Arthur Jefferson Davis

An Early Yoakum County Pioneer



Eva Lena Farnsworth’s family settled in Limestone County, Texas, after their move to Texas from Tennessee. The Farnsworth family had its roots in Loudoun County, Virginia, where Lena’s ancestor, Henry Farnsworth, served in the Revolutionary War. George Washington Farnsworth, Lena’s father, moved to Floyd County in the Texas Panhandle but he had an interest in the newly formed Yoakum County and bought land there when the county was first being settled.

Arthur Jefferson Davis’ ancestry also comes from the southern part of the United States. His father, Caleb Johnson Davis was born in Arkansas and his mother, Sarah Elizabeth Williams, came from Mississippi. Arthur’s paternal grandparents were John Alvin Davis and Lucy Caroline Duvall and his Great Grandparents were Capt. Caleb Davis and Elizabeth Tacket.

On March 1, 1906, Arthur J Davis married Eva Lena Farnsworth in Floyd County Texas. Arthur and Lena hitched up their horses to the wagon with all their belongings and towed their buggy behind the wagon. They headed for the land that was given to them by Lena's father, G W Farnsworth, located about seven miles southwest of Plains. They lived in a half dugout for awhile. Arthur did freighting from Canyon, Seagraves and Big Spring, hauling lumber and other supplies for ranchers and business places in town. He spread his roll of bedding at night under the stars in heaven and this was his bedroom. He carried his cooking supplies in his chuck box.

Arthur was born March 27, 1881, in Erath County Texas. Lena was born May 11, 1884, at Armour, Limestone County Texas. They were stock farmers and like most all the families in the area were in the same boat, poor, but with a loving family life and enough to eat, since they raised most of their food. The kids were happy for Saturday to come because they could take eggs, milk and butter to Plains and exchange it for flour, sugar or whatever was needed, and the treat of an ice cream cone, "sody" pop or a lemon stick candy.

The name of Arthur Jefferson Davis is found on the 1917-1918 Civilian Registration Cards for Yoakum County. Many young men of the county registered for this draft. As a family man, Arthur registered but was not called to go to war. He served as a county commissioner for Precinct No. 2 for one term and supervised construction of roads and a water works system.

Lena and Arthur were the proud parents of three children: George Wilburn Davis who was born 6 Dec 1909 in Yoakum County and died in Clovis, New Mexico, in 1986. He married Frances Dickson. Vera Estelle Davis was born 2 Jan 1913 in Yoakum County and died 28 Mar 1980. She was a lifetime resident of the county and married Leonard Orville Smith on May 31, 1935. Sallye Ruth Davis was born 2 Oct 1916 in Yoakum County and married Lynn Shoemaker on 19 Sep 1938. She and Lynn lived on the West Coast until about 1980 when they returned to West Texas. Lynn died in 1987. Sallye Ruth is a resident of Plains and one who remembers well the history of the county which her parents called home from the earliest years. Arthur and Lena died in 1948 within 6 weeks of each other. They had a full life working and raising their family.

(Sources: Sallye Ruth Davis Shoemaker; “History of Floyd County, Texas” “Yoakum County From Sod to 1986”; “Family History & Memories” by Ethel Davis Perkins Lytle; genealogy database of James R. Webb)

Copyright 2003 © Shirley D. Webb

Arthur Davis Family Photos
This page was last updated on 05/27/2016