Davis, Samuel(born: 1895 - died: 1920) Twenty-five year old Samuel Davis drowned while attempting to save 16-year old Estelle Garnand and her friend Mary Etta Martin from the "sunk holes" in the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River, July 12, 1920. He was able to save Martin, but both Davis and Garnand drowned.
Davis was a coal miner from Aflex, KY. He was African American, and Garnand and Martin were white. Davis was awarded a Carnegie bronze medal posthumously, and his wife received a pension of $50 per month and an additional $5 for their daughter, all from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. Davis was one of 23 persons to be recognized by the commission in 1921 and one of two to receive a bronze medal.
For more see the 1922 Negro Year Book, by M. N. Work; "Samuel Davis," The Crisis, vol. 22, issue 2 (June 1921), p. 87 [available online at Google Books]; "Carnegie medals to 23 for heroism," The New York Times, 4/30/1921, p. 16; Samuel Davis at the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission website; and "Miss Estelle Garnand" on p. 3 of The Kingsport Times, 7/20/1920.