A Brief History
With the signing of the Chickasaw Treaty on October 19, 1818, West Tennessee was opened to white settlers. The Tennessee General Assembly created Shelby County on November 24, 1819.
September 5, 1821, Thomas Henderson was granted 640 acres for his service in the American Revolution (Military Warrant #767).
August 14, 1830, Thomas Henderson sold the eastern half of his land (320 acres) to Emmanuel Young.
Emmanuel Young defaulted on his taxes, therefore Joel Royster, a tax collector, purchased the land on January 6, 1831.
The first mention of the Davies family in the Shelby County area is in 1838; a locator’s deed showing the purchase of land by William E. Davies. However, the 1850 census of lists William E. Davies as living with his family in Fayette County. His sons, Logan Early (age 14) and James Baxter (age 12) Davies, probably came back and forth on the Stage Road to oversee this farm, but lived with their father in Fayette County. In 1851, Logan and James bought the acreage with the log house from Joel W. Royster (who was moving his family into a plank house). Adjoining acreage was purchased in the following years and Davies Plantation eventually totaled approximately 2,000 acres.
It is unknown when or who built the original one room log cabin (parlor). Between 1831 and 1837, Joel W. Royster made additions to the house, including the addition of a dogtrot, full extension of the loft above the “parlor” and the two story bedroom area on the east side. In the 1860’s, the present dining room was added to house. The present kitchen was added after 1950.
Zachariah Davies, the grandfather of Logan and James Davies, was a Virginia militiaman who fought in the Revolutionary War. William Early Davies, their father, was a Methodist minister and grist mill operator. Logan Early Davies is born in Maury County, Tennessee on November 11, 1824. James Baxter Davies is born in Maury County, Tennessee on June 9, 1826.
In 1854, James Baxter Davies married Penelope Almeda Little. In 1855, Julius Augustus Davies was born. In 1857, William Little Davies was born. In 1859, Penelope Almeda Little Davies died at the age of 26.
Logan Early Davies married Frances Ina Davies on November 28, 1860. Gillie Mertis Davies was born December 25, 1861. In 1863, Linnie Lee Davies was born. In 1865, Frances Ina Davies died at the age of 24.
On March 5, 1862, James Baxter Davies enlisted as a private in the 38th Tennessee Infantry at Morning Sun. He fought in the following Civil War battles: Perryville, Second Battle of Atlanta, Lookout Mountain, New Hope Church, Nashville, Peach Tree Creek, and Jonesboro. In May of 1865, James Baxter Davies returned from the war.
In 1865, James Baxter married Pauline Leake; she filed for divorce in 1867.
On June 17, 1904 James Baxter Davies died; leaving 596 acres, including Davies Manor, to his sons, Dr. Julius Augustus and Dr. William Little Davies (both bachelors).
December 21, 1924 Dr. Julius Augustus Davies dies, leaving one-half undivided interest in Davies Manor to his brother, Dr. William Little Davies.
In 1931, Dr. William Little Davies died; leaving 596 acres, including Davies Manor, to his cousin, Ellen Davies-Rodgers.
While the small mound in the front yard of Davies Manor was not a “mound” in the accepted sense of Indian use, a few very small potsherds from the Woodland Indian Period were present. This is not surprising due to the presence of the Indian trail that wanders from Stage Road through the property and over Anderton Springs.