Sunday, May 24, 2009

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

Sgt. 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.

Born March 24, 1895 in Sevier County, Tennessee
Died December 17, 1976 Maryville, Blount County, Tennessee



A young Spence appears with his family in my banner on this blog; in the 3rd picture from the left, he is standing behind his mother, Elizabeth Ann. In the photo from the left are: Elizabeth Ann 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, Tennessee Memories. 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
World War I Draft Registration Card
(accessed Ancestry.com 2009)



8 comments:

Claudia's thoughts said...

William Spence Davis really resembles the man in the wedding picture on your blog heading.

Was that one of his children. I have a picture of my great grandfathers family and a lot of my sibs and I look like the picture in the photograph.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Hi Claudia! The Davis men and women do look a lot alike. The groom is actually William Spence Davises' grandson. His mother was Spence's daughter, Marilee. And that is me and my husband, Bob, of 45 years this April!

brenda said...

Thank you Judy for honoring granddaddy. He was a wonderful man who I adored. He looks so handsome in these pictures. My dad looked so much like him. So does my brother, Spence.

Claudia's thoughts said...

Judith:

Thanks for visiting my blog. There are so many interesting blogs out there.

How did you put up the banner? I would like to do that myself. I have been thru Eastern TN and my girlfriend lives in Chattanooga. Our daughters are the same age, I usually drive down every few years for a visit.

I do not think I have connections there. That I know of. LOL

Judith Richards Shubert said...

I'm so pleased that you liked my post about Grandpa Davis, Brenda. I know your Dad looked soooo much like his Dad. And have you seen Suzanne's son, Kevin, since he's become older. I think he looks just like him, too!
Thanks for leaving your sweet comment and note on my Facebook page.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Hi again, Claudia. East Tennessee is beautiful and we sure miss it since we are now in Texas and can't seem to get back that way very often.

If you would like to create a banner, the best thing to do is follow the GeneaBloggers savvy tech - Thomas. If you will go to this page Facebook Bootcamp for Geneabloggers and follow his directions, you will be a pro in no time. He has the clearest instructions of anyone I have ever seen and I've found ALL kinds of things on the blog to help.

Tiffany said...

Thanks for posting this. It was a really good read. At first, I thought that was a picture of Pappaw and then realized it was "Sr.". They look a lot alike - and Brenda's right - so does Spence. It is ironic how similar all the men in our family are.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Hi Tiffany! Yes, it's kinda uncanny, isn't it? Bob and I went with Suzanne and Ernie to see Uncle Junior and Aunt Phyllis in Chattanooga several years ago. We just happened to run into Jeff at the restaurant. He was on his lunch hour. It was the first time Bob and I had met Brenda's son, and I thought he and Bob looked a lot alike. It is that Davis gene, I suppose! Bob is your Papaw, (Junior's) sister's son. He grew up in Nashville.

Homsley Reunion, Seymour, Texas

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