Walter Royal Davis liked to joke that he made his money in Texas and gave it away in North Carolina. One of the state's most prolific philanthropists of the 20th century, Davis left his legacy on school campuses, in communities recovering from natural disaster, in politics, in medical research, and in the lives of countless people - waitresses, casual acquaintances, churches whose debts he retired on the spot - who happened to be the beneficiaries of his spontaneous acts of generosity. In our October Estate Auction
we are offering a number of items from the Davis Estate.
Davis was born into a family of potato farmers in Elizabeth City, North Carolina in 1920. Always a precocious individual, he was expelled from three different high schools before finally graduating from the Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. After a series of jobs as a store clerk, Davis found work with a trucking company, and began to travel around the country. When fellow truckers in California told him of the need for trucks to transport oil from wells to refineries in Texas, Davis borrowed $1,000 and started his own trucking company. In the ensuing years of the Texas oil boom, he started and sold a number of oil industry businesses and built his personal fortune.