Attorney; State government official;  college president. Born– November 23, 1882, Marengo County. Parents:  Thomas Wyley and Mary Kate Goodwin Davis. Married– Lena Vail, December 15, 1917.  Children– Three. Education– South Alabama Baptist Institute at Thomasville, A.B., 1899; University of Alabama, Bachelor of Laws, 1903. Military service:  U. S. Army Infantry, WWI, 1918-1919; retired at the end of the war with the rank of major. Served as Alabama’s first assistant attorney general, 1915-1917; attorney general, 1921-1927; state internal revenue collector, 1933-1939.  Codefied the first Educational Code of Alabama and the first Agricultural Code of Alabama. President, Howard College (now Samford University), 1939-1958. Led in the building of the new Samford campus in Shades Valley and the move to the new campus in 1957. Life member of the Alabama Bar Association;  life member of the Historical Association of the Southern Baptist Convention; Phi Beta Kappa; Omicron Delta Kappa; Phi Delta Phi; the Masons and the Knights of Phythias.  Awarded the honorary LL.D. by the University of Alabama; the honorary Doctorate of Humanities by Birmingham Southern, and the LL.D. by Mobile College.  The Harwell Goodwin Davis Library at Samford University is named in his honor. Died August 5, 1977.


Obituary, Birmingham News, August 6, 1977.

Sulzby, James F., Jr. Toward a History of Samford University, Vol. II.  Birmingham:  Samford University Press, 1986.

Dust Jacket, The Legend of Landsee.


Alabama School Code. Montgomery, Ala.; Alabama State Department of Education, 1927.

Holdings of Physical Copies of Newspapers from Jefferson County Courthouse. S.l.; s.n., 1979.

Legend of Landsee. Huntsville, Ala.; Strode, 1976.

The Life and Achievements of Joseph Linyer Bedsole. New York; Newcomen Society in North America, 1962.


The papers of Harwell Goodwin Davis are held by the Special Collections Department at the Harwell Goodwin Davis Library at Samford University.