Junetta Watson Davis

Honored by:Dianne Bystrom
Brick location:E:21  map

Junetta Watson Davis was born in Marlow, IA.  By the age of 14, she decided she wanted to be a journalist, but it wasn’t until after World War II that she was able to attend college. She began her journalistic career on the Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle in 1951 as a student, and by 1952 she had received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas.

Watson left the Record-Chronicle at the end of 1952 for the Associated Press to cover the 1953 Kansas legislature. From there, she went to the Wichita Falls (Texas) Record News, where she continued to cover politics.  In the fall 1954, Davis became editor of the employee magazine at Texas Instruments before leaving to travel Europe. She went to the Houston Post in late 1957, where she was a general assignment reporter, covering courts, politics and medicine.

While at the Post she met her husband, John Alex Davis. In 1960, the couple left the Post to travel and write stories for Texas newspapers. Upon their return in 1961, they studied professional writing at the University of Oklahoma (OU).  While completing her master’s degree, Davis began teaching at the Oklahoma College of Sciences and Arts in Chickasha, OK. Returning to North Texas after completing her master’s degree in 1966, she practiced public relations and taught journalism for six years until OU hired her to teach in its journalism school. She retired from OU in 1986, after 14 years.

Watson died March 7, 2008. I honor her in the Plaza of Heroines as one of the women who have made an impact on my life as a journalist, feminist and teacher. She was a friend, mentor and former professor.  We worked on many political campaigns together, including an unsuccessful attempt to convince the Oklahoma legislature to ratify the national Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.