Biography of Dr. John W. Davis

Dr. John W. Davis, a retired physician and surgeon of Autauga county, Alabama, was born here in 1838, the son of Benjamin, born in Brunswick county, Virginia, in 1789, and Martha (Taylor) Davis, born in Oglethorpe county, Georgia, in 1797. Maj. Benjamin Davis was a soldier of the war of 1812 and was one of the pioneer settlers of Autauga county, having come here in the year 1818 or 1819; here he married, and became quite popular — at one time representing Autauga county in the state legislature and at another time serving as tax collector. He was a well-to-do farmer and died, in 1863, at the age of eighty-four years, a life-long Methodist. Mrs. Martha Davis was a daughter of Benjamin Taylor, who came to Alabama from Georgia and settled in Autauga county many years ago; she died in 1873, at the age of seventy-seven years. These parents had born to them nine children viz: Mary Eliza, deceased wife of German Fike; Dr. Benjamin F., deceased; Warren Merritt, killed when young, by a falling tree; Balert Henry; Louisiana, deceased wife of John H. Barlow; Dr. Thomas Asbery, of Anniston, Alabama, who served as captain of company G, Sixth Alabama infantry, and later as surgeon of the regiment, and later still as brigade surgeon under Gen. Gordon during the Civil War; Laura T., wife of William Caver, of Autaugaville; Mary, deceased wife of J. H. Gohlson, also deceased; and Dr. John W.

Dr. John W. Davis was educated at the school of his district and at Summerfield, Dallas county; he then read medicine with his brothers; attended the university at New Orleans, and graduated, in 1859, from the medical department of the university of Atlanta, Georgia, fully equipped for the practice of his profession. Early in 1861, he joined ¦company G, Sixth Alabama infantry, and with it went to Virginia, where he was taken prisoner by the enemy the day before the first battle of Bull Run, and was confined in prison at Washington, D. C., for six months, when he was paroled. On his return to his native state he engaged in the practice of his profession for nine months in Perry county: was then detailed to take charge of the sick at the Alabama salt works in Clarke county, and at the end of another period of nine months joined the artillery at Mobile; was sent to Fort Gaines, where he was again captured, and for three months confined in the barracks at New Orleans, and for four months on Ship Island, and was exchanged at the latter place in January, 1865. returned home, resumed his practice and engaged in farming. In 1867 he married Miss Astoria J., daughter of Dr. John and Clarissa Shackleford, of Autauga county. Both these parents are now deceased, the father having died when Mrs. Davis was a little girl. He was a son of Gen. Shackleford, one of the pioneers and one of the most prominent citizens of Autauga county. Dr. Davis abandoned the practice of his profession a few years after the close of the war, and has since devoted his entire attention to his agricultural interests. He owns 1,350 acres of rich land, all secured by his own efforts. The doctor is a member of Autaugaville lodge, No. 449, F. & A. M., and with his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.


Memorial record of Alabama : a concise account of the state’s political, military, professional and industrial progress, together with the personal memoirs of many of its people.. Madison, Wis.: Brant & Fuller, 1893.

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