The family of Lawrence and Jean Davis created the Lawrence E. and Jean L. Davis Scholarship fund to help students from Parkersburg High School finance their college education.
Lawrence was born on September 21, 1915 near Belpre, Ohio and moved to Vienna, West Virginia when he was fairly young. He attended Neale Elementary School, Parkersburg High School and then Mountain State Business College. After Mountain State Business College, Davis worked in Texas at an oil company. He started, as all employees at the company did, digging ditches. He also did inventory for this company. While there, he took courses at a junior college in Baytown. However, his position did not last long because he contracted malaria. He returned to Parkersburg to recuperate and took a job with Parkersburg Rig and Reel, which made oilfield equipment. Eventually he took a position with the president of the company doing such things as bookkeeping, accounting and correspondence. The position required him to travel to Texas frequently. It also allowed him to meet such people in the oil industry as John D. Rockefeller.
Jean Lockhart was born in Parkersburg on August 27, 1925. Lawrence met his future wife, Jean, while she worked for Dr. Harris, a surgeon Lawrence's boss frequently sent him to see. Jean agreed to help her postmaster father register guests at a postal convention at the Chancellor Hotel in downtown Parkersburg. Davis walked past and talked with Jean while he was preparing for a business trip to Texas. Before he left, he sent Jean a box of candy and said he would see her when he returned. They were married soon after he came back. Jean quit working upon their marriage as did many women of that era. They had two children, Barbara and Richard. Jean enjoyed sewing, canning, and cooking and was West Virginia's representative to the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in 1951 using apples, which came from trees from their home's backyard, to make Lucky Apple Coffee Cake. She was active in her children's lives, particularly in school and church activities, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.
Their two children were very important to them. No matter their financial circumstances they took family vacations every year. Lawrence also enjoyed keeping bees and reading books about the Civil War and World War II. They had a collie, Lady, with whom he liked playing fetch. In addition, he was a thirty-second degree Mason and a member of Toastmasters. He and his wife were also active in Stout Memorial United Methodist Church. He served as the chairman for the building of the new parsonage. Upon retirement Lawrence and Jean continued to travel domestically and abroad. Education was very important to the Davis'. When Lawrence was young, he wanted to be a doctor.
However, as one of five children of a farmer and schoolteacher, there was not enough money to send him to medical school. Because of this his family was inspired to create the fund to help deserving students finance their education. Barbara Davis Smith and Dr. Richard Davis are pleased to support the establishment of this scholarship in their parent's honor.