JUDGE HENRY DAVIS Collector of Hood County Records

Extracted in part from 1984 & 1985 Hood County Genealogical Society Newsletters

Introduction by Frank Saffarrans

as Related to by Mary Kate Durham, Hood County Historian

Judge Henry Davis

Judge Henry Davis’ (1891 -1976) hobby was copying all sorts of legal records, e. g. depositions, affidavits, wills, land transactions, marriages, etc. Judge Davis had a Masters Degree, Canyon State College, and was County Judge for one term, January 1, 1951 to January 1, 1956. He was a descendant of the pioneer Davis family who arrived in the Acton area with the earliest settlers of Hood County.

The courthouse was closed and locked during the lunch hour, and Judge Davis remained in the building pursuing his hobby. He read all of the county records, jotting down notes while making use of whatever scrap of paper that was handy, all sizes and kinds of paper, pens, and pencils. If Judge Davis was not busy with the duties of County Judge, he was copying records. He arrived early and left late.

After his term as County Judge ended, Judge Davis continued to come to the County Clerk’s office reading and copying records. He was slight in stature, always dressed respectably, and seemed to have a “photographic memory” concerning Hood County records and citizens.

Judge Davis gave up most of his records hobby when he was hired by the Nutt House Hotel, a historic hotel located on the Granbury Square. His job was to sit in the lobby in a rocking chair and to visit with the hotel guests and visitors. Judge Davis grew a beard and was delighted with the job. He enjoyed the people, and the people were delighted with him.

Nutt House on Granbury Square

It was said that Henry Davis never held any real job (paid) in his life except as one-term County Judge and as the hotel raconteur.Those who said this must not have counted teaching as real work as the Judge taught at various schools from about 1915 to the 1950’s.

When Judge Davis died in 1976 his sister (he was a life long bachelor) gave the boxes of his loose papers to the Hood County Public Library. Some local genealogists organized his papers by sorting them, as best they could, by family surname and by placing them in family file folders. The Hood County Genealogical Society photocopied much of the information. The family folders now have other data added: family group records and pedigrees by local researchers, as well as information sent to the Hood County Genealogical Society by out of town family researchers and family members.

ed note: Judge Davis papers have now been scanned and are available at both the Hood County Library and the Granbury Depot.