Death has again invaded our city, claiming as its victim this time one of Gainesville's oldest, most widely known and most prominent citizens, Judge Horatio Davis, seventy-two years of age, which occurred at his home, 505 West McCormick Street, Sunday afternoon at 4:25 o'clock. His passing was peaceful, and at his bedside were his sons, Messrs. W.G. Davis and Fred Davis, and daughter-in-law, Mrs. Fred Davis.
It may be truthfully said that no death occurring in this vicinity for many years was more universally regretted, since Judge Davis was for years one of the leading spirits in civic affairs, and for everything pertaining to the good and moral uplift of the city. He was a member of the United Confederate Veterans and served two terms as commander of Stonewall Camp here. He was also honored twice by being elected major of the city, which position he refused a third time, owing to business matters. As the official head of the municipality he was popular, treating all classes with the impartiality for which he was noted.
Being well known by the profession throughout the state as a friend and a lawyer of exceptional ability, the following brief history of his life will prove of interest. Early in this eighteenth ceutnry four Davis brothers emigrated from Wales to Massachusetts, afterwards removing to the Goose Creek section of South Carolina, and thence to the Cape Fear country, North Carolina, about 1725. They were among the first settlers in Easter, North Carolina, and many prominent families trace their decent from them.
Horatio was a lineal descendent of Jehu Davis, one of the original settlers.
Deceased was born at Wilmington, N.C., May 14, 1840. His father Thomas F. Davis, married twice — first Sarah I. Eagles, and second, Anna E. Cutlar. Of the first marriage seven children were born, among them Thomas Frederick Davis, many years bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, and George Davis, Senator and Attorney General of the Confederate States. Horatio Davis was the son of the second marriage.
Horatio received his primary education in the private schools of Wilmington, after which he attended St. John's College in Maryland. When war was declared between the States he enlisted in the artillery branch of the Confederate Service as a private. His battery was detailed largely to coastal defense, but participated in the Battle of the Crater, when it performed valiant service. Here he was commissioned lieutenant of artillery.
At the close of the ear Lieutenant Davis married Parke Miller, of Sharewood, and with his bride returned to Wilmington, where he entered his brother's office and began the study of law. After his admission to the bar he removed to Chatham, Va., about 1870, and began the practice of his profession. He served his country in the Legislature, and for six years was county judge of Pittsylvania County.
In 1886 Judge Davis and family moved to Cedar Key, Florida, but about four years afterward they came to Gainesville, where the devoted wife and mother passed away August 10, 1900. Like her husband, Mrs. Davis was one of Gainesville's most beloved residents. Kirby Smith Chapter, U.C.C., was organized by her.
The funeral of Judge Davis was conducted from Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, of which he was a member, at 3:30 o'clock Monday afternoon, Rev. R.H. Edwards officiating. The service was largely attended by friends of the deceased, including members of the Stonewall Camp, U.C.V., the two chapters — Kirby Smith and J.J. Finley, U.D.C. — and the local bar, for whom special seats were reserved. The active pall-bearers were Capt. A. Paul, Attorney Fer Bayer, Major Christopher Matheson, Attorney Evans Haile, Dr. J. Harrison Hudges and Attorney E.E. Voyle. Honorary pall-bearers, members of the Stonewall Camp. The floral offerings were numerous and fragrant, attesting the love and esteem in which Judge Davis was held. Interment was made beside his late wife in Evergreen Cemetery under the direction of the Thomas Undertaking Company.
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