March 3, 2014

Lawrence C. Davis - Death by Gambling

Every family has stories that - while intriguing - are hard to prove.  This one has some meat, however. My great grand uncle, Lawrence Commodore DAVIS, was - as family lore would have it - shot while gambling. How juicy! And how sad.

Born on 24 June 1875 in Granville County, NC, Uncle Lawrence was the 12th child (yes, 12th!) of my great grand parents Jonathan Davis and Cornelia Dillard. 

Lawrence died of a gun shot wound 09 March 1919 in Granville County.  He was 43 years old. The family story is that Lawrence, who never married, was a heavy gambler. Apparently he got into a tiff of sorts with his gambling buddies and one pulled out a gun and shot him dead. You'd think an arrest and court case would have followed, but so far I've been unable to find any evidence of such.

Uncle Lawrence was buried in Good Hope Baptist Church Cemetery, Youngsville, NC. 

A few other facts...
- Lawrence shows up in the 1900 and 1910 census.
- His mother, Cornelia Dillard Davis, sold him timber rights to 285 and 157 acres on Aug. 20, 1914.
- He is mentioned in his mother's will: Whereas my only son Lawrence has been faithful in taking care of me and looking after the farm, and has in the course of such employment purchased and added to the live stock, machinery, and tools, now therefore in order that there may not be any dispute as to whom these belong, I devise and bequeath to my said son Lawrence Davis all my interest and right, if I have any, in and to the horse, mules, oxen, farming tools and all machinery of whatever nature which are now or may be at the time of my death in use on my said farm lands or on that in which I have a life estate coming from my deceased husband Jonathan F. Davis.
- His mother also named him executor of her estate

So, although Uncle Lawrence had a penchant for gambling and apparently hung out with fellows who wouldn't hesitate to shoot him, he took good care of his mama and his daddy's farm. A good boy.

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