Tuesday, May 13, 2008

For he was lost but now is found

Allen B. Davis was the third husband of my Great Great Great Grandmother, Elmina Davis Bentley Henry Davis.

Yes, her maiden name was Davis and she married Jonathan B. Bentley before her marriage to my ancestor Emery Henry. Both Jonathan and Emery died soon after the marriage and then she married Allen B. Davis in 1857.

They lived in Jefferson County Florida for a while and then after the Civil War moved to Manatee County Florida. Elmina and Allen lived in the Parrish community near her daughter, Margery Henry Lundy. Elmina died and was buried next to the Lundy family in the Parrish cemetery. Allen was buried there also but didn't have a marker on his grave. Relatives remember a wood fence around his grave that is long gone.

After meeting his 85 year old great granddaughter who knew the location of his grave I decided to get a marker for him. I knew from my research he had served in Florida's 1st Cavalry Regiment during the war so I gathered documentation of his service and identification and requested a marker from the Veterans Administration.

One of the more competent parts of our federal government is the VA office that provides markers for veteran's graves. They promptly sent out a marker to my mother's house in Cortez, Florida. It weighed over 100 pounds so my 80 year old mother wasn't going to move it. It sat on her porch until I figured out how to get it to the cemetery.

One of the Sons of Confederate Veterans groups in the area agreed to put the marker on the grave with appropriate military honors. It was done on Confederate Memorial Day and members of SCV and Daughters of the Confederacy came in costume. Not a bad turn out for a farmer who died and was buried without a lot of fanfare 110 years before.

The result is Allen B. Davis received the honor he was due by a "grateful nation" and will be remembered not just his descendants but by those who honor graves of veterans.

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