Mrs. Franklin C. Davis
MRS. FRANKLIN C. DAVIS. A large-hearted, broad-minded pioneer whose
activity and public service in development will long be remembered with gratitude by
those who come after him, was the late Franklin C. Davis, a native of Franklin
County, Ark., where he was born on the banks of the Arkansas River, in that portion
of the state known as the Fever Banks of the river, because the fever and plague was so
prevalent among the early settlers. He was the son of Noah and Kate Ann (Scott)
Davis, who settled in Arkansas where Franklin was reared on the farm. With J. B.
Covert, Mrs. Davis' father, he and his brother and Mr. Covert drove cattle
across the plains, and after arriving in California, Franklin Davis and his brother Edward took
care of the cattle on a ranch known as the Rock Creek cattle ranch.
|On January 21, 1864, Mr. Davis and Miss Rachael Rosella Covert were married
at Stockton. She was born in Ozark, Franklin County, Ark., and her parents were
John Bates and Hester Ann (Warner) Covert, born in Indiana and Virginia,
respectively. They were farmers in Arkansas until 1856, when they crossed the plains
with their family coming in an ox team train of forty wagons besides bringing a lot
of loose cattle.
Six months were necessary to complete the journey, which they accomplished safely, coming by the way of Salt Lake City. John Covert settled on the old
Ashe ranch, ten miles east of Stockton, but soon afterwards he purchased a ranch of
300 acres about two miles west of the Ashe ranch where he carried on farming. His
wife died in October, 1862, while he spent his last days in Hanford, Tulare County,
where he passed away in 1890. The result of this union was eight children: Lucas
served in the Civil War and was never heard from ; the rest all came to California;
William died in this county; Shelby resides in Modesto; Henry died at Redwood
City; Zadoc died here in 1866; Sarah, Mrs. Madison Walthall, died in Modesto;
Rachael Rosella of whom we write and Wasson is Mrs. Rickart of Oakdale.
Rosella Covert when a girl enjoyed but limited opportunity for schooling. the
school nearest at Rand being two and one-half miles from her home. However, she
was always studious and has been a constant reader, so she had acquired a fund of
information and today is well-informed and an interesting conversationalist. At the
time of their marriage Mr. Davis was farming on the Copperopolis road, but in July,
1864, he moved to what is now Salida, Stanislaus County, where they purchased a
quarter section of land for which he paid $500. Mrs. Davis recalls vividly those days
and sees a marked contrast between them and the present. Mr. Davis drove a
six-horse team, walking to and from his work each day and received for his day's pay
just $1.50, working from daylight till dark. Mr. Davis added to his quarter section
at Salida until he accumulated 800 acres of land, adjoining Salida, and just across the
tracks from the site of the old Salida schoolhouse. Of this old homesite Mrs. Davis
still owns 200 acres, the balance having been sold. About thirty acres are in
peaches, ninety acres in alfalfa, and the balance in grain land, and the land has of late been
leased to others. Mr. Davis was a very prominent and progressive man and was
intensely interested in the cause of education, serving as school trustee and clerk of
the board for many years. He was elected a member of the board of directors of the
Modesto Irrigation District, serving as its president for seven years. In this position
he rendered valuable services, giving the district the benefit of his years of experience
and sound business judgment. In 1906, his health becoming greatly impaired, Mr.
Davis retired from farming and moved to Modesto with his family and there on
February 23, 1910, he died, lamented by many and especially by the Masons, having
been a member of Stanislaus Lodge No. 206, at Modesto, for many years.
He was a Democrat in matters of national political moment, but too
broad-minded to be partisan and, therefore, narrow.
Ten children were born of their happy union, and five arc still living: John
Noah, the eldest, is deceased; Ora A., is the wife of Wm. H. Hatton, the attorney at
Modesto; Madison H., is a warehouseman at Madera; Mary Rosella has become Mrs.
Wall and is living in Honolulu ; Franklin Shelby is deceased; Porter Burdette, an
invalid from his childhood, lived to be twenty-seven; Hatton died at the age of five;
Frankie A. is also deceased; Edward C. is an insurance broker, and also secretary of
the Merchants Association of Modesto; Grace is Mrs. Whitney of San Diego.
Mrs. Davis for many years cared for her invalid son, never leaving him alone and
showered on him devoted care and thoughtfulness as well as nursing others with rare
fidelity in that manner rendering the highest service to humanity. So it is no wonder
she has not been able to take an active part in women's clubs or lodge work, much as
she would have liked. She continues to reside at her old home, 827 Thirteenth Street,
fully enjoying a large circle of friends and looks after the large affairs left by her husband and of which she renders a good account. A woman of a pleasing personality and
rare business ability she is generous and kind-hearted and is much loved for her affability and many acts of kindness.