JEFFERSON DAVIS was born near Richmond, Little River County, Arkansas, on May 6, 1862. He attended the University of Arkansas and studied law at Vanderbilt University and Cumberland University. Davis entered politics as a presidential elector in the 1888 Arkansas Democratic Convention. He served as prosecuting attorney of the Fifth Judicial District of Arkansas from 1890 to 1894, and he was elected attorney general in 1898, serving until 1900. Davis was elected Arkansas’s 20th governor on September 3, 1900. He was reelected in 1902, and again in 1904, becoming the first governor to serve more than two consecutive terms. During his administration, laws were enacted for segregation on streetcars, a reform school was established, and the Arkansas History Commission (now known as the Arkansas State Archives) was created. Also during his tenure, public executions were prohibited, and salaries were defined for members of the state legislature. Davis was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1906, and left the governor’s office on January 8, 1907. He served in the Senate until his death on January 3, 1913. Governor Jefferson Davis is buried at the Mount Holly Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
Donovan, Timothy P., and Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., The Governors of Arkansas, Essays in Political Biography, Fayetteville; The University of Arkansas Press, 1981
Herndon, Dallas T., Centennial History of Arkansas, Vol. 1, Chicago, Little Rock; The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1922. 3 vols.
Old State House Museum