Robert Davis - Educator
from This Was Ellis County
A publication of the Junior Historians,
Waxahachie High School, 1979
By Joel Chandler
Robert Davis, longtime educator, was born in Rice, Texas on August 18, 1879. His family moved to Waxahachie in the early 1880's when he was a small boy. Mr. and Mrs. Martin V. Davis, his parents, made their home at 611 East Main Street. This home has since been torn down and another house built there.
Robert grew up in Waxahachie and graduated in the first class after Oak Lawn became a high school in 1897. He attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania on a scholarship and graduated from that college in 1901.
Davis and his wife Mary were parents of five children-daughters, Florence and Robbie, and sons Carroll, Clarence and Martin. Upon Mary's death, Davis married Lucille Graham in June of 1926. Lucille was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Graham who had moved to Waxahachie in 1923 from Hill County to live on a farm on what is now Graham Street. Robert and Lucille built their home, which was the first constructed on Perry Street. That home still stands at 710 Perry. Wardell Howard, who is the husband of Robbie, purchased it.
Lucille Davis taught forty years at the Oak Lawn School in Waxahachie. Most of that time she taught in the seventh grade and was considered a very strict, but a very good teacher. Lucille and Robert reared the five children after Mary's death. Lucille, as was her husband, was a member of the Joshua Chapel A.M.E. Church in Waxahachie. At the church she served as superintendent of the Sunday school for thirty-six years. She was also a member of the Eastern Star.
Davis, as an educator, was both a teacher and an administrator. He taught in Oak Lawn School and for a short time was the principal there, however, most of his teaching career took place in Hill County. He served as a principal at Hubbard and was in that position at the time of his retirement. For many years, in addition to his teaching, Davis was a funeral director for the Henry James Funeral Home in Waxahachie. He served as a steward at Joshua Chapel and was a member of the Knights of Pythias Lodge and the Odd Fellows Lodge. Davis died in August of 1956.
Robert and Lucille Davis believed that their children should receive the values that college education had to offer. During the depression years, they made sacrifices in order to help provide their children with these educations.
Daughter Florence (Morgan) attended Prairie View College and earned her bachelor and master's degrees in education. She taught in the Texas public schools for many years and now lives in Jasper, Texas.
Clarence attended Prairie View College for three and a half years, but terminated his college work a few semester hours short of earning his degree in industrial education. He chose a career in carpentry.
Carroll graduated from Fisk University with a degree in economics and at the present time is a building contractor in Waxahachie.
Robbie (Howard) attended Prairie View College and graduated with a degree in home economics from Paul Quinn College in Waco. She taught in several small schools and the Waxahachie schools until her retirement several years ago. She still resides in Waxahachie.
Martin earned his bachelor's degree in music from Huston-Tillotson in Austin. After World War II he attained the master's degree at Texas Christian University. During his college days and after military service, he played trumpet in dance bands both in Austin and the New York-Philadelphia areas. He is now a teacher in the Waxahachie Public Schools.
Many people in Waxahachie recall fond memories of Robert and Lucille Davis as their former teachers.