Born Frances Ellen Davies, Mrs. Davies-Rodgers was teacher, school administrator, Shelby County Historian for 30 years, genealogist, author of 10 books (focusing mainly on the Brunswick area and Episcopal Church history), philanthropist, church leader, clubwoman, political activist, and state constitutional convention delegate. She lived all her life at Davies Plantation, her family's 2,000-acre cotton, cattle, and hog farm at this site. Well-educated, including an M.A. from Columbia University, she became a noted authority on early childhood development. She married Hillman Philip Rodgers in 1932. During the hard times of the 1930's, "Miss Ellen" used scarce personal resources to restore Davies Manor (circa 1807).
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In 1976 she established and later endowed the Davies Manor Association, which operates the manor as a house museum. In 1945 she founded the Zachariah Davies Chapter, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution and subsequently served as Tennessee State Regent. In the 1970's she donated the land and construction costs for nearby St. Philip Episcopal Church, Davieshire. Throughout her long and productive life, Mrs. Davies-Rodgers inspired others to pursue learning and religion and to appreciate and preserve local history.