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Fannie Breedlove Davis was clearly the "moving spirit" BS, January 14, 1915, p. 32, quoting a eulogy given Fannie B. Davis by J. M. Carroll. B. F. Riley, History of the Baptists of Texas (Dallas: published by author, 1907), p. 273, calls her the "indwelling spirit" of woman's work. of Texas Baptist women in their initial phase of cooperative association, through their gathering forces from all populated areas of the state, and in their participation in the formation of a southern union of women. Born in Virginia in 1833, she exhibited, by her own admission, a pious, intelligent nature as a child. She considered it a "grave injustice" that she was not permitted to study Latin like her brothers. I. Hunt, p. 20, quoting a letter written by Fannie B. Davis, preserved in the archives of Mary Hardin-Baylor College, Belton, Texas. After her family emigrated to Independence, Texas, in 1847 she attended and later taught at Baylor College. She married George B. Davis, a Baptist merchant, in 1855. Both the Breedlove and Davis families were among those who formed the church and community backbone of Washington County. George Davis's sister Mary was an early faculty member of Baylor College; another sister was married to Horace Clark, principal of that institution from 1851 to 1871. Charles Breedlove, Fannie's brother, was a popular Brenham lawyer and influential Baptist layman. Her granddaughters later marked the height of Mrs. Davis's elevated position in the community by the fact that she was one of two women in Independence who owned a hat to wear to church instead of a bonnet. (The other was worn by Mrs. William Carey Crane, wife of the president of Baylor University, and both hats had been purchased by Mr. Davis on one of his buying trips to the East.) Personal interview with Georgia Robinson Smith and MaryEsther Robinson Hill, granddaughters of Fannie Davis, in Austin, Texas, May 19, 1980.

Fannie and George Davis had two daughters, but one died in childhood. The other, Mary Roselle (Mrs. C. S. Robinson), attended Vassar, probably fulfilling her mother's dream rather than her own, for after one year she returned to Texas to stay. She had five daughters, some of whom were virtually reared by Fannie Davis, who lived nearby. Remembered as a good seamstress, cook, and housekeeper, Mrs. Davis clearly fulfilled the domestic expectations of her day. But her energy, intelligence, and financial status enabled her also to play a broader role in carving a more prominent place for women among Southern Baptists. A male ministerial student at Baylor recalled having at first been surprised at the extent of her religious work, but by studying her he became convinced of the legitimacy of her activity. He remembered her giving receptions in her home for the young men and women and counseling students of both sexes. As a woman in her forties she was still "the center of life" at school picnics, and she worked actively in an early temperance group, "United Friends of Temperance." BS, January 14, 1915, p. 32.

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