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Saturday, February 14, 2015

250 Years Ago, A Valentine Marriage . . .

Married.
On February 15th, at Monumental Church, by Rev. Mr. Norwood, rector of St. John's Church, Dr. H. Wythe Davis (Surgeon First regiment Virginia reserves) of Richmond city, and Miss Mary E. Apperson, only daughter of John C. Apperson, of New Kent county, Virginia.

-The Daily Dispatch(Richmond), February 18, 1865.

The good doctor's biography from Vol. IV Lyon Gardiner Tyler's Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography . . .

Hugh Wythe Davis, M. D. Born in Richmond, educated classically and professionally in Richmond, and for over half a century actively engaged in medical practice in Richmond, Dr. Davis acquired an intimacy with Richmond and her people little short of marvelous. He was perhaps the best known and best loved physician of the city, knowing his vast army of patients and a true doctor of the old school, ministered to body, mind and soul, regarding his patients many of them as his especial charge, to be freely admonished and reproved, as well as treated for bodily ills. His maternity practice was very large, three generations in the same family in several instances having been brought into the world by the aid of good Dr. Davis. He was in the truest sense, the family physician, knew the intimate life history of hundreds of his clientele from cradle to grave, rejoiced in their success, sorrowed with their misfortunes and often by timely advice and aid enabled them to pass safely perilous points in their careers. He held true to the soundest principles of medicine and never followed the fads of his profession, never countenanced the newer theories and rarely left the city to attend medical gatherings. This was less from inclination than the fact that his very large practice occupied every moment of his working hours. From the age of twenty-one years until the December preceding his death, at the age of seventy-four years, he was actively in practice and barely able to meet the demands made upon him. A newly fledged M. D., in 1861, he was almost immediately appointed assistant surgeon to Dr. Samuel Preston Moore, surgeon general of the Confederate States and until the war, 1861-65, closed, served with devotion and distinction in field and camp hospitals, always in or near Richmond. His devotion to the southern cause was deep and lasting and Richmond had no more loyal son. For forty years he lived at 110 West Grace street, his address being better known than any other private citizen in the city. He now lies in Hollywood Cemetery, near by the scenes of his childhood, youth, manhood and old age. His life was filled with good deeds and his memory will long be cherished.
Dr. Hugh Wythe Davis was born in Richmond, September 20, 1840, died June 29, 1914, son of John F. and Delight (Thomas) Davis, and nephew of Dr. Creed Thomas, who was a schoolmate of Edgar Allan Poe at the University of Virginia. Dr. Davis, after attendance at private schools in Richmond and Chesterfield county, Virginia, entered Richmond College, there completing his course of classical study. He decided upon the profession of medicine and prepared in the Medical College of Virginia, received his degree of M. D. with the class of "61." The war clouds which had been hovering burst asunder in that year and the young doctor, a personal friend of Surgeon General Dr. Samuel Preston Moore, of the Confederate army, was at once selected by Dr. Moore as his assistant. The ensuing four years were spent in active hospital service, much of Dr. Davis's time being spent in the hospital located on what is now the campus of Richmond College. After the war he began private practice in Richmond, in association with his maternal uncle, Dr. Creed Thomas, one of his first patrons being Surgeon General Moore, whose family physician he remained until Dr. Moore's death, the two men always continuing warm friends until separated by death. Dr. Davis was entirely devoted and absorbed in his practice, ministering to a very large clientele. He won the love and confidence of his parents and was held in highest esteem by all who knew him. For fifty-three years he practiced the healing art and only desisted when nature gave way and when he was unable to continue. He retired from practice, December 20, 1913, and about six months later a complication of diseases ended his long and useful life.
Dr. Davis was a member of the Virginia State Medical Society, trustee of Richmond College, trustee for the Baptist Home for Aged Women and a deacon of Grace Street Baptist Church. He was an authority on all that pertained to the medical history of the Confederacy, his close association with the surgeon general giving him opportunity to obtain accurate information. While a true son of Virginia, he took no active part in political life, held no public office but by official appointment for special service, one of such instances being the examination of the body of Mrs. Jeter Philips, murdered by her husband at Drinker's Farm in Henrico county in 1870. Dr. Davis being one of the two physicians appointed by the state for that duty.
Dr. Davis was married in Monumental Church, Richmond, February 15, 1865, by Rev. Dr. Norwood, to Mary Elizabeth Apperson, of New Kent county, Virginia, who died June 4, 1900. Seven of his children survived the good doctor: 1. Dr. Wray Wythe, now located at 614 West Grace street, graduated from the University of Maryland, class of 1890, as D. D. S., has thus been for twenty-four years in dental practice in Richmond; he married Mary Hopkins, November 12, 1895, and they have four children, all living: James Hopkins, Hugh Wythe, Mary Elizabeth, and Wray Wythe Jr. 2. John A. 3. Eva T., married C. L. Moore. 4. Bessie C., married W. G. Bragg. 5. Rhoda L., married H. Seldon Taylor. 6. Susie T. 7. Edna S. All are living in Richmond.

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