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Joseph Lee Davis
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Birth: Dec. 20, 1869
Columbia County
Arkansas, USA
Death: Jul. 25, 1941
Columbia County
Arkansas, USA

JOE LEE DAVIS. Joe Lee Davis of Magnolia, a prominent and representative business man, is identified with manufacturing, mercantile and banking interests and his labors are a potent force in promoting the material development and up-building of the district in which he operates. Mr. Davis was born in Atlanta, Arkansas, December 20, 1869. His father, James Evan Davis, who died in Magnolia in 1909, at the age of eighty-two years, was at one time a successful merchant and planter of Atlanta, Arkansas, but retired about five years prior to his demise and established his home in Magnolia, where his remaining days were passed. His people were from Georgia. During the entire period of the Civil War he was in the service of the Confederate government and was disfranchised afterward by carpetbaggers because of his connection therewith. In early manhood he wedded Mary R. Morgan, who died in Magnolia in 1908, at the age of seventy-five years. She was born in Jasper county, Georgia, and was a daughter of Henry S. Morgan, who served as a soldier in the Seminole war in Florida. The Morgans were originally from Virginia and were descendants of Captain John Morgan of Revolutionary war fame, who came from Ireland and settled in Virginia in 1752. The Davis family comes of Welsh ancestry, although representatives of the name emigrated from Wales to Ireland and then came to America in the eighteenth century, settling first in Virginia, while at a later date a removal was made to Georgia. The marriage of James E. Davis and Mary R. Morgan was celebrated at Longcane, Georgia, in 1850, and they became parents of eleven children, five sons and six daughters, of whom three sons and two daughters are deceased, while six of the family are living. Joe Lee Davis, the ninth in order of birth, was educated in Atlanta Academy in Atlanta, Arkansas, pursuing a full college course in mathematics and two years in English and science. Through the intervening period he has been an active factor in business circles and now divides his attention between manufacturing, banking and mercantile interests. He engages in business under the firm name of J. L. & D. M. Davis, the firm having branches at Magnolia, El Dorado, Kerlin and Haynesville, Louisiana. At these various points they are actively engaged in the lumber business, to which J. L. Davis has largely given his attention for the past fifteen years. He is also the vice president of the People's Bank of Magnolia, vice president of the Bank of Taylor, at Taylor, Arkansas, and a director in the Farmers' & Bankers' Trust Company. He is also the secretary of the Columbia Cotton Oil Company of Magnolia and of the Ouachita Cotton Oil Company at Camden. He is the president of the Davis Loan & Investment Company at Magnolia and president of the Magnolia Grocer Company, a wholesale grocery concern. He is likewise the president of the McNeil Hardware & Furniture Company of McNeil, Arkansas, is a director of the McNeil Mercantile Company of McNeil, Arkansas, vice president of the firm of Hollis & Company, wholesale dealers in mill supplies at Little Rock, and is a director of the Shreveport Fertilizer Works at Shreveport, Louisiana. His business interests, therefore, are of large extent and importance and that he deserves great credit for what he has accomplished is indicated in the fact that he started out in the business world as a bookkeeper while in his teens, for C. M. Fomby, at Atlanta, Arkansas, and was afterward at Magnolia with Mr. Fomby, who was his brother-in-law and who was engaged in general merchandising. Mr. Davis was thus employed at Atlanta and Magnolia for eight years and during the latter part of that period became a partner in the business. Later he embarked in merchandising independently, carrying on business of that character under different firm names from 1890 until 1908, at Magnolia. He afterward entered the present firm, under the style of J. L. & D. M. Davis and has continued to operate successfully to the present time in connection with the lumber industry and mercantile pursuits. His holdings and investments are now extensive and his business affairs place him as one of the representative men of this section of the state. He also operates several plantations in Columbia county, near Atlanta and Kerlin. He is a man of forceful character, resourceful in all that he undertakes, and by reason of what he has accomplished he is recognized as one of the captains of industry in the southwest. His fellow townsmen recognizing his worth and ability and seeing what he has accomplished in a business way have chosen him for various positions of public honor, trust and responsibility. He is now the president of the Chamber of Commerce at Magnolia and has been president of the county board of education since it was established in 1920. He was likewise a member of the state board of charities from 1907 until 1909 and was a delegate from Columbia county to the constitutional convention of 1917-18. As a candidate he received every vote in the township in which he was born and reared except two, a fact which indicates in notable measure his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him. He was supervisor of the census for the Seventh Congressional district in 1920. Fraternally he is a Mason, belonging to Magnolia Lodge, No. 82. A. F. & A. M.; Magnolia Chapter, No. 112, R. A. M. ; and Magnolia Council. No. 11, R. & S. M. Religiously he is connected with the Methodist Episcopal church. South, and is serving on its board of stewards and its board of trustees. Mr. Davis has been twice married. On January 11, 1894, he wedded Mattie Goode, daughter of Dr. John Goode of Magnolia, Arkansas. Mrs. Davis departed this life in 1898. At Prescott, Arkansas, on the 16th of January, 1901, Mr. Davis was united in marriage to Miss Ella Arnold of that place, a daughter of Dr. W. E. Arnold, who is still living, at the age of eighty-four years. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have become parents of four children, a son and three daughters: Ruth, who married James Hatley White of Hope, Arkansas, where they reside; Joe L., Jr., who is cashier for the J. L. & D. M. Davis Company; and Mary and Lottie who are students in Galloway College at Searcy, Arkansas. Mr. Davis is a native son of Arkansas and has spent his life in this state. He has recognized and utilized the opportunities which have come to him and his enterprise and diligence have carried him steadily forward, until he has long since left the ranks of the many to stand among the successful. His persist-ency of purpose and capable management have brought him substantial reward and, moreover, his labors have been of a character which have contributed to public progress and improvement along material lines. At the same time he has never allowed business affairs so to monopolize his attention that he has had no time for other interests and duties. On the contrary, he has contributed much toward the work of general advancement and improvement, standing loyally at all times for progressive citizenship and for those interests which lead to the intellectual and moral progress of the state.
Family links: 
  James Evan Davis (1827 - 1909)
  Mary R Morgan Davis (1832 - 1908)
  Mattie Goode Davis (1871 - 1898)
  Mary Ella Arnold Davis (1869 - 1945)
  Lottie Arnold Davis Joslin (1905 - 1998)*
  Ida Evan Davis Fomby (1867 - 1957)*
  Joseph Lee Davis (1869 - 1941)
*Calculated relationship
Magnolia City Cemetery
Columbia County
Arkansas, USA
Plot: Section A Row 4
Created by: Michelle Garner
Record added: Dec 10, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81777588
Joseph Lee Davis
Added by: Charles Walthall
Joseph Lee Davis
Added by: Charles Walthall
Joseph Lee Davis
Added by: Charles Walthall
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