In May of this year, I wrote about Elizabeth Davis, long-time principal of Dunwoody School and co-author of “The Story of Dunwoody,” along with Ethel Spruill. Elizabeth and Manget Davis lived at 5300 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, just across the street from Dunwoody School where the Spruill Center for the Arts and Dunwoody Library are located now.
Manget Way, which runs off Chamblee Dunwoody Road, was named for Manget Davis. You may recall a new street sign was installed in 2016 which read Magnet Way. It wasn’t long before people spoke up and the sign once again read Manget Way.
Born in 1902, Davis attended Hearn Academy in Cave Spring, Ga., and then went to college at Georgia Tech. Davis’ high school principal recommended him so highly, he didn’t have to take the entrance exams required by Tech at the time.
Davis took the train from Rome to Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech. At first, he lived in a boarding house on Peachtree Street and later moved into a dormitory. He graduated in 1923 with a textile engineering degree. His memories of attending Georgia Tech and of Atlanta were recorded for the Georgia Tech Living History Project in 1994. (history.library.gatech.edu/items/show/3646)
Manget and Elizabeth Davis met when they were set up on a blind date. She was a student at Agnes Scott College. Manget took the trolley from Georgia Tech to her home on Church Street when they were dating. For a while, he had a Model A car on campus, but most of the time he walked or took the trolley to get around.
Elizabeth and Manget married and lived in Decatur. Then, after several drives to the country, they decided to move to Dunwoody in 1936. They ran into Calhoun Spruill one day, who happened to be selling his home and land on Chamblee Dunwoody Road.
Davis was an entrepreneur, starting a few businesses before working as a photographer at Davison’s for 20 years. He did all of Davison’s advertising photography at that time.
In later years, he worked every election in Dunwoody as a poll worker. Elizabeth recruited him to join her as she was already a poll worker. After she passed away, he continued to work at every election. The Nov. 3, 1988 edition of the Dunwoody Crier included an article about Davis and other poll workers. Manget Davis, age 86, was proud of the work, saying “I just think it’s an important part of our government.”
Corinne Davis, granddaughter of Manget and Elizabeth Davis, was kind enough to contact me and share some family history. Manget and Elizabeth had three sons; Manget Jr., Malcolm, and James. Unfortunately, James died in a car accident at the age of 14.
Corinne’s parents are Manget Jr. and Annie Laurie Floyd Davis. Annie Laurie lived across Chamblee Dunwoody Road at the corner of Womack Road with her parents Arva and Ida Floyd.
Manget Jr. joined the Navy, serving during both World War II and the Korean War. Elizabeth and Manget’s son Malcolm also served in the Navy.
Elizabeth and Manget Davis remained in Dunwoody the rest of their lives. Arva and Ida Floyd moved to the Morningside neighborhood of Atlanta in the early 1950s.
Corinne has fond memories of visiting her grandparents in Dunwoody. She recalls picking blackberries on the dirt road across the way, today’s Womack Road. Her grandparents had chickens and a cow. She also recalls that the Davis and Floyd families were very active in the Dunwoody Methodist Church, especially in fundraising and building of the chapel.