What follows is writeup on the historical Davis Family Cemetery in Allandale on Vine Street put together by Jack Kern and Doug Davis for the Allandale Reporter. The photo on the left is a picture of the two men standing inside the cemetery. Doug, on the left is a descendant of the family patriarch and original owner of the land. Jack, standing on the right, lives on Twin Oaks Drive. His back yard looks into the cemetery. He is the one that provided the Allandale listserve with the initial background on the cemetery and helped put this piece together.
Davis Family Vine Street Cemetery
submitted by Jack Kern [Email address: jackckern #AT# sbcglobal.net - replace #AT# with @ ] and Doug Davis [Email address: dugyd #AT# austin.rr.com - replace #AT# with @ ]
The George W Davis Family Cemetery was part of a 3,154 acre land grant signed by Mirabeau B Lamar, President of The Republic of Texas, in 1841 to the family patriarch after his service in the battle of San Jacinto. The earliest dated grave is March 25, 1851, but the burial ground may have been in use as early as 1845. In 1918, Doug Davis’s great grandmother became the last person to be buried in the cemetery.
Maintenance was sporadic at best subsequent to the Davis’ move to “town” prior to 1920. Daddy said his “Papa” would give someone twenty dollars to clean it up “every once in a while.” For many years the cemetery was not maintained and grown over with thick brush. According to what I was told by my father, Roy W Davis (great grandson of George W Davis), Daddy and two younger elderly cousins, Emmett and Walter, personally began in late 1977 the five year project of clearing the property and restoring a sense of dignity. The two cousins, although younger than my father, did not live as long. My father made it to 1997. When I took over the maintenance in 1992, Daddy still went with me bringing his lawnmower and mowing “his half,” as marked by him, with the first cut right down the middle. He managed to do that through 1993.
Doug Davis continues to maintain the cemetery with the help of his son Dwight and grandson Patrick. They also use earnings from limited endowment funds created by Davis family descendants and some neighbors who live adjacent to the cemetery.
As to the ownership of the cemetery, in January of 1873, after his wife had died intestate, George W Davis executed a document to settle her estate and pass on his land as well to the surviving children. Included in that document, which is recorded in Vol. X Pages 395-97 of Travis County Records, is the statement: “One acre square including the family graveyard, being reserved forever from sale.” The records of the Travis County Appraisal District reflect George W Davis as owner of this parcel. His address is listed as the same.
Vine Street address of the cemetery. Also, as a part of the process of having the Davis Cemetery designated a Historic Texas Cemetery, the document was entered into the Travis County records. To the document that I prepared to justify the designation “Historic Texas Cemetery,” I have added some additional documents which I call Davis Lore a copy of which has been provided to The Austin History Center.
Long Time Permanent Cemetery Residents
The matriarch of that part of the Davis family buried in the cemetery is Julia Ann Hardeman Davis Bacon (1786-1860). Her first husband was John Davis, father of George W Davis and others. We do not know what happened to John. When Julia Ann came to Texas in 1835, she was married to Thomas Bacon. Two of her brothers, Bailey Hardeman and William Polk “Old Gotch” Hardeman were prominent citizens in early Texas. Bailey participated in drafting both the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Among many other things, “Old Gotch” was a Texas Ranger for a number of years and an officer in the Confederate Army. In addition to George W Davis and several of his children, others of her descendents buried there include three daughters.
1. Adelaide Bacon Vann, her husband L.T. and infant son, the earliest recorded burial there.
2. Abigail Jane Bacon Adkisson, her husband A.J. and children are buried there. A. J. participated in the Cardova Fight near Seguin in March 1839 as well as the Flores Fight on the North San Gabriel in May of 1839. Later, he was a Cumberland Presbyterian Minister and business man in Austin for many years.
3. Mary Emiline Bacon was the wife of Wayman Wells who came to Texas as a child in 1826 and joined the Texas Army in 1835. Mary, Wayman and children
are buried inside the ornamental metal fence. Julia Ann’s Son, George W Davis, lived to the ripe old age of seventy five, quite an achievement for that period. And apparently he was active until the end or close to it. A “PENCIL POINT” in the “The Statesman,” Austin, Texas of October 7, 1882 reported that Mr. Davis was going to have a bale of cotton at the fair to compete for those special premiums and that he planted, cultivated and was gathering the cotton by himself unaided. There was also a definite down side to living to this old age. His wife and all his children save two (and one we do not know her death date) preceded him in death.
His wife, Emiline, died in 1872, and one of the inscriptions on her marker is “A Good Woman is Gone”. According to the coverage of her funeral in the local newspapers, and the comments of the minister who conducted it, this could be termed an understatement. Statements such as, “But she is gone! and her like will not be found again, for modern society does not make such women.”
Of his five sons, James, the oldest, died in 1858 of Yellow Fever in Port Isabel where he was serving as a customs officer and he was buried there. Richard was a Confederate soldier and died in the war. William was also a Confederate Veteran who died by suicide in 1876. Glen Owen was probably known as the “wild one’. The youngest, he was not old enough to join the Confederate Army but according to family legend, that did not keep him from running away from home to do so. His father followed him to Georgetown to bring him back home. In addition, two articles in “The Statesman” in June of 1881 told of Glen Owens attempt to kill his brother-in-law at George’s farm. Glen died in 1885.
Blackstone was a lawyer, admitted to the bar at the age of twenty one. He served in the Eighth Texas Legislature in 1860 representing Bastrop County. He was murdered in 1881 while walking home from Austin at night. No one was ever convicted of the murder. Blackstone’s wife, Elvira Tennessee Manor Davis is the last known burial in the cemetery in 1918. She was the daughter of James Manor, founder of the town of Manor.
Although they are not buried in the cemetery, two of Blackstone’s sons were active in Austin civic life. James was elected Sheriff of Travis County and served one term before his death in 1902. William served as an Alderman in the City of Austin as well as owning and operating one of the larger Saloons in Austin, The Office, at Fifth and Congress.
Of George’s daughters, Mary England Davis died in 1853 at the age of four. Sarah H. Davis England died in 1866. Martha Ann Davis Mayton was born in 1852. Her date of death is unknown.
Non family members who are buried in the cemetery were for the most part friends and neighbors.