Frances Dinsmore Davis

Class of
Frances Dinsmore Davis

Frances Dinsmore Davis

“Miss Davis has been the spark that ignited the power in [Oklahoma College for Women] fine arts, they are a lengthening shadow of her.”
Freeman Beets, 1958


Frances Dinsmore Davis was born in Arkansas to a pioneering family and attended public school in Chickasha, Oklahoma, before receiving an undergraduate degree from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. After studying theatre in Chicago and New York City, she returned to Oklahoma as the first head of the speech department at Northeastern Teachers College (now Northeastern State University) in Tahlequah and then moved into the same position at Central State College (now the University of Central Oklahoma) in Edmond. She accepted the position of chairman of the speech department at Oklahoma College for Women (now the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma) in Chickasha in 1914, where she became dean of fine arts, professor of speech, and play director. Among her many outstanding students was Te Ata, whose interpretations of Native American rituals, songs and legends brought her world-wide fame.

Fun fact

Frances Davis’ mother, Annie, was a famous Oklahoma poet and musician who toured in the United States and Europe throughout her career.

Oklahoma connections

Davis graduated from Chickasha, Oklahoma public schools.




Fine Arts Instructor




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