Justice Fred Henry Davis

Justice Fred H. Davis

Justice Fred H. Davis

Fred Davis started studying law while still attending high school in Tallahassee, Florida. 

He became a member of the bar in 1914 at the age of 20 and went on to have a varied and active career. 

He was a U.S. Attorney, a prosecuting attorney for Leon County, then Wakulla County, and special counsel to the Florida Railroad Commission. 

He also participated in the state’s political life, getting elected to the Florida House of Representatives four times.  In 1927, he was elected speaker of the house.  That same year, Governor John Martin appointed Davis attorney general of Florida to fill an unexpired term.  In 1928, Davis won the post in the general election. 

Three years later, in 1931, Governor Doyle Carlton appointed him justice on the Florida Supreme Court. The members of the court elected him chief justice in 1933. 

His pace of life and work might have caused a sudden and unexpected fatal heart attack while Justice Davis was visiting in Jacksonville.


Various telegraph condolences received after the death of Justice Fred Davis in 1937 on display in the Florida Supreme Court Library.  Florida Supreme Court Archives.

Condolence messages, 1937.

Newspaper headline announcing the death of Justice Fred Davis. Florida Times-Union newspaper on June 21, 1937.

Newspaper headline, 1937.

Flagpole dedication to Justice Davis.

Flagpole Dedication

The 1937 lying in state of former Justice Fred Henry Davis, who died in office that year. Photo Courtesy of Florida Memory Project.

The 1937 lying in state. Photo Courtesy of Florida Memory Project. 

Former Justices

Contact Information

Florida Supreme Court
500 South Duval Street
Tallahassee, Florida
32399-1925 | EMAIL
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