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The Mecklenburg County Historic Landmarks Commission records that Dr. George Edward Davis "was an important figure in three respects: he was the first black professor at Johnson C. Smith University, and, as Dean of the Faculty, a major shaper of education at that institution; he built a number of houses near his own as rental housing, thus molding the character of that part of the neighborhood near the university; and he was a North Carolina state agent for the Rosenwald Fund, and in that capacity had a direct hand in raising more than a half-million dollars for many of the black schools built in the state which were partially financed through the fund. The influence of George E. Davis on Johnson C. Smith, Biddleville and education for blacks in the state is unmistakable." Dr. Davis was an 1883 graduate of Biddle University, now known as Johnson C. Smith University.