1634 Van Buren Avenue

Built about 1966 and first occupied by H. Howard Davis, Dean of Men at Johnson C. Smith University, and his wife Caldonia Dyson Davis, an instructor at JCSU.

Nothing more is known about Dean Davis, who evidently only worked at JCSU for a short time. According to an obituary of Mrs. Davis:

“Caldonia Dyson Davis, 97, departed this earthly life on Monday, January 27, 2014. She was born in Madison, North Carolina, and was the younger of two children, born to the late Lucious and Cora Lowe Dyson.

“She was a graduate of Winston Salem Teachers College. She earned a Masters Degree and completed further study toward her doctoral degree from New York University. She was employed in the public schools of Petersburg, VA and Charlotte, NC. She taught at Johnson C. Smith and retired from Norfolk State University. Education was her life and she taught for over sixty years.

“She met the love of her life while he was serving in the United States Army and they married on June 13, 1942. To this loving union, two children were born: Susan Diane Davis and Hayward Howard Davis, Jr. She was devoted to her family and stayed home with her children for the first seven years of their lives before returning to teaching.”



Ranch style house, one-story tall in tan brick. There is a main gable-roofed block with a projecting front gabled wing.

Note that dwellings exist only on this north side of Van Buren Avenue. Houses on the south side were demolished or moved about 1968 to allow construction of the Northwest (Brookshire) Freeway. Today the Freeway’s tree-covered embankment rises above the Avenue.

Building permits

No building permit found.

First appeared in city directory

1967 – Howard H. Davis & Caldonia D.
He: Dean, JCSU.
She, Instructor, JCSU.
(also Howard H Jr, student, at this address)

1981 – Alex Massey, driver for Coca Cola.


“Obituary for Mrs. Caldonia Dyson Davis.” On-line at: http://www.palmermemorialchapel.com/obituaries/Caldonia-Davis/#!/Obituary