Parents and Grandparents

Frances Marion Davis Plaisted was the daughter of William E. Davis and Minnie Rowell Davis.

William Davis was born in July of 1864 in Sunapee, NH. He was orphaned early and taken in, along with his sisters, by his Aunt Hannah Foss. Hannah was also raising another deceased sister’s son, Samuel Walter Foss, who became a poet of some note. His most famous line: “Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.”

Fran’s mother, Minnie Rowell, was born in July 1865 in Claremont, NH. Growing up, Minnie was called the “Belle of Claremont.” Her cheeks were so rosy that her friends would “try to rub off the color, to no avail.” Like many of her friends, she loved to climb the local mountains. But, no matter how tired she was from a Saturday hike, her father made sure everyone went to church on Sunday morning.

Frances, Rena, Ruth, and Hollon Davis

William and Minnie’s first child was Rena, born in 1888; their second was Hollon, born in 1890. Frances Marion Davis was born at home in Malden, Massachusetts on February 14, 1892 – a Valentine’s baby.  She was a “blue baby” and so small they wrapped her up and placed her in front of the oven door. Then came Dorothy and Vesta, who would die of black diptheria as toddlers. Ruth would come along in 1898.

Frances was named after her maternal grandmother, Frances Perry. Her maternal grandfather, Granville Rowell, owned the Auburn Brush and Mop Company near the Androscoggin Bridge in Auburn, Maine, where they had moved from Claremont, NH. They lived at 148 Summer Street and attended the Court Street Baptist Church, where there is a stained glass window dedicated to Granville, who served as deacon for many years. They took care of Rena, the oldest Davis child for much of her youth.


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