These papers reflect the family line of Samuel Hunt Davis (1848-1938) and his wife Emma (Stubbs) Davis (1855-1942). Samuel Davis was born in Randolph County, North Carolina on March 20, 1848. Following his father's death in 1858, the family moved to Indiana, and in 1862 settled in Douglas County, Kansas. After attending public schools, Samuel pursued teacher training at the State Normal School at Emporia, teaching at Wyandotte County, Kansas and in schools in Douglas County's Grant Township while still a student. Following graduation in 1872, he became school principal at Eudora, Kansas, and later taught and engaged in farming at Hesper (Douglas County), Kansas.
Samuel married Emma Stubbs in 1877. They were Quakers, and the Davis and Stubbs families figured prominently in Kansas history. The many children of Samuel and Emma Davis attended Hesper Academy and Friends University (Wichita, Kansas), which Samuel's brother James M. Davis founded through his gift of the University's first buildings to the Society of Friends. Edmund Stanley, Friends University's first president, was the husband of Martha Davis, sister of Samuel and James Davis. Roscoe Stubbs, Governor of Kansas from 1908 to 1912, was a cousin of Samuel Davis's wife, Emma.
The collection donor, Mildred Davis Watson, daughter of Samuel and Emma Davis, attended the University of Kansas as well as Columbia University. She was director of the Douglas County Welfare Department (Douglas County, Kansas) from 1937 to 1956.
From the guide to the Davis family papers, 1880-1984, (University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kansas Collection)