This is a copy of the Petition to sell Lands of Edward Winfield Davis, father of Sarah Hortense Davis Stewart, who has been the latest Mystery I've been in pursuit of. Old documents do not scan well. Some of the writing is faint, and the scanner will pick up only bits and pieces of it. Therefore, transcription is the best way for me to deal with this problem. Edward Winfield Davis was born in 1811 and died in 1882. He was the third son of Job Davis and the seventh child of Sarah Winfield Howell Davis. He was a merchant, a gentleman farmer, a statesman, a sheriff and advocate. I have found many instances of E.W. Davis serving as the administrator of estates of relatives and neighbors, filing law suits for widows and orphans in the community to ensure their financial stability and loaning money to those in need. For all the good that Neddy Davis did, I have found many instances in where friends and family literally screwed him over. The distinguished Col. E. W. Davis found himself, despite his once great wealth, enormous land holdings and bushels of good will, in debt. Even his father, Job Davis, in his will, repaid Neddy for loans he had out to his n'er-do-well older brother Henry, my direct ancestor.
James M Redwine (Business partner and best friend). Admin. of Ed W. Davis (loop-de-loop)
Hortense Davis (Sarah Hortense, Thomas A. and John Teeter, the surviving children. Edward and Jaspar died as small children).
Thomas Ashe Davis + Jay T. Davis heirs at law of E. W. Davis and M. F. Davis (Marriott Freeman Davis his younger brother) and Wilson P. Turner (brother-in-law of M. F. Davis) + William H. Watkins + John Simpson. (Relative of Green Wesley Simpson).
Petition to sell land to pay debts, To the Supreme Court of Stanly County II The Petition of James M. Redwine as administrator of Edward W. Davis would respectfully show that on the third day of November 1882 letter of administration even duly granted to your petitioners by the Probate Court of Stanly County and he at once entered upon the discharge of his duties as such.
II II That the personal estate of said Edward W Davis is worth about eleven hundred and seventy one Dollars ($1171) which has been exhausted in the laying off of the widows year allowance in the costs of administration etc.
II II II That there are outstanding debts against said estate amounting to almost two thousand five hundred dollars, according to his best information as I believe.
II IV That at the time of his death he the said Ed W Davis did seize of the farming tract of land amongst others (Trivt?)
1st tract known as the Shelby Carpenter lands in said county adjoining the lands of David W Bennett and others containing 68 acres more or less, on the waters of Ugly Creek valued at about 3 dollars per acres
Map of South Stanly
2nd tract known as the Wiley Hudson lands adjoining the lands of Margaret Lowder and others containing about three hundred and fifty acrces and valued at three dollars per acre.
3rd tract known as the James Upchurch place adjoining the lands of George Thompson and others containing one hundred and seven acres and valued at about three dollars per acre.
4th tract known as the Jim Ross lands adjoining the lands of Ferdinand Foreman and others containing one hundred and fifty-one acres more of less valued at three dollars per acre. (Note: there are several lawsuits between members of the Davis family and Ferdinand Foreman, particularly E. W. Davis and his nephew, my greatgrandfathers father, H. H. Davis. Seems Mr. Foreman had a tendancy to expand his crops on to his neighbors property. The Jim Ross lands were lands that James Ross had purchased from Elizabeth Murray, the widow of Jesse Murray back in the late 1850's after she became insolvent. The Murrays were also ancestors of mine.
5th tract known as the Allen Carpenter lands adjoining the lands of John Biles and others containing 62 acres more or less and valued at three dollars per acre.
6th tract known as the Rocky River Springs tract adjoining the lands of C. C. Foreman and others containing 30 and one fourth acres valued at about 4 dollars per acre. (Note: The Rocky River Springs were a resort in those days, people coming from afar for the rumored health benefits.)
7th tract known as the Austin Mill onto on Rocky River adjoining the lands of E. W. Davis and others containing 12 acres valued at about 5 dollars per acre.
8th tract his own undivided third interest in a tract of land known as the Brown lands containing one hundred and thirteen acres adjoining the lands of E. W. Davis and others and valued at about two dollars per acre.
9th tract known as the Arnold Watkin lands adjoining the lands of Arthur D Dunn and others containing about two hundred acres valued at two dollars per acre. Second Arnold Watkins tract adjoining the lands of John Threadgill and others containing 50 acres more or less worth about two dollars per acre. 3rd W 10th tract adjoining the lands of John Threadgill and others containing 50 acres more or less valued at two dollars per acre and known as the Floyd lands No 1. (The Floyds were cousins of the Davis family and was whom Job Davis, the Stanly County Davis patriarch traveled from Mecklenburg County with nearly 100 years prior to this division.)
11th tract adjoining John Threadgill and others containing 50 acres more or less and known as the James Wilkerson place valued at about 2 dollars per acre.
12th tract known as the Perry place in the county of Anson containing 60 acres more or less valued at 3 dollars per acre.
13th tract known as his undivided fourth interest in the John Threadgill Mill lands and Mill in the county of Anson adjoining the lands of F. Flake and others containing ninety one acres more or less and valued at about five dollars per acre.
14th tract known as his undivided 2/3 interest of the Davis Mill site in the counties of Stanly and Anson containing 10 acres more or less.
15th tract know as the Merriott F Davis home place containing Four Hundred acres more or less adjoining the lands of Msr. E. W. Davis and others valued at about three dollars per acre and containing all the lands included and mentioned in a deed from Merriot F. Davis to Wilson P Turner.
16th tract known as the Nash lands adjoining the lands of George Hinson and others containing two hundred acres more or less valued at two dollars per acre.
17th tract known as E. W. Davis Big Surry lands containing five hundred and forty one acres valued at about two dollars per acre.
18th tract known as the Bile place containing 100 acres more or less adjoining the lands of Hosea Hinson and others and known as the place where on John Simpson now lives valued at about two dollars per acre (this part added in smaller script) what Deft Simpson entered into possession under one J. H Hinson who was a tenant of E. W. Davis.
IV. That said lands descended to his children viz Hortense Davis, Thomas Ashe Davis and Jay T. Davis who are infants of tender years and reside with their mother in said County of Stanly and them no regular guardian. (Soon after H. H. Davis, favored nephew of E. W. Davis is appointed guardian)
IVII That the defendant W. H. G. Watkins is in possession of the 9th tract of land mentioned in this petition and wrongfully with over possession there of.
IVIII That the defendant M. F. Davis is in possession of the 15th tract of land mentioned in these proceedings and wrongfully has the same.
That a sale of said lands is necessary to pay off the indebtedness of said estate. Wherefore your petitioners pray the County for a Decree to sell said lands and for such other + further relief to be just and reasonable.
* 19 tract to commence at end of number 4 see mark at paragraph number 5
19th tract known as the Nellie McIntyre place adjoining into Rocky River Springs tract, C. Aldridge and others containing 38 acres more or less valued at about $2.00 an acre. (Nellie McIntyre is one of the children of Stokes McIntyre and Elizabeth Murray McIntyre and C. Aldridge is Caleb Aldridge, another ancestor of mine whose granddaughter marries H. H. Davis, Julina Aldridge, neice of Elizabeth M. McIntyre).
20th tract known as the Patsy Murray tract adjoining George Hinson, the "Big Survey" lands and others containing 75 acres more or less valued at about $1.50 per acre. (Patsey Murray is the widow of Benjamin Murray, son of Jesse Murray, brother of Elizabeth M. McIntyre and Priscilla M. Aldridge).
21st tract known as the "Old Spencer" on Doc Carpenter's place where Ben Davis now lives, adjoining M. F. Davis lands, homeplace, Big Survey and others. Containing about 200 acres valued at about $1.00 per acre.
This amendment put in by leave of the county
A. C. Freeman C. S. C. (A. C. Freeman a distant relative from the Freemans who migrated from Viriginia in the 1780's with the Winfields. Charlotte Freeman Winfield was the mother of Sarah Winfield Davis and grandmother of E. W. Davis)
That ends prays the court that summons every open(?) to said Defendants according to law. + your Petitioners as in duty bound ever pray ie
Pemberton and Redwine attys.
James M Redwine being duty sworn says that the facts set forth in the foregoing Petition of his knowledge are true those stated on belief + information he believes to be true.
Sworn and subcribed J. M Redwine Admin.
A.C. Freeman CJC
Close up of map showing Davis Ford and Carpenter Ford.
As you can tell by the descriptions, E. W. Davis had been in possession of a substantial amount of property. An entire pennisula and far up into the county to Rocky River springs. Hortense would have been considered a young lady of means when William R Stewart married her. I have yet to discover the cause of her death or the course William R Stewart took afterwards. He evidently did not love her or their daughter Ouisa, who I recently discovered was raised by her grandmother Rebecca after her mother's death. I am still waiting on documents, Hortense's estate settlement, the physical copies of the divorce papers, and anything involving Kitty Davis, Hortense's second cousin, daughter of Benjamin Franklin Davis and mistress of William R Stewart.