Sunday, June 01, 2014

James Brooks Davis and Descendants, June 1, 2014

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.
~Maya Angelou

The Birthday of James Brooks Davis. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the birth of my Great Grandfather James Brooks Davis, who was born outside Spencer, Indiana on June 2, 1870 -- 144 years ago.

James' grandparents, Alex and Jane Davis, had migrated from Ohio to Owen County, Indiana about 1850 and were the first of our Davis ancestors to settle there. James' father Charles, a young child when his family left Ohio, met a young Indiana native as a teenager by the name of Malinda Wright, and eventually married her in Owen County in 1869. The following spring, baby James Brooks arrived and became the first Davis child to be born a Hoosier.

James was raised near Spencer, Indiana and at 25 years old married another native Indianan, Callie Spear, on New Year's Day 1896. In the first 12 years of their life together they had 7 children, their oldest being my grandmother Bura Davis. Their other children were Lawrence, Myra, Winona, Jesse, Esther and Marjorie. The first picture from 1908 shows James surrounded by 4 of their daughters, including their youngest, Marjorie, in his lap.

In March, 1913, James and Callie uprooted their family of 9 -- all of whom had lived their entire lives in Owen County, Indiana -- and moved them all to "the land of opportunity", the panhandle of Oklahoma. At the time their children ranged in age from 4 to 16 years old. They settled in Beaver County and joined the ranks of hard working farming families on the Oklahoma frontier.

A few of the descendants of James and Callie still live in Beaver County today. Over the last century since the family settled in Oklahoma, however, most of them have moved away and today live elsewhere in Oklahoma or in places like Washington, California, Missouri and Texas. In Sophia Cemetery in Beaver County James Brooks Davis is laid to rest alongside his wife Callie. Select this link to visit their grave online.

The Anniversary of William and Bura Davis Shepard. 100 years ago this year -- shortly after moving from Indiana -- James and Callie's oldest daughter Bura got to know another recent immigrant to Oklahoma by the name of William Shepard. The following spring Will and Bura decided to marry. Because of the high regard in which she held her father, James' 45th birthday, June 2, 1915, seemed the best day to tie the knot. So on Wednesday, June 2, after a very rainy spring in the panhandle, 18 year old Bura and 26 year old William got into his new Model T Ford, braved the mud mired roads and ventured out to the country home of their Church of Christ preacher and the deed was done. 

It's been 99 years since Will and Bura were married, but their love and devotion remains a great influence on those of us who knew them. The top couple in the tryptich on the right is William and Bura in San Diego in 1975, the year they celebrated 60 years of marriage. William died the following year, and Bura 10 years after that.

The Anniversary of Gary and Cindy Shepard. One of the Great Grandchildren of James Brooks Davis, my brother Gary Shepard, also chose June 2 as the wedding day for him and his bride Cindy. On Saturday, June 2, 1979 -- 35 year ago tomorrow -- Gary married Cindy Ann Dillon at the home of me and my wife Cindy in Los Alamitos, California, in a small beautiful ceremony attended by a few friends. Happy Anniversary and best wishes to Gary and Cindy! The middle couple on the right is Gary and Cindy on their wedding day in 1979.

The Anniversary of Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz. Today, June 1, is the anniversary of Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz of Blue Springs, Missouri. Jeremy is one of the Great Great Grandchildren of James and Callie Davis and the oldest grandchild of Thelma Shepard Boyd. He is the first born of Kim Boyd Clark. Jeremy and Desiree were married when they were living here in San Diego 12 years and 5 children ago. The bottom couple on the right is Desiree and Jeremy. Best wishes and happy anniversary to them!

Father's Day is in two weeks. If you have a picture of your father or grandfather that you would like me to include in my upcoming Father's Day photo presentation, please send it my way.
- - -
Steve Shepard

No comments: