Banner Photograph
Davis Dairy, Maryville, Blount County, Tennessee on Wildwood.
Taken by Judith Richards Shubert, September 28, 2005, Copyright

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Honoring One of our Own on this Memorial Day 2009 - William Spence Davis, Sr.

Sgt William Spence Davis Sr WWI 1917 Loudon TNSgt. William Spence Davis
October 16, 1917 - June 20, 1919
United States Army

Pvt Lcl June 2 1918, Corp July 18 1918, Sgt Sep 7 1918. Overseas service from July 3, 1918 to June 14, 1919. Discharged on Jun 20 1919 with no disability. Address at enlistment RFD 2, Greenback Tennessee. Inducted at Loudon, Loudon County, Tennessee on Oct 16 1917.
Place of birth Sevier County, Tennessee.

William Spence Davis Sr WWI 1917 age 22William Spence Davis
Born March 24, 1895 in Sevier County, Tennessee
Died December 17, 1976 Maryville, Blount County, Tennessee

A young Spence appears with his family in the banner on my blog Genealogy Traces; in the 3rd picture from the left, he is standing behind his mother, Elizabeth Anne. The same picture appears below.

James Pinkney Davis and Anne Burns Davis with childrenJames Pinkney Davis Family
In the photo from the left are:
Elizabeth Anne Burns Davis, William Spence, Alvin, Nora,
father James Pinkney "Pink" Davis, Louis, Ethel, and Baby Lessie.

Approximately a year and a half after being discharged from the Army, Spence married Leola Hitch of Ducktown, Tennessee, in September of 1920. He was married a second time to Mary Sue Delozier of Blount County in June of 1936. His children are William Spence Davis, Jr., Marilee Davis Shubert, and Suzanne Hampton Davis Kerr.

I have previously written about Spence in the article Spence with His Oliver 66 found here and on my blog, Genealogy Traces. He is my husband's grandfather. There are many veterans found in our family, as there are in most readers' ancestry, but I have chosen to honor Spence this Memorial Day 2009 because he was a very special man. He served his country well and came home with an honorable discharge. Until he met and married his second wife, Mary Sue Delozier, Spence cared for his two oldest children with only the help of a nanny while working fulltime. He and Mary Sue worked very hard and were prosperous dairy farmers in Maryville. They were both teachers, as well.

My husband's father, Ray Allen Shubert, tells of Spence and Mary Sue in an interview during the 1990s:
Spence Davis, went to the Bill Jones School in Sevier County - a "Normal School" as it was called - took a state exam to become a school teacher. He was a good ball player and we have a couple of pictures of him with his team. He taught grade school in Monroe. While teaching he took a job in the Sweetwater post office during the Summer. Then he went to the Knoxville post office. Spence got full custody of Marilee and Junior when he divorced from their mother, Leola. After Leola left, he hired a nanny to look after the children. They called her "Aunt Tilly" - she was as broad as she was tall. Soon she told Spence that the kids were so big she couldn't handle them any longer and he needed to find a wife!" Marilee was a student of McCampbill School where Mary Sue Delozier taught. Spence and the kids lived on Valley View Road in Knoxville.

Suzanne Hampton Davis was born to Spence and Mary Sue in 1942. The Delozier's were prominent farmers in Blount County. Mary Sue taught at Wildwood High School where Marilee, Junior and Suzanne all attended. Suzanne and Marilee were cheerleaders, at different times, of course. Marilee and Mary Sue were pregnant with their first child at the same time. When Suzanne was a few months old, Marilee and Ray went into the post office where Spence worked. She remembered one of the clerks looked over her glasses at her and then called out, "Mr. Davis, your OLDER daughter is here!"

William Spence Davis Sr WWI Draft Registration Card
William Spence Davis
World War I Draft Registration Card
(accessed 2009)


Mona Robinson Mills said...

A well-deserved tribute for this Memorial Day. Thanks for sharing, Judith.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Thanks, Mona, for your comment. Glad you stopped by.

Teena in Toronto said...

Nice tribute!

Happy blogoversary!

Janice Tracy said...

Judy, this is such a wonderful Memorial Day article about your relative. After reading your well-researched post, complete with pictures and copies of documents, I feel as if I had known him myself. By the way, we have been away and I missed your Blogoversary, so please accept my belated Happy Blogoversary wishes!

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Teena, thank YOU! I think I missed my own Blogoversary! I didn't even realize it.

Janice, I thought you'd been away. Am so glad you enjoyed the tribute to Grandpa Davis (as we grandchildren called him) and thanks for your HB wishes, too!

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