Davis Taxi in Marlin, Texas has been recognized as a historical landmark by the Texas Historical Commission. Davis Taxi was founded by the late Luther Davis in 1948 in Marlin, Texas. Mr. Ernest “Sonny Man” Davis along with Mr. Ernest Sanders were the General Managers. The business would later become owned and operated by Mr. Ernest “Sonny Man” Davis after the passing of the original founder, Mr. luther Davis.
Davis Taxi also known as the “Cab Stand” was located on the corner of Island & Wood Street and this was a very busy spot. During this era both Wood & Island Street was known as “the happening” spot that was filled with black owned businesses such as cafe’s, eating establishments, barber shop, a shoe shine parlor, and many other businesses to name a few.
Believe it or not, you could get a cab ride for the price of 50 cents back then. That price seems unrealistic compared to the economy we are living in today. Times & prices have definitely changed as we fast forward into modern times. Now, we have advanced technology and innovative companies such as Uber & Lyft that have redefined the traditional taxi ride. You can request a ride through an app and within minutes you are on the way to your destination. As you are well aware, there were no cell phones, apps, or cordless phones back in the day. The cab drivers for Davis Taxi would sit on a bench outside of the “Cab Stand” talking and watching the traffic go by and would go inside to answer the phone when it would ring.
Outside on the bench is where the drivers did their networking and would get their news for the day because during that time something was always happening. The “Cab Stand” was also the hang out spot for many of the working men on Saturday evenings. They would get all dressed up to go to the “Cab Stand” for a couple of hours of Marlin news and “shooting the breeze” better known as “chit-chatting”.
When the original owners of Davis Taxi passed away the cab drivers stepped up and carried on the legacy. Those cab drivers were Mr. Jim Davis (Son), Mr. Jay T. Modkins, Mr. Sonny Tyler, Mr. TC Ratliff, Mr. Alvin White, Mr. Lonnie Bridges, Mr. “Big Bill” Smith, Mr. Booney Washington, Mr. Kat Johnson, Mr. Frank Rodgers, Mr. Sun Williams, and Mr. D. Davis.
Davis Taxi was an iconic business in the black community. When the name Davis Taxi is mentioned, many memories come to mind for those who remember the cab company. You can feel a sense of nostalgia when stories of the business are being told by the elders who remember it from early on.
The legacy of Davis Taxi still lives on til this day through Reggie Davis, who is the Grandson of Mr. Ernest “Sonny Man” Davis. Reggie is the CEO of Davis Taxi and he operates the business in Dallas, Texas. The business has came a long way from giving 50 cent cab rides to now giving luxurious rides in a decked out limousine party bus at a rate of $75 per hour. Reggie is very passionate about carrying on the legacy of his Grandfather’s business. Establishing his Grandfather’s business as a historical marker was a big priority for Reggie.
In 2014, Mr. Jim Davis restored his Father’s 1951 Chevrolet Delux. This was the car his father used when Davis Taxi was founded. With that being said, it’s very clear why this vehicle would have sentimental value to the Davis family. The car and the historical landmark represents more than just material and a sign for the Davis family. For them it represents love and legacy.