|J. Davis House circa 1829|
James Davis (1780-1861) was born in Core Creek, Carteret County - the Quaker colony on the Newport River, north of Beaufort. He was the eldest son of Joseph Wicker Davis Jr. and Susanna Stanton, who were married in Carteret County in 1776. In 1803 James married Elizabeth Adams (1783-1868), daughter of Nathan Adams and Mary Canaday, who were farmers in Core Creek.
James and Elizabeth's daughter Elizabeth Harris Davis married William Jackson Potter (Ann Street Inn). Their daughter Mary Elizabeth Potter married Robert Withers Chadwick (Chadwick House on Ann). Daughter Mary Caroline Chadwick married William Wallace Shaw.
Becoming a skilled cabinetmaker, carpenter and builder, Mr. Davis often referred to himself as an “ar-chē-tech.” One of Davis’ early structures was Beaufort’s first “Market House,” built in 1812. He left his mark on lots all over town—many well-constructed homes that have weathered close to 200 years of coastal storms. He was also a brick mason at during the building of Fort Macon (1826-1834).
Of the houses built by Davis, the most well known are the 1815 Duncan House, the James Davis House circa 1817, the Hatsell House circa 1827, the James Davis House circa 1829 and the Wm. J. Potter House circa 1832.