Jefferson Davis was the youngest of five sons and five daughters of Jane Cook Davis and Samuel Emory Davis; he was born on June 3, 1808, and was named after the Virginian who was then President of the United States. He was born at Fairview (then called Davisburg) in Christian (now Todd) County where his father was a farmer and postmaster. In 1810 his family moved out of Kentucky, but he went to St Thomas of Aquin Catholic School in Springfield, Kentucky, from 1816-18. In 1821 he went to Transylvania University, and then on to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York in 1824.
Davis kept his ties with Kentucky: In 1833 he was sent to Louisville and Lexington to recruit men for Col. Zachary Taylor (later our 12th President of the United States) stationed at Fort Crawford. He fell in love with Sarah Knox Taylor, his commanding officer's daughter, who lived at the Taylor mansion called "Springfield" in Jefferson County. They got married in Louisville on June 17, 1835; but, she died three months later of malaria. After his illustrious Civil War career, he returned to Kentucky two more times. In 1875 he attended the Christian County Agricultural and Mechanical Association fair at Hopkinsville and spoke to a crowd estimated at 10,000. Then, in 1886 he came to Fairview for the dedication of Bethel Baptist Church, built on the site of his first home, a double log house built by his father in 1798.
Davis died in New Orleans, Louisiana, on December 6, 1889, and it is said that his was the largest funeral ever held in the South. Later his body was moved to Richmond, Virginia.
For more information on Davis, click on any of the following sites (to get back to this page, you'll need to press the BACK button):
by Misty Burchfield, May 6, 1997
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