Davis Oscar Heniford was born July 7, 1895, according to most records, but it may have been 1894, in a house about a block and a half east of the main intersection in Loris. He was the son of William Ferney and Cenia Ann Williams Heniford.
His mother died of childbirth complications when he was four days old and he was sheltered with Ferney's brother "Fate" and sisters Missouri, Mary and Nora at the homeplace in the Live Oak section near Loris. His father went to Georgia to work in the turpentine industry and was killed in an accident there when the little boy was about four.
Davis Heniford attended school in Loris through the grades available at the time and then went to his mother's brother, Lewis Williams, in Georgia and attended Norman Park Institute. From there he went to Richmond to attend the Medical College of Virginia in pharmacy. When World War I came he volunteered in Virginia and was assigned to the Sixth Evacuation Hospital, serving overseas until late 1919.
Heniford returned to medical school and graduated in pharmacy in 1922. After spending some time in the Virginia mountains, he came to Loris to operate the Loris Drug Store. He had married Katherine W. Hammack of Richmond and their first home was in the old Prince Hotel close to his business.
Davis Heniford was active in the Loris Baptist Church, in the Green Sea Lodge No. 205, A.F.M., in the Civitan Club, the American Legion, and in civic affairs generally. In the 1930s he began to sell life insurance for the Jefferson Standard of Greensboro and became one of its top producers. Eventually he sold the Loris Drug Store to A.L. Moir of Fayetteville and established a general insurance office, Heniford and Freeman, with O.D. Freeman. In addition he managed his farming interests. During World War II he did the thankless task of serving on the local OPA rationing board.
Katherine Hammack Heniford died of cancer in 1945 and is buried at Princeville. Their children are Catherine Heniford Lewis, Davis Heniford, Jr., and Lewis W. Heniford. In 1946 he married Katherine Smith Clark, a teacher, who brought him another daughter, Kathy Clark Lewis.
In 1950 he became a general agent for Franklin Life and the Heniford and Freeman Insurance Agency was discontinued. The association with Franklin Life continued until his death, May 6, 1965.
Davis Heniford was an avid quail hunter and fisherman. His sons tell a story about his shooting a runaway turkey that had flown to the top of a warehouse. Using a .22 rifle he drilled it neatly through the head "so as not to spoil the meat." He liked to travel and did, especially toward the end of his life. He frequently talked about the changes which had marked his lifetime -- automobiles, planes, radio, television, and more -- with regret that he would miss the things which would come later. He never stopped learning and was always interested in experimenting with different ways of doing things. A modest, quiet man of few words, he never sought public office, but frequently served on committees and commissions with specific tasks to perform. He played a role in many undertakings which helped Loris change and grow over nearly half a century.
Rod Sparrow, editor of the Loris Sentinel, wrote of him at the time of his death:
We counted Doc a true friend. He was a French Roll of a man -- crusty -- but beneath that crustiness there was a warmness and softness that endeared him to us. Doc was a man of tenderness; a man of insight and understanding; a man who felt deeply; a man who cared, not only about individuals, but about the community and the nation. He shunned publicity, consequently few know of the yoeman service he performed in the campaign to raise funds to build Coastal Carolina Center, or of the work he did to encourage farmers to diversify their crops and to utilize the Horry County Farmers Market. Getting to know Doc Heniford was one of the bright spots of our living in Loris.
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