Davis, William Wallace (1831–1910)

By: Aragorn Storm Miller

Type: Biography

Published: May 8, 2008

Updated: August 14, 2014

William Wallace Davis, Confederate officer, farmer, merchant, state representative, and state senator, was born near the site of the future community of Weches, Houston County, Texas, on March 15, 1831, the son of William P. and Sarah Davis. As an adult he worked as a farmer and merchant at Augusta and married Lucy Margaret Penick there in 1850. This couple had two sons and two daughters. In the summer of 1861 following the outbreak of the Civil War Davis volunteered for service in the Confederate Army, joining Sibley's Brigade. He saw action with this unit in the Sibley Campaign and in the 1864 battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill in the Red River Campaign.

At the end of the war Davis returned to Houston County where he assumed a prominent role in state and local politics. On January 12, 1875, he succeeded the deceased J. T. Smith as representative for District Three—comprised of Cherokee, Houston, Trinity, and Angelina counties—to the Fourteenth Texas Legislature. Following this turn at state office Davis relocated to Crockett in Houston County and continued his mercantile pursuits. In 1886 Davis won election as senator for District Eight—comprised of Madison, Houston, Leon, Grimes, and Angelina counties—to the Twentieth Texas Legislature. During this session Davis was chairman for the Committee on Retrenchment and Reform. Davis returned to the state senate during the Twenty-first Texas Legislature and, among his other responsibilities, sat on the Committee on Private Land Claims, Stock and Stock Raising, and Enrolled Bills. William Wallace Davis died in Crockett on June 22, 1910, and was buried there at Glenwood Cemetery. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and belonged to Trinity Chapter No. 4, Royal Arch Masons, at Crockett.

Armistead Albert Aldrich, The History of Houston County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1943). L. E. Daniell, Personnel of the Texas State Government, with Sketches of Distinguished Texans (Austin: City Printing, 1887). L. E. Daniell, Personnel of the Texas State Government, with Sketches of Distinguished Texans (Austin: City Printing, 1889). IGI Individual Record: William W. Davis (http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/IGI/individual_record.asp?recid=100018612012&lds=1®ion=11®ionfriendly=North+America&frompage=99), accessed August 5, 2007. Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas from 1846 to 1939 (Austin: Texas Legislature, 1939).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Aragorn Storm Miller, “Davis, William Wallace,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 18, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/davis-william-wallace.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 8, 2008
August 14, 2014