Louise Littleton Davis

Louise Littleton Davis, historian and journalist, was born in Paris, Tennessee, one of five children of LaRue Lucetta Littleton, a musician, and Grover C. Davis, a career U.S. Army officer. Davis's scholarly bent took her first to Murray State College in Kentucky, where she earned a bachelor's degree, and then to Vanderbilt University for a master's degree in Latin.

As Metro Nashville's official historian, Davis brought the past to life with her witty and straightforward writing style and meticulous attention to detail. Davis is credited with sparking the movement that preserved the Union Station from demolition and with the establishment of the Friends of the Metro Archives.

Her journalistic career began in 1943 covering the legislature for the Associated Press. At the close of that session she joined the staff of the Nashville Tennessean. As a reporter in the news department, Davis covered topics ranging from agriculture to juvenile crime. Later she moved to the newspaper's magazine, where she gained a reputation for her knowledge of history, love of research, and tenacity in fighting for column space for her stories. Semi-retired in 1977, she continued working part time at the Tennessean until 1984. She was a longtime member of the editorial review board of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly.

Davis's books include Nashville Tales, More Nashville Tales, Snowballs in the White House, Children's Museum of Nashville: the First Thirty Years, Frontier Tales of Tennessee, and More Tales of Tennessee. At the time of her death, she was writing a biography of Captain William Driver for the Smithsonian Institution.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Louise Littleton Davis
  • Author
  • Website Name Tennessee Encyclopedia
  • URL
  • Access Date April 17, 2024
  • Publisher Tennessee Historical Society
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 1, 2018