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Lucy Minor Davis
(February 15, 1840 - June 15, 1925)
Daughter of John Andrew Gardiner Davis and Mary Jane Terrell Davis


Lucy Minor Davis (1840-1925) was perhaps the one individual whose close association with the Trices lasted the longest. She was on intimate terms with Lucy Jane Minor as a child, was Lucy Lee Trice's closest friend, and was Margaret Lee Minor's godmother. The following writings reveal something of her character:



Mary Jane Terrell Davis (1803-1879)
Mother of Lucy Minor Davis

Mary Jane Terrell Davis (1803-1879)
Mother of Lucy Minor Davis

Baby (Lucy Minor Davis) is the most engaging, most original child in the world - she spends hours wandering about the yard, examining every weed and stick, flower and stone she comes across. The other day she told me if I would go with her into the yard, she would show me the picture of a lion on the tree! Wondering what she could mean, I followed her, and on the root of the tree (after her suggestion) I could distinctly trace the whole contour of a lion's head. Not one person in ten thousand would have observed the resemblance, tho everyone was struck with it when pointed out. She is devoted to reading and knows her catechism to the end of the second commandment...
Mary Jane Davis, Lucy's mother, 1844



Lucy Minor Davis in London, Summer 1884

Aunt Lucy was extremely intelligent and widely read, and was a walking encyclopedia of the history and literature of England and Scotland. She had a deeply affectionate nature and a profound understanding. Greatly beloved by everyone, she was consulted by various relatives and friends, who trusted her good judgement. Possessed of a gentle sense of humor, she proclaimed herself "a total abstainer but not a fanatic." In order to prove the totality of her abstinence she would take an occasional glass of wine.
From Across the Years by Virginius Dabney


Consulting over a matter some months ago with John Staige, he told me you "kept the family conscience." You plural have warm-heartedly taken me in and so it is as one of the "family" that Dearest loved that I am coming to you tonight, tho it is not a matter of conscience, but advice or maybe I'd better say moral support for I think I know what I have to do...
Anne W. Trice, to Lucy Minor Davis, December 16, 1915



Elizabeth "Lizzie" Gardiner Davis (1835-January 20, 1897)
Lucy Minor Davis's sister.
She died at "Gale Hill" while nursing Lucy Lee Trice Minor.

Margie has just come in and says, "Tell Auntie I soon coming" and "Tell Auntie to come see me soon." She does not know yet of dear Cousin Lizzie's death. When she came back the other day, I told her that you were all gone and she said, "How did they take poor sick Aunt Diddie? Did she lie down in the carriage?" I haven't had the heart to tell her yet but will tell her soon that "her Aunt Diddie" has gone to heaven... What will we ever do without her? Her dear place can never be filled and her ready sympathy with me in all my joys and sorrows and perplexities, I shall always miss. My heart is as heavy as lead. I think I could bear it better if we could only be all together, but God knows best and in His own good time will restore me to health, I trust. If I were only as ready to go as she was! Pray that He may make me ready to go when the summons comes, please...

Your devoted child,
Lucy
Lucy Lee Minor, "Gale Hill", to Lucy Minor Davis, January 26, 1897


Margaret talks of you all constantly and the other day, when I asked John if he did not miss dear Cousin Lizzie very much when he went to Willoughby, she reproved me saying, "Mamma, you ought not to say dat, don't you want my Aunt Diddie to be well?" I answered, "Yes, Darling" and she went on, "Well, God took her to Heben to make her well, and now does you want her to come back so she will be sick again? There don't nobody ever be sick in Heben, you know"...
Lucy Lee Minor, to Lucy Minor Davis, February, 1897


My dearest Cousin Luce,

I expect John has been to Willoughby by this time and given you the Dr.'s verdict, but in case he has not been able to accomplish it, I write to tell you all about it...

I am discouraged, of course, but still feel hopeful (not of ultimate recovery) but of knocking along fairly well for some years to come yet until Margie is better able to do without me and can be a comfort to her father and take care of him. It is all in God's hands and I try to leave it there, but He has led me so mercifully in the past that I trust Him with the future...

My precious cousin, don't brood over me please. I believe I am just where I have been for the past 12 years and that I can live fairly comfortably a semi-invalid's life for years to come, perhaps, so please try to think of it that way too dear heart and remember I am coming to you soon and we will enjoy so much being together. My own dear one, dearer to me than anyone on earth except Margaret and John as you have been for years upon years, my own heart's sister. If anything should happen to me, it is my greatest comfort to know that you are Margaret's godmother and will always influence her for the right...

Your devoted Lucy

Margie has just come in and says, "Tell Auntie I went up to the top of a great big house in an "alligator" and came down again in it." I miss my dear old man so much. Had a long letter from him this morning in which he says it is so lonely at home without us. Margie is well and happy and the greatest comfort to me. She is as good as gold too.
Lucy Lee Minor, Baltimore, Maryland, to Lucy Davis, mid 1897



Eugene Davis (1822-1894)

Cousins Lizzie and Lucy Davis were sisters and lived with Cousin Eugene, their brother, at Willoughby. They were delightful ladies and devoted sisters. Cousin Lizzie was quite sentimental and Cousin Lucy very practical. One day Cousin Lizzie said, "I sometimes wonder, Lucy, what either one of us would ever do if the other got married." The practical Cousin Lucy replied, "Well, Elizabeth, I would not let that keep me awake at night."

Neither was ever married.
Margaret Minor Bryan, John Minor's sister



"Willoughby," near Charlottesville, Virginia, home of the Davises
Site of the wedding of John and Lucy Lee Trice Minor

I am writing now to say how glad I am that you have Willoughby and will live there. Under your ministration I am sure you will restore it to its former beauty and charm. I have had such happy times there, visiting Mrs. John White and Mrs. Heath Dabney - both now of the University - in our girlhood days, when it was the home of their grandfather, Capt. Eugene Davis, and famed for its delightful, far-flung hospitality.

Also my sincere congratulations to you for acquiring it. These old homes always hold the aura of their former owners - a sort of "the scent of the roses will cling 'round it still". May it be so for you.
Anne Waller Cocke Trice, to Dr. Hurt, March 16, 1960



Lucy Minor Davis

Mrs. Prentiss remarks in one of her books, as a feature of progress in the Christian life, that what we used to be in our best moments only, gradually becomes the habitual temper of our minds. We would all feel it a blessing if the coming of Christ's kingdom could always be our upper-most desire, and if everything connected with it, however remotely, could always awaken our eager interest. As Keble expressed it "could every pulse beat true to airs divine."

I believe this frame of mind is God's reward to persistence for His sake in distasteful duty. I believe that if we resolutely serve Him in the best ways open to us with cold hearts, He will surely enable us to do it in the end with warm ones. I believe that this is a part (and no small one) of the harvest, that we shall reap if we faint not.
From a speech made to The Woman's Auxiliary by Lucy Minor Davis



"Edgewood," Charlottesville, Virginia
Home of the Davises after 1897, site of Lucy Lee Trice Minor's death, September 3, 1897
(Photograph 1980's)

...I enjoyed the brief visit we made to Edgewood last fall so much. It was rather unexpected too as our plans had been arranged to come home that afternoon. I am glad we stayed and saw you all and Lily's beautiful little Lucy and her little son: and the room! You know the pictures and the look of things in general have such strong personality as if the spirit of the old times stood amongst us for a little while...
Bettie Cocke to Lucy Minor Davis, December 31, 1908


Aunt Lucy looked badly after Cousin John (Minor's) death, as she dwelt so much over the past then, but is all right again...
Alice Davis White, to her sister, Lily Heth Davis Dabney, November 16, 1924



Lucy Minor Davis with Alice Saunders Dabney, 1918

Dead - At the residence of Mrs. John S. White, on June 15th at half past two o'clock P.M., Lucy Minor Davis, last surviving child of Professor John A. G. Davis and Mary Jane Terrell, his wife, in the 86th year of her age.
The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, Virginia, June 16, 1925



Eugene Davis (1822-1894)

Lucy's brother Eugene, who was almost a father figure to the Trice siblings after their parents' deaths, was also a remarkable person. His funeral in Charlottesville in 1894 was one of the best attended of its time, though he had held no political office or formal leadership position. His character might be glimpsed in the following excerpt from a letter to his son:

...I will add a few serious words. Whilst sympathizing with your content and enjoyment, I should hope to see them qualified by a deepening anxiety on the subject which you told me was lately occupying much of your thoughts. This interest you have felt is the merciful gift of God; and to neglect it might be to trifle away your day of Salvation. If it does not go on to the increase, it will probably diminish, and finally leave you harder than before. You would gladly see it increase to the point of a willingness to dedicate yourself to Christ; but how is this to be brought about? I answer, in the first place there should be increasing frequency and earnestness in prayer and devotional reading; for unless you used means so obvious as these, there would be reason to fear that you were self-deceived as to your real feelings. I would further recommend you to set apart some time every day for meditation and self-examination; partly to try and bring home to yourself the realities of Scripture - of its facts and its truths and its promises - a personal Saviour and a personal Salvation offered; and partly to consider whether you are going backwards or forwards, or standing still. On this question of progress, the prevailing temper and daily conduct are significant indications. I wish to add that if you are only as steady to your purposes as you often are to your fancies, all will surely be well - and soon the peace which passes understanding will be your property.
Eugene Davis, to James M. M. Davis, May 2, 1871


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