Edward Winfield Davis was born in Stanly County, North Carolina on December 3, 1811 and died on October 30, 1882. The Davis Plantation was located on the Rocky River, which forms the border with Anson County and during the time Uncle Neddy, as I will refer to him, was born, it was still considered Montgomery County. It did not become Stanly until 1841 and Neddy was one of the men to sign the petition to make "West PeeDee" its own county, due to the danger of crossing the Yadkin/PeeDee River, which forms the Eastern boundary of Stanly County and now separates it from Montgomery.
Neddy was the third son of Job Davis and seventh child of Sarah Winfield Howell Davis. The Davis family were Virginians, of Welsh decent and Methodist extraction. He had 3 older half-brothers, Peter Howell, John W. Howell, and Jordan Howell and one half-sister Charlotte Howell, children of his mother's first husband Richard Howell, and 3 full brothers Henry Davis (1806), James M. Davis (1808) and his only younter brother Marriott Freeman Davis (1815). Sarah had had a heavy hand in the naming of her children. She was the daughter of Peter and Charlotte Freeman Winfield. Neddy was the name sake of her paternal grandfather, Edward Wingfield. The Winfields dropped the 'g' after migrating to North Carolina.
E. W. Davis was the second sheriff of Stanly County. I remember somewhere having seen a portrait of him many years ago. I have yet to rediscover this portrait. I remember him being quite handsome and distinguished, tall and straight. His hair appearing brunette, but not dark in color. Being a black and white photo, I am judging it to be a sandy light brown. He wore a nearly handlebar moustache, but no other facial hair. He married late in life to Mary Rebecca Hathcock and fathered 5 children, one daughter Sarah Hortense Davis, his firstborn, and 4 sons, Thomas Ashe Davis, John Teeter Davis, Edward T Davis and Jaspar. Jaspar only lived one year and E. T. Davis died at age 15. Hortense, T. A. and Jay were the 3 children who outlived their father. Hortense died a young woman, but did marry and have one daughter Ouissa Stewart Hill. I have discovered that Ouissa is the lady in the article below identified as Mrs. Fred Hill.
In Job Davis's will, he refers to his son as Neddy, so this must be the name his family called him. As he was my great, great, great Uncle, I will always think of him as Uncle Neddy.
Mrs. Joe Holt is Carrie Davis Holt and Mrs Ed Thompson is Becky Davis Thompson, sisters of my Great-Grandfather, Will Davis.
The following is an article published in the Stanly News and Press and in the Albemarle Bicentenial Book circa 1950.
SCGS JOURNAL, 1,2 - 2
EDWARD JINFIELD DAVIS, SECOND SHERIFF OF STANLY COUNTY
-Mrs. G.B.D. Reynolds
The second sheriff of Stanly County, Edward Winfield Davis, entered upon his
duties of High Sheriff of the county in 1842, as proven by the tax receipts in
posession of the Stanly County Historical Society.
The exact procedure of the election by the court, composed of the magistrates
of the county and recorded in the court minutes, has not as yet come to light.
Edward Winfield Davis was thirty-one years of age when assuming the duties
as sheriff - a most eligible bachelor, as ages ran for bachelorhood back for a
hundred years or more - and a colonel in the county Militia. It is easy to
imagine the attention he attracted, both at the local muster grounds and at the
general county musters. The new sheriff had already lived through the most
important period of the new nation~ the second war with England, as a very young
lad. It is safe to say that he was impressed by the real soldier levies from the
western part of the state, marching to the camp near Wadesboro, as reserves for
defense of Wilmington or Charleston against the British.
He had heard the right of the local families to take their slaves with them
when moving to western territory discussed in bitter terms. He was aware that two
political parties were in the making for the new county, and might have been a
factor in the division of Stanly from Montgomery.
Edward Winfield Davis was born December 3, 1811, son of Job and Sarah Davis,
who came from Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and settled in the part of Montgomery
county along the Rocky River which later became Stanly. i It is easy to surmise
that his mother was Sarah Winfield before marriage, and belonged to that prominent
early family of settlers who came from the same section and became their close
neighbors, hence she named her eldest child for her own family. Counting a man's
wealth, according to that time, in acres of land, sons, and. slaves, the Job Davis
family was one of the new county's rich farmers with hundreds of acres of fine
land on Rocky River, a well established mill near the river ford at the crossing
of the old Winfield road. The sons numbered four at manhood, with slaves not
divided at.. their mother's death in 1856, numbering 63, named and ranged in valuation
from $300 to $900 each.'
The inventory of the personal property included seven beds, bedsteads, and
furnishings, walnut bureaus, cupboards, walnut desk, paipted chests, one large and
two small looking-glasses, clock, folding table, tea pots, sugar bowls, pink
flowered bowls, coffee canisters, and many other items of interest.
The following· books were listed - one large family BIBLE, . two volumes WESLEY'S
NOTES, one volume JUSTICE, one volume LIFE OF GARRISON, one volume WATSON by Wesley,
one volume FAMILY ADVISOR, one volume LIFE OF BENJAMIN ABBOT, one volume EXPERIENCE
OF METHODIST PREACHERS, one . volume METHODIST DISCIPLINE, two voLumes ~'ffiSLEY' S
SERIvIONS, one WALKENE DICTIONARY, one hymn book, one testament. Judging.from the
above library, the Davis family was of the pioneer Methodist faith and there is
little surprise that four acres of land at the old meeting house and graveyard near
his home should be excepted forever. .
Today the old graveyard, like many others, is neglected and crowded to one
side of the excepted four acres with a huddle of substantial marble tombstones, to
tell the casual visitor a few facts of those who played a partin making local - 3 - SCGS JOURNAL, 1,2
history. Sleeping near in the same graveyard to the old Marster and Mistress are
long rows of their faithful slaves, with graves marked by native rocks.
The Arbor for the religious services is remembered by few of the older people.
The small meeting house, with a chimney and fireplace, became a School house and is
easily located by former students by the old-chimney foundation. The necessary
spring at the foot of the steep hill sends a stream of pure water into Rocky River.
The mill and the old paternal home Tdhich continued as the home of Edward Winfield
Davis aftef his marriage, late in life, to Rebecca Hathcock, have all disappeared.
His inscription on the tombstone says, "Col. E.W. Davis, Born December 11,1811,
Died October 30, 1882. As a citizen he was faithful and just. As a husband and
father he was kind and affectionate."
from STANLY NEWS AND PRESS, April 15, 1950
There were a number of mistakes in this article, one being that E.W. Davis was the oldest son, when actually, he was the next to the youngest of 8 for Sarah and 4 for Job. There was only one daughter in the bunch, Charlotte, who would marry Rev. Levi Stancill and migrate to Newton County, Georgia.