Jackson B. Davis

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Jackson B. Davis
Louisiana State Senator for Caddo and Bossier parishes (later District 37)
In office
Preceded by Charles Emery Tooke Jr.
B. H. "Johnny" Rogers
Succeeded by Sydney B. Nelson
Personal details
Born Jackson Beauregard Davis
(1918-03-27)March 27, 1918
Rapides Parish, Louisiana, U.S.
Died August 22, 2016(2016-08-22) (aged 98)
Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Rosemary Slattery Davis
(m. 1944)
Children 4
Parents Jesse Octo
Litha Pittman Davis
Residence Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
Alma mater Louisiana College
Northwestern State University
Louisiana State University
Occupation Lawyer

(1) A Democrat, Davis repudiated U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1964 general election and instead supported Republican Barry Goldwater.

(2) Davis spent his entire United States Navy service (1941-1946) at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Jackson Beauregard Davis Sr. (March 27, 1918 – August 22, 2016) was an American lawyer and politician based in Shreveport, Louisiana, who served as a Democrat in the Louisiana State Senate from 1956 to 1980.[1] Into his nineties, Davis continued to practice law and was active in community affairs, often addressing public gatherings.

Early life[edit]

Davis was born on March 27, 1918 near Lecompte in south Rapides Parish,[2] one of three children of Jesse Octo Davis (1893–1986) and the former Litha Pittman (1893–1961). Not long before Thanksgiving Day in 1961, his mother, who was then living in Baton Rouge, and her sister, Essie Pittman Linzay, and a third woman, were killed in a two-car crash at Pine Grove. Davis studied at Southern Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville from 1932 to 1933, at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, from 1933 to 1934, and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge from 1934 to 1936. He obtained a master's degree from LSU in 1937 and his Bachelor of Laws in 1940 from Louisiana State University Law Center.

Davis volunteered for military service and received an officer's commission in the United States Navy.[2] Assigned to naval intelligence, he was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for the duration of World War II. Davis arrived in Hawaii on September 7, 1941, on the USS Neosho. Though personally spared injury, he was awakened in his hotel room to the first wave of bombing by the Japanese that was unleashed on the morning of December 7, 1941.[3] He worked in traffic analysis, codebreaking, and communications in the basement of the Fourteenth Naval District headquarters building there. He was discharged as a lieutenant commander in January 1946.[2][3]

Political career[edit]

In 1956, Jackson Davis launched his political career with election to the first of six consecutive four-year terms in the Louisiana state Senate. Though a Democrat, Davis was uncomfortable with the national party nominees. In 1964, he refused to endorse the election of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and joined a number of Louisiana Democratic officeholders who, along with Caddo Parish Sheriff J. Howell Flournoy and Mayor W. L. "Jack" Howard of Monroe, endorsed the Republican presidential nominee, U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona. Davis and Flournoy timed their announcement with Goldwater’s campaign stop in Shreveport.[4]

A supporter of right-to-work laws and business expansion, Jackson was considered a fiscal conservative in his long legislative career. He also worked to expand higher education in the northwest Louisiana corridor, including the establishment in 1967 of Louisiana State University in Shreveport.

In his first three Senate terms, Davis served at-large with his fellow conservative senator, B. H. "Johnny" Rogers of Grand Cane in De Soto Parish. In his fourth term, his colleagues were future U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., and Joe LeSage, both attorneys in Shreveport. In his fifth term, Davis's Caddo Parish colleagues were Don W. Williamson, then of Vivian, and Cecil K. Carter, Jr., of Shreveport. In his last term, he served alongside Williamson and Virginia Shehee of Shreveport, a prominent businesswoman and the first woman elected to the Louisiana State Senate. When Davis did not seek a seventh term in the 1979 nonpartisan blanket primary, he was succeeded in a single-member Caddo and Bossier Parish district by attorney Sydney B. Nelson of Shreveport.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Davis is the author of a biography of Confederate Army General Richard Taylor, son of Zachary Taylor. He is Southern Baptist. He and his wife, the former Rosemary Slattery, whom he wed in 1944, have four children, Jackson Davis, Jr., Robert Slattery Davis, Rosemary Davis, and Susan Patricia Davis.[2] He died on August 22, 2016.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2008" (PDF). legis.state.la.us. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 20, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Louisiana: Davis, Jackson Beauregard", Who's Who in American Politics, 2003-2004, 19th ed., Vol. 1 (Alabama-Montana) (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2003), p. 775
  3. ^ a b "Jackson B. Davis, Lieutenant Commander". Oral History Project, R.W. Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport, Louisiana. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  4. ^ Shreveport Journal, September 17, 1964, p. 1
  5. ^ http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/2016/08/24/former-state-sen-jackson-b-davis-dies/89254922/
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Emery Tooke, Jr.

B. H. "Johnny" Rogers

Louisiana State Senator from Caddo and Bossier parishes (later District 37)

Jackson Beauregard Davis, Sr. (alongside B. H. "Johnny" Rogers in first three terms and Joe LeSage in fourth term)

Succeeded by
Sydney B. Nelson