Helen & Chauncey Davis
Written by Lola Cain 2021
CHAUNCEY D. DAVIS FILM
BIO (for the new Mike Morris Elementary School)
Chauncey D. Davis was born October 13, 1900
in Arlington, WA. He attended high school in that area
and then studied at Bellingham Normal which had an emphasis on
teaching degrees at that time. While attending
Bellingham, he drove back and forth to Seattle on the weekends
to court his soon to be life-long wife, Helen Mattson.
After graduation and their marriage, they moved to Long Beach,
WA where Chauncey was a teacher, coach and avid hunter and
fisherman. My father, James H. Davis, shared with me
many times that the ducks, geese, razor clams and fish
Chauncey harvested were a prime staple of the family's diet
during the Depression in Long Beach. Chauncey progressed
to being Superintendent of Schools for all of Pacific County.
Chauncey and Helen moved to South Bend just
prior to WWII and lived there the remainder of their
lives. Helen wrote "Washington My Home" the official
state song and Chauncey became Superintendent of the South
Bend School District #118. Upon Chauncey's retirement,
he and Helen started the business Davis Insurance & Real
Estate Agency, Inc. in 1953 featuring a Pacific NW Insurance
Company called The Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of
Enumclaw, Washington. For a period of time, Chauncey was
vice president of the subsequently renamed Mutual of Enumclaw
Insurance Co. The Davis Agency still represents Mutual
of Enumclaw to this day.
Chauncey was honored during Dave Spogen's
tenure as Superintendent with the renaming of the South Bend
Elementary School as the Chauncey Davis Elementary. Our
entire family felt greatly honored by this recognition.
Although Chauncey, Helen, my father James
and mother Marion have all passed away, Chauncey's legacy
lives on at The Davis Agency through his grandson Phil.
Further, Helen's musical legacy also lives on through grandson
Phil and great grandson, Maxwell James Davis (younger brother
Miles D.A. Davis) and as evidence of same, the music which you
hear accompanying this film was written and performed by the
rock group CHROMUS of which Phil Davis (keyboards), Max Davis
(guitars), Mike Peterson (drums), Don Bird (bass), Gordon D.
Lynn (recording), Scott Karnas (vocals on "Under the Ruins")
and SBHS Principal Jason Nelson (vocals on "Dance of Time")
are performing members.
The newly-erected Mike Morris Elementary
now stands on the same site. Our entire community takes
tremendous pride in this modern facility, but still fondly
remembers Chauncey Davis Elementary as well.
With kindest regards,
Philip D. Davis, Grandson
A little about
In 1983, as
part of the process of writing this history of Montesano I had
to get permission from Helen Davis, the author of 8 of the
songs I wanted to use, to incorporate her songs into the
musical. And so our friendship began.
She was an absolute delight. Spicy and
forthright; engaging and opinionated. The joy of getting to
know her was one of the great joys of working on writing a
history appropriate for Montesano. I quickly learned
that the songs I requested I be able to use were from an
operetta Helen wrote titled, Eliza and the Lumberjack.
And I learned it represented only a small portion of all she
had written. In her lifetime Helen wrote well over 300
Her most famous song is Washington, My
Home, which she wrote in 1950. It was adopted as the
official Washington State Song in 1959.
Helen Davis was well known as the matriarch
of South Bend. She played the piano at the South Bend
Methodist Church for more than 25 years. As of 2021 that venue
was conveyed to the Willapa Players for live theater and
music, and Helen would be thrilled.
She also started Davis Insurance & Real
Estate Agency Inc., with her husband, Chauncey, in 1953, and
she remained actively involved in the business until her
Helen made a difference. She was a very
active, highly regarded leader in South Bend, as evidenced by
a park being named posthumously in her honor. Her legacy of
love for her community, and for Washington, lives on. Helen
was born November 18, 1905 in Zanesville, Ohio. She was 87
years old when she passed away December 31, 1992. Helen Davis
will be forever remembered... and forever missed.
- Sheet music written by Helen Davis:
Last updated on 2-2-2021 by Brian