Co. Would appreciate any information, photos, especially of one son, Marshall Ellis Carroll born 1852, (married to Ida Leny Jackson, first) who disappeared after 1880. Contact terryalovett@hotmail.com or Terry Lovett, P. O. Box 131, Bushnell, Fla. 33513 (352) 793-4313


The annual Thomasson Traces Family Reunion is scheduled for Saturday, August 24, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Cedar Grove Church of Christ Fellowship Hall, located on the Brooklyn Road. All Thomasson relatives and friends are encouraged to attend and bring a covered dish dinner. All paper goods and ice will be furnished.

The annual Foley Family Reunion will be held on Saturday, August 24, beginning at 10 a.m. at Rob and Lucille Foley's cabin near Danley's Crossroads. All relatives and friends are encouraged to attend and bring a covered dish.