African American Library at the Gregory School

John W. & Mrs. Martha Sneed Davis Family Collection MSS.0010

An Inventory of their Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library

Descriptive Summary

Creator Davis, John W., Dr.
Title: John W. Davis & Mrs. Martha Sneed Davis Family Collection
Dates: 1940-2003
Identification: MSS.0010
Quantity: 2.5 Linear feet
Language Materials are in English.
Repository: African American Library at the Gregory School

Biographical note

Algenita Scott Davis is a native Houstonian. She grew up in Houston’s Fifth Ward and graduated from historic Phillis Wheatley High School. She received her accounting degree from Howard University’s School of Business Administration in 1971. Ms. Davis attended Howard’s Law School earning her Juris Doctorate in 1974. After serving five years as a tax attorney with the Shell Oil Corporation, Ms Davis became general counsel for the Port of Houston Authority and Port Development Corporation. While serving almost 10 years in this capacity, she served 3 years on the Board of Directors of a Community Bank. Under the appointment former Mayor Kathy Whitmire, she served as a member of the City Planning Commission in 1987.

Ms. Davis joined the Texas Commerce Bank in 1989 and served as Senior Vice President and Community Affairs Officer of TCB and its successor, JP Morgan Chase. In this role she developed plans for conducting, analyzing, and documenting bank compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. Through her combined legal and business experience she forged partnerships between the bank, governmental entities, for-profit and non-profit developers that resulted in revitalization and affordable housing to the surrounding community. After her retirement from Chase in 2005, Ms. Davis served as visiting Professor at Texas Southern University School of Business and Thurgood Marshall School of Law during the 2005-2006 academic year.

In September 2006, she became the new Executive Director of Houston’s Habitat for Humanity, a faith-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life by building affordable homes for area families.

Throughout her career, Ms. Davis has chaired and established non-profit organizations empowering them to revitalize and serve the surrounding communities. She is a founding director of the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity (WALIPP) which built a 50 unit Senior Residence and now operates a Boys Middle School Academy. She is also the Founding President of the Houston Downtown Management District and a past Chair of the Greater Houston’s Women’s Foundation Board. A recipient of numerous awards and honors, she has been elected to both the presidency of the National Bar Association and Houston Lawyers Association.

Ms. Davis was married to the late John Whittaker Davis, III, Esquire for 21 years and served as a partner in his law firm, Robinson and Davis, Attorneys at Law. She is a mother of two, John Whittaker Davis IV and Martha Davis. She currently serves on several non-profit Boards, including the Chair of Central Houston Housing and Parking Corporations, TIRZ Zone Number Nine, TIRZ Number Seven, and the Houston Area Urban League. Her philosophy throughout her career has been that “the most important thing you can do in life is serve.”

Scope and Contents

The Dr. John W. Davis Jr. & Mrs. Martha Sneed Davis Family Collection includes newsclippings, event programs, funeral programs, correspondence, publications, family history, materials relating to Heman Sweatt, and other historic ephemera that were saved and compiled by Algenita Scott Davis.


Arrangement note

The collection is arranged by subject and material type.


Access Restriction


Use Restriction

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Dr. John W. Davis & Mrs. Martha Sneed Davis Family Collection must be obtained from African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Donor (dnr) Davis, Algenita Scott
Davis, John W., Dr.
African American businesspeople
African American families--Texas--Houston
African American women--Texas--Houston
African Americans
Houston Ship Channel (Tex.)
Texas Southern University

Related Material

PH 0025 John W. & Mrs. Martha Sneed Davis Photo Collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John W. Davis & Mrs. Martha Sneed Davis Family Collection. MSS 0010. The African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Algenita Scott Davis, September 2009

Processing Information

Processed by: Vince Lee, October 2009

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box Folder
1 1 Project Martha
In Search of Old Colored High project description and DVD, n.d.

Box Folder
1 2 Correspondence
To: Algenita Scott Davis From Searcy Bracewell, 1997
To: Mr. Windle Sweatt, From: Martha Algenita Scott Davis, 1996

Box Folder
1 3 Blazing Trails Arcoss Texas
Blazing Trials Across Texas, Houston tour book, n.d.

Box Folder
1 4 Heman Sweatt
Houston Lawyers Association Resolution, 2003
Tarton Law Library, Sweatt Vs. Painter Bibliography, 2000
National Bar Association tribute to Herman Marion Sweatt, 1997
Reflections of Black Law Students: UT Marks 50th Anniversary of Sweatt v. Painter by John Sirman, “Texas Bar Journal,” 2000
National Bar Association Herman Marion Sweatt Luncheon, 2003

Box Folder
1 5 Nu Phi Chapter
Guest Card for Mrs. John W. Davis, guest of GPA Forde, n.d. Nu Phi Chapter Annual dance, 1940

Box Folder
1 6 Newsclippings
The Houston News Pages Vol. 9, No 45, 1995
Negro Fraternity to Hold Session Here, n.d.
Negro Fraternity to Meet at Olive Baptist Church, n.d.
Masonic Bodies Convene in Texas, n.d.
Photocopy, Texas State University Student Council, 1949
Photocopy, Industrial Vocational Ed Dean, Dr. B.A. Turner, Houston Informer, December 8, 1959

Box Folder
1 7 Publications
The Trials of Black Lawyers by Edward Rogoff and Derryl Zimmerman, “American Legacy” Winter 2000
Bigger Then Texas Juneteenth by Cliff Hocker, “Our Texas,” n.d.
“EM Ebony,” November 1990
“The Gulf State Dental Association Journal” Vol. 1, No. 1, 1949
Gulf State Dental Laboratory notice, Houston, Texas, n.d.

Box Folder
1 8 Funeral Programs
Martha Frances Sneed Davis Robinson, December 26, 1909—December 24, 1993

Box Folder
1 9 Davis Family History
Davis Family History, one page, n.d.

Box Folder
1 10 Gulf State Dental Assocaiton
Handwritten Letter, directory, n.d.

Box Folder
1 11 Texas State University Bulletin 1949-1950

Box Folder
1 12 Souvenir Program-Gulf State Dental Association June 14-16,1949