Mary (Mollie) Evelyn Moore Davis
Mary (Mollie) Evelyn Moore was born on April 12, 1852 in Talledega, Alabama. She was the daughter of Dr. John and Marion Crutchfield Moore of Virginia. Dr. Moore moved his family in 1858 to San Marcos, Texas and in the next year moved to Garden Valley, Texas near Tyler, Texas. The family established a country home, Sylvan Dell, which Mollie immortalized in her writings. Her father was a cultivated and genial "Southern Gentleman". She inherited a love of poetry from her mother and began at a very early age to compose verse. Her first recognized poem was at the age of 9.
Mollie's family sacrificed much for the Confederacy. In 1861 her father and brothers, Thomas Oscar Moore and Hartwell Moore, enlisted to fight for the Confederacy. Thomas fought with the 7th Texas Infantry while Hartwell fought in the 1st Texas Hood's Brigade. According to an article in the Dallas Morning News dated January 3, 1909, Mollie was an "ardent" Texan. When the Dallas-Tyler Artillery Company was established in 1861 and the first company was leaving Tyler to go to the front, she presented the company command with a silken Texas flag and recited a patriotic original poem with a tribute from Jefferson Davis before all who were assembled. Her brothers survived the war and later married and lived in Texas.
Shortly after the end of the war, Mollie and her family moved to Galveston, Texas. She became a published author at the age of 14 when she began publishing poetry in the Tyler Reporter and Houston newspapers. Her first collection, Minding the Gap and Other Poems was published in 1867. While living in Galveston, she met Thomas Edward Davis of Houston and in 1874 they were married. He was a confederate veteran, achieving the rank of Major during the war. They moved to New Orleans in 1879 and became associated with the newspapers in the area. Mollie's writings began appearing in leading journals and magazines with international acclaim. In 1889, Major Davis became the editor-in-chief of the New Orleans Picayune newspaper.
While living in New Orleans, the Davis household became a literary salon and a meeting place for famous authors. In many society news articles of the day it was reported that her modest home in an older section of New Orleans was the meeting place for some of the most brilliant minds in the country. Mollie E. Davis passed away in her home on January 1, 1909, at the age of 58. She will forever be remembered as a "Southern Lady of charm and grace", as well as a gifted author.
The Mollie Moore Davis Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy of Tyler, Texas, was named in honor of this talented and patriotic lady.