Pioneer - The Davis Family of Reagor Springs

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The Davis Family of Reagor Springs

"Reclaiming History"

Contributed by Jean Caddel


A century ago, George William Davis and his wife, Jane Bell O'Brian Davis, moved with their 10 children from Georgia to Texas.

Their first home was in Avalon where their daughter, Etta, died and was buried. Then they moved on to Ellis County, where Davis and his brother, Barto Davis, purchased 97 acres of land in the Reagor Springs community. Within that property was one acre already conveyed for a cemetery in 1891.

The Davises went about their lives, raising their children and their crops in the hot Texas sun and winds.

Mrs. Davis passed away when she was 71, and her husband died six years later at age 79. They were buried in the Richardson Reagor Springs cemetery located in the middle of their property.

Both husband and wife died in the middle of the Depression, a time when hard-earned money bought only the necessities, not luxuries like tombstones. As the years passed, their children and grandchildren were buried in the home cemetery, and like their ancestors, their graves also went unmarked and eventually, the old cemetery was somewhat forgotten. Davis descendants knew it was there, but getting to it became so time consuming that it was neglected.

In July of 1992, the Davises held their annual family reunion in Reagor Springs. Mrs. David F. Stewart, of Waco, granddaughter of George and Jane, made a trip to the cemetery ahead of time. She could see the cemetery from Pigg Road and Highway 287, but wasn't prepared for what the up-close view would be. Everything was grown up and you could barely read some markers.

Records show at least 20 other people buried there. That's how many markers have been located. The last names include Alewine, Bolton, Duvall, Freeman, Jackson, Linville, Reagor, Reed, Richardson, Robinson, Trice & Wylie.

They found George Davis' grave, and knew she would be to his right. Others they knew of -  but had no idea where the graves were located,  Those known were Judy and Denver Davis, James and FlossieGresham  and Joel Davis.

Some of the Davis offspring wanted to preserve the history of their ancestors, so 29 cousins decided to give the old graveyard a facelift. Before clearing away the brush and debris, they first purchased tombstones for deceased relatives, with all the cousins pitching in and bought two - one for Jane and George, and one for the other Davises buried there in an unknown spot with the heading, "In Memory of Graves unmarked."

Mrs. Stewart said she has no memory of her grandmother, and the memory of her grandfather is sketchy. What she does remember is his giving her a plate dated 1776 that had been in the family for generations. That leads her to believe in his appreciatin of the past and the need to preserve it. "I can't ask him, of course, but I think he'd like us doing this, don't you?"

Condensed from Somewhere in Tme, "Waco Couple find History in Reagor Springs," Waxahachie Daily Light, Feb. 28, 1993.


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