EARL DAVIS

This Stewart County gentleman was born March 12, 1916 in Chester  
County Tennessee; he was the youngest of three children and was named  
for his mother’s two favorite brothers. He grew up in the small town  
of Middleton in western Tennessee and was twenty-five years old when  
the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

It was a quiet Sunday morning and no one expected such a tragedy was  
going to occur; he was residing at Union University in Jackson,  
Tennessee where he studied a quarter and then worked a quarter to pay  
his expenses.  He believed that he was probably too old to be inducted  
and even though he was a pre-Med student, he was indeed drafted into  
the United States Army.

He met the love of his life and future wife during the summer of 1942  
while he was a soldier in training at Ft. Benning.  They began to  
court and kept the romance alive through letters that they exchanged  
during the entire campaign known as World War II.

They became a beloved couple at First Baptist Church in Richland but  
before I divulge his identity, let me tell you a few more facts about  
his background.  During the war he served as a drill sergeant and was  
subsequently assigned overseas to a bread baking unit.  Because needed  
supplies were blocked for months, the soldiers became wasted away and  
malnourished.  Finally, when the Allies overcame, and World War II  
came to an end, he and his fellow soldiers were at long last brought  
home from the South Pacific.

The following spring he traveled to the Kappa Delta house at the  
University of Georgia and proposed marriage to the girl that he had  
loved since the day they met.  They were married in July of 1946 in  
Edison, Georgia, and according to one of their daughters, they did  
their part to start the “baby boom”.  They spent their honeymoon at  
the Windsor Hotel in Americus where years later, they celebrated their  
golden wedding anniversary.

He never became a doctor, he thought he was too old to spend that many  
more years in college but he did complete his master’s degree in  
agriculture at the University of Mississippi and worked as a teacher  
and with a county farm agency until his wife requested to live closer  
to her mother.  They moved onto a farm near Richland where he managed  
the local Purina feed store and raised 50,000 chicken biddies to  
adulthood in nine week intervals.

When the poultry market took a downturn, he then became Richland’s one  
and only mailman.  Earl Davis and Gwen Merritt Davis were the proud  
parents of six daughters and raised their girls while teaching Sunday  
school and Earl proudly serving as a deacon.  He cared for his parents  
as they suffered through dementia and was holding Gwen’s hand when she  
passed away nine years before he died.

Earl passed away from a stroke on his 91st birthday; their surviving  
daughters are Tere, Polly, Judy, Amy, Merritt and Melanie.

 

Brenda S. Brown 

 

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