Sunday, July 29, 2012


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.
E.W. Davis and Rebecca Hathcock marriage license. In 1868, Neddy was 57. Rebecca was only 18, having been born in 1850.

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 ­
-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.

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