Lewis J. Plant (1835–1898) was an Alabama native who was an early Davis settler. Before settling in California, Plant had generated considerable wealth by opening eateries that catered to Central Pacific railroad workers. Once in Davis, he owned a liquor store, grocery store, and a restaurant that was located in the railroad depot. He also helped launch Davis' first newspaper, the Davisville Advertiser. Plant maintained an active role in his business pursuits until the time of his death. He was married to Sarah Lantham, a native Kentuckian, and they had a total of five children. His son, Albert June Plant, was active in local affairs and politics as an adult, and was one of the earliest boosters of Davis as the site for the University of California's University Farm, which became UC Davis. 

Many of Plant's descendants lived in and contributed to the Davis community, including Forrest Albert Plant and Mary Ellen Dolcini