• Kay Carter

More on the Beaufort women who made history

Meet three more of our club's founding members from 1921- Vice President Mrs. M. Leslie (Ruth) Davis, Recording Secretary Mrs. Graham Washington (Olive) Duncan, and Treasurer Mrs. H.C. (Annie) Jones. Thank you, Mary Warshaw for helping us know more about the women who began our legacy of service to the community.


Mrs. M. Leslie (Ruth) Davis – Vice President

Ruth Claire Ivey (Davis), daughter of Thomas Neal Ivey and Lenora Ann Dowd, was born in North Carolina on December 18, 1889. She married lawyer M. Leslie Davis (1879‒1952) in Wake County

on December 1, 1914. [M. Leslie Davis was born in Beaufort to John Dixon Davis and Narcissa Elizabeth Webb.] They made their home at 127 Front Street (John Dixon Davis House circa 1812.) At home in 1940 were M. Leslie 60, Ruth 50, M. Leslie Jr. 23, Tom 20, John 16, and Robert 9.


Ruth died at 90, on June 27, 1980, at a nursing home in Smithfield. She and her husband are buried in the Old Burying Ground.


Mrs. Graham Washington (Olive) Duncan – Recording Secretary

Mary Olive Woodard (Duncan) (1892‒1926) was the daughter of Alex T. Woodard and Evline E. Edwards. Olive married lawyer Graham Duncan on October 28, 1913 in Lenoir, NC. [Graham was son of Thomas Isaac Duncan and Laura Closs Nelson.] Olive died February 11, 1926 at age 33, from atrophy of the liver during pregnancy; son John, born February 10, survived. Olive was buried in Ocean View Cemetery. The 1930 Beaufort census recorded widower Graham, 38, Evelyn G. 13, and John W. Duncan at home at 505 Front Street with Thomas Isaac Duncan and wife, Laura.










Mrs. H.C. (Annie) Jones – Treasurer

Annie Lucille Jones was born August 24, 1875, in Newport to Howard Cole Jones and Esther Davis Adams. On June 8, 1897, Annie married Hugh Cole Jones (1870‒1954), son of Benjamin Leecraft Jones and Orpha Neal Gibbs. The 1900 Beaufort census recorded grocery merchant Hugh C. 29, Annie 24, and daughter Annie Neal Jones 1, at home at 116 Queen Street (c.1866 now Pecan Tree Inn) with Hugh’s widowed mother Esther 50.

By 1920, the Queen Street home included Hugh and Annie with 7 children (including twins), living with Hugh’s mother Esther 70.


Annie died September 30, 1958 in the Sea Level Hospital at age 83. She is buried in Ocean View Cemetery.