Miles Henry Davis

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Miles Dewey Davis, Jr. (March 1, 1898[1]—1962[2]) was a prominent American dentist and father of jazz legend Miles Davis.

Biography[edit]

Davis was born on March 1, 1898 in Noble Lake, Arkansas. He was a son of Miles D. and Mary (Luster) Davis. He was educated at the Arkansas State Normal School (now University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff) in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and received his Bachelor of Science degree at Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock in 1919. His studies continued at Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania. In 1924, Davis graduated from the dental school at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois and began his practice the same year. He was a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity and the National Medical Association.[1]

On June 16, 1924, he married Cloots Mae (or Cleota) Henry. This union produced three children:[1]

Davis moved the family to Alton, Illinois, and then to East Saint Louis, Illinois, where he served as State Educational Director of the Elks Club. Very active socially and politically, he was also a member of the Masons, Knights of Pythias, American Woodsmen, and the N.A.A.C.P.[1]

At one time, Davis made an unsuccessful bid for a seat on the Illinois State Legislature.

Later years[edit]

In 1946, after his first marriage ended, Davis married his second wife, Josephine, who was an assistant principal. This union produced a son, Joseph, who was born in 1959.[3]

In the late 1940s, Davis purchased a 160-acre estate in Millstadt, Illinois. He began raising imported Landrace hogs, the first African American to do so. Although he began breeding hogs as a hobby, he would raise over 300 on his estate at a time. He would sell between $14,000 and $21,000 worth of swine at a single auction. His hogs would also win numerous awards at state fairs in Missouri and Illinois.[3]

Tennessee A&I (now Tennessee State University) president Walter S. Davis (no relation) initiated a program to encourage farmers to raise the superior quality Landrace hogs. He purchased his stock for the program from Miles Davis, who imported his strain from Sir Winston Churchill's farm in England.[6]

In 1962, Davis died in St. Louis of pneumonia following a stroke.[2]

Name[edit]

Because his son is often referred to as Miles Dewey Davis III, it is incorrectly assumed that his name is also Miles Dewey Davis (which was his father's name).

References[edit]

  • Yenser, Thomas (editor), Who's Who in Colored America: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Persons of African Descent in America, Who's Who in Colored America, Brooklyn, New York, 1930-1931-1932 (Third Edition)

1910 (Thirteenth Census of US)Richland (NE of St Louis) dated 4-29-1910

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Yenser, Thomas (editor) (1930-1931-1932). Who's Who in Colored America: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Persons of African Descent in America (Third Edition ed.). Brooklyn, New York: Who's Who in Colored America.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b Johnson, John H., ed. (June 7, 1962). "Jazzman Miles Davis's father dies in St. Louis". Jet (Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc.) 22 (7): 26. 
  3. ^ a b c Johnson, John H., ed. (November 1959). "Landrace hog breeder:Illinois doctor imports special breeding stock from Europe". Ebony (Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc.) 15 (1): 75–79. 
  4. ^ a b "Social Security Death Index [database on-line]". United States: The Generations Network. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  5. ^ a b "Social Security Death Index [database on-line]". United States: The Generations Network. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  6. ^ Johnson, John H., ed. (April 12, 1962). "College president launches landrace hog project". Jet (Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc.) 21 (25): 50.