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Davis family papers

 Collection
Call Number: RH MS 817

Overview

This collection, dating from 1880 to 1984, contains manuscript and published accounts of the family line of Hesper, Kansas pioneers Samuel Hunt Davis (1848-1938) and his wife Emma Stubbs Davis (1855-1942), whose Quaker family siblings and descendants figured prominently in the early history of Kansas, including the founding of Friends University at Wichita. Many of the accounts are written by the collection's donor, Mildred Davis Watson, a daughter of Samuel and Emma Davis and a long-time director of the Douglas County Welfare Department at Lawrence, Kansas.

Dates

  • 1880 - 1984

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Davis Family

These papers reflect the family line of Samuel Hunt Davis (1848-1938) and his wife Emma (Stubbs) Davis (1855-1942). Samuel Davis was born in Randolph County, North Carolina on March 20, 1848. Following his father's death in 1858, the family moved to Indiana, and in 1862 settled in Douglas County, Kansas. After attending public schools, Samuel pursued teacher training at the State Normal School at Emporia (now Emporia State University). He taught at Wyandotte County, Kansas and in schools in Douglas County's Grant Township while still a student. Following graduation in 1872, he became school principal at Eudora, Kansas, and later taught and engaged in farming at Hesper (Douglas County), Kansas.

Samuel married Emma Stubbs in 1877. They were Quakers, and the Davis and Stubbs families figured prominently in Kansas history. The many children of Samuel and Emma Davis attended Hesper Academy and Friends University (Wichita, Kansas), which Samuel's brother James M. Davis founded through his gift of the University's first buildings to the Society of Friends. Edmund Stanley, Friends University's first president, was the husband of Martha Davis, sister of Samuel and James Davis. Roscoe Stubbs, Governor of Kansas from 1908 to 1912, was a cousin of Samuel Davis's wife, Emma.

The collection donor, Mildred Davis Watson, daughter of Samuel and Emma Davis, attended the University of Kansas as well as Columbia University. She was director of the Douglas County Welfare Department (Douglas County, Kansas) from 1937 to 1956.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (3 document cases + 1 oversize folder)

Scope and Contents

This collection, dating from 1880 to 1984, contains manuscript and published accounts of the family line of Hesper, Kansas pioneers Samuel Hunt Davis (1848-1938) and his wife Emma Stubbs Davis (1855-1942), whose Quaker family siblings and descendants figured prominently in the early history of Kansas. Many of the collection's biographical accounts and genealogical records of Davis and Stubbs family members, as well as histories of Hesper, Kansas and the Hesper Academy, are those written by the collection's donor, Mildred Davis Watson, a daughter of Samuel and Emma Davis. Included are published accounts of the family line, including two books, clippings of obituaries, and photographic prints and negatives (at RH MS-P 817) of the Davis and Stubbs families.

A published article regarding Watson's uncle, James Davis, founder of Friends University is included, together with Watson's copy of the book by Floyd and Norma Souders titled Friends University, 1898-1973. The papers contain an obituary of former Kansas Governor Walter Roscoe Stubbs, and a large campaign poster for his re-election, located at RH MS Q201. Also included is Watson's typescript of her grandmother's recollections of her encounter with William Quantrill's raiders at Hesper, Kansas, enroute to their attack on Lawrence, Kansas, August 21, 1863.

Reflecting Mildred Davis Watson's service as director of the Douglas County, Kansas Welfare Department from 1937 to 1956 are the collection's memorabilia, clippings, and histories of the Douglas County Welfare Department, as well as Watson's minutes, 1941 to 1955, of the Council of Social Agencies and the Welfare Board.

Physical Location

RH MS 817

Physical Location

RH MS-P 817

Physical Location

RH MS Q201

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Mildred Davis Watson, 1982, 1983

Related Materials

Samuel Hunt Davis collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS P16, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas
Clifford T. Davis letters, RH MS 661, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas
Watson, Mildred Davis. Hesper Academy: four year accredited high school, 1884-1912, Kansas Collection, RH D644, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas
The Council of Social Agencies, "1944-1964 twentieth anniversary dinner: Eldridge Hotel, March 30, 1964," Kansas Collection, RH P1387, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas
"The Council of Social Agencies, Lawrence, Kansas, January, 1946," Kansas Collection, RH B2345, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas
Council of Social Agencies (Lawrence, Kan.), [Information booklet], Kansas Collection, RH B549, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Processing Information

Previously shelved at RH MS 363.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Davis Family Papers
Subtitle
Davis family papers
Author
Finding aid prepared by mh, 2006. Finding aid encoded by mh, 2006. Finding aid revised by cl, 2010; mwh, 2020.
Date
2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
http://hdl.handle.net/10407/4539249179
Preferred citation
Davis family papers, Kansas Collection, RH MS 817, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

Contact:
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States
785-864-4334