Historian: Beth Davis

Mrs. Martin J. (Beth Malcolm) Davis was born near Athens, Georgia, in 1909. Before Beth was a year old, her mother passed away, leaving the young baby to be raised by her maternal grandfather and aunt in Statham, Georgia, a community founded by her great-grandfather.

Upon completing high school in Winder, Georgia, Beth attended Draughon's School of Commerce in Atlanta. For the following ten years, she worked with Myron E. Freeman & Bros. Jewelers. During this time, Miss Malcolm met and wed her sweetheart, Martin Davis of Fitzgerald. Ironically, Beth's grandfathers were both proud Confederate veterans, while Martin's father was a former Union soldier. In fact, Mr. Davis was one of the first pioneers to travel to the new Union Soldiers' Colony in Georgia, which was, of course, to become Fitzgerald.

In 1942, at her husband's insistence, the couple moved to Fitzgerald. By Memorial Day of 1943, Beth became enamored and captivated by the stories of those who founded this colony in the middle of a former Confederate hotbed. This curiosity called out to Beth Davis to answer all the questions that demanded answers and spread the story of Fitzgerald to the world.

In a mammoth undertaking, Beth set out to interview scores of pioneer citizens and their families in an effort to accurately document our history. Her first publication, "Born of the Virgin Pines", ran as a series in The Fitzgerald Herald at the request of the "Union side." That series was to become the catalyst for the realization of Beth's dream to publicize Fitzgerald, a town unique in the Southland and the nation, to others.

Two early elements of that dream were realized in the late 1950s with Fitzgerald's Blue and Gray Museum and the Blue and Gray Memorial Association. Due to Beth's tireless efforts and inspiring leadership, both still flourish today.

Beth was designated by the City of Fitzgerald as its Historian. From her priceless vault of information, she envisioned and then drafted the script for "Our Friends, the Enemy," the poignant and accurate dramatization of Fitzgerald's most distinctive founding. Among her other contributions to keep the rich history of Fitzgerald alive are the reenactments of the Parade of Unity and the Roll Call of the States. Also, Beth preserved hundreds of photographs that visually carry one through the history of our town. Survived by two daughters, Bette and Julia.

Mrs. Martin J. (Beth Malcolm) Davis
In Memorium
(1909-2002)