EDWARD PALMER DAVIS

A name increasingly well known in banking circles of Harnett County has been that of Edward Palmer Davis, president of the Commercial Bank of Dunn and vice president of the Bank of Harnett at Erwin.  He comes from a family which throughout the history of the state has borne an honored name in education, state and church in South Carolina.  Mr. Davis is of Revolutionary ancestry, being a descendant of General William Irvine of the Continental army and Robert Callender on his maternal side and of Thomas Means on his paternal side.

Mr. Davis was born at Winnsboro, the county seat of Fairfield County, South Carolina, December 12, 1879, and is a son of James Quentin and Beckie  (Pagan) Davis.  His paternal grandfather, Hon. Henry C. Davis, was one of the signers of the Ordinance of Secession and later took the field during the War Between the States, in which he held the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the Confederate army.  James Quentin Davis, Mr. Davisí father, was born march 23, 1851, and was one of the prominent men of his day and locality and for many years was engaged successfully in banking at Winnsboro, where he likewise had other interests.  Here, too, he had an important part in making possible the development of hydroelectric power in his native state, particularly at Great Falls, financed by northern capital.  From 1900 until 1918 he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina, and for sixteen years was county treasurer of Fairfield County.  In the evening of life he retired from active pursuits and settled in Columbia, South Carolina.  He passed away January 10, 1926, aged seventy-five years.  Mrs. Davis, known in her younger days as Beckie Armstrong Pagan, daughter of Major James Pagan of the Confederate army and Anne Callender Fayssoux, formerly of Charleston, was born at Oakdale, near Chester, August 22, 1852.  She was married to James Quentin Davis September 22, 1877, and died October 14, 1921.  Mrs. Davis was a woman of unusual personality, charm and beauty and naturally devoted much of her time to the beautiful things of life.  Being an ardent lover of flowers, she not only beautified her own home surroundings but instilled in those with whom she came in contact the love of the beautiful.  Strong and lovable in character and devoid of anything in the nature of pretense, her personal magnetism drew and held many very close friends.  She was always active in civic organizations as the Daughters of the Revolution and Daughters of the Confederacy.

Edward Palmer Davis was reared at Winnsboro, South Carolina, where he attended Mount Zion Institute and later entered the University of South Carolina in the class of 1903.  In January, 1902, Mr. Davis went to Durham, North Carolina, and became an employee in the office of the Erwin Cotton Mills Company, starting at the bottom of the ladder, later being transferred to Duke (now Erwin), where he continued in the employee of the Erwin Cotton Mills Company in the capacity of cotton buyer and was in addition made cashier of the Bank of Harnett.  Through ability, fidelity, integrity and industry he won consecutive promotions and was elected vice president of the Bank of Harnett and general manager of the mills at Duke (now Erwin).  In December 1919, at the time of its organization, Mr. Davis became president of the Commercial Bank of Dunn, and since that time has made his home in Dunn, where he has taken an active part in all affairs pertaining to the development and advancement of the community.  He is known as a man of splendid business and financial ability and of high integrity and probity and all matters pertaining to the welfare of the community have for him a deep and abiding interest.

On June 24, 1914, Mr. Davis was united in marriage with Miss Sallie Slocumb Smith, a daughter of Jesse Slocumb and Ida Hodges Smith of Linden, Harnett County, North Carolina.  Mrs. Davis is a direct descendent of Col. John Smith, Col. Alexander McAllister and Mary (Polly) and Ezekiel Slocumb of Revolutionary fame.  She was born at Linden September 25, 1885.

Mrs. Davisí father, Jesse Slocumb Smith, was born January 7, 1849, and died in February 1897.  He entered the Confederate army near the close of the war, when only sixteen years old, and served as a courier, being one of seven brothers who fought in the Confederate army.  Mrs. Ida Hodges Smith, Mrs. Davisí mother, was born October 29, 1852, and is now living in Dunn.  She and Mr. Smith were married December 24, 1872.  Mrs. Smith, a descendant of Col. Philamon Hodges, is a daughter of James Philamon Hodges and his wife, Flora Murchison Hodges.

Three children have been born to Mr. And Mrs. Edward Palmer Davis:  Sallie Slocumb, born at Duke (now Erwin) April 29, 1916; Rebecca Pagan, born at Duke (now Erwin) April 27, 1918; and Edward Palmer, Jr., born at Richmond, Virginia, March 10, 1919.